Veterans-For-Change News

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Veterans-For-Change, Inc.In This Edition

  • VA Rolls Out Pilot Programs to Speed Claims Processing
  • Homeless Heroes Project
  • Senate Approves One-month “Doc Fix”
  • TRICARE Provides Answers to Behavioral Health Questions
  • Giving to Others Can Change Lives
  • Stop Loss Pay Deadline Approaches
  • Have you been harmed because you made a Veterans’ Preference claim, or do you know of someone who has?
  • Adopt-A-Soldier
  • Buddy Search
  • A Veterans Advocacy and Assistance Organization
    Another Case of Cross Contamination in a VA Medical Facility

VA Rolls Out Pilot Programs to Speed Claims Processing

VA has launched two pilot programs to test new procedures that will speed the payment of compensation benefits to veterans with disabilities connected to their military service.  These programs are part of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s effort to “break the back” of the disability claims backlog.

The “Quick Pay” Disability Program at the St. Petersburg, Fla., Regional Office and the “Express Lane” Pilot, based at the Seattle, Wash., Regional Office, are among a number of new initiatives using reengineered and streamlined claims processes to provide Veterans with faster claims decisions and benefit payments.

Secretary Shinseki established as one of VA’s highest priority goals the elimination of the disability claims backlog by 2015, so that all Veterans receive a quality decision on their claim in no more than 125 days.

The “Quick Pay” Disability initiative is designed to speed disability compensation to Veterans who provide sufficient evidence at the time of claim submission to decide all or part of their claim.  Since program launch, “Quick Pay” has paid more than $2 million in benefits to 1,656 Florida Veterans.  These payments averaged $1,236 monthly and were made three months faster than the department’s 125-day goal. 

Under the “Express Lane” Pilot program based in the Seattle Regional Office, staff members are realigned to address disability claims based on claim complexity.

Like a supermarket check-out “express lane,” small employee teams focus on rapidly processing numerous less complex claims that typically involve only one disability, thus freeing their co-workers to process the more complex and multiple-disability claims that demand the greatest level of unilateral effort.

The “Express Lane” Pilot, while managed from Seattle, is also being tested at three additional VA regional offices: Nashville, Tenn., St. Paul, Minn., and Muskogee, Okla.

The St. Petersburg and Seattle pilots are among more than three dozen VA initiatives exploring optimal ways to organize and deliver benefits and improve service to Veterans.

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 Homeless Heroes Project

 The Homeless Heroes Project, a program of Veterans-For-Change is a new program that will include Advocacy, Assistance and Outreach, a Veteran’s Resource Database, a Care Package Project, Back Pack Project, Afghan/Scarf/Hat Project, as well as several other national events. This program will also bridge a gap between all the resources currently available to the homeless Veterans and the Veterans themselves.

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Hundreds of thousands of Veterans are homeless or face homelessness every year. These are people who wore the uniform proud enough to take an oath, served and protected the Freedom of the people and who landed on hard times. Would you like to give thanks to these Heroes?

Please show your compassion for these people who have served our Country by supporting this Program and lets diminish homelessness amongst our Veteran Community. Get involved today!  You can make a difference in a Heroes life.  Please E-Mail Ms. Nissa LaPointe, National Director for HHP of VFC at [email protected].

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 Senate Approves One-month “Doc Fix”

Yesterday, Senate lawmakers agreed to briefly postpone sharp cuts in payments to doctors that accept TRICARE and Medicare payments.  Provided the House endorses the same action when it returns after Thanksgiving, H.R. 5712 will push back the start date of a 23.5 percent cut in TRICARE and Medicare physician payments from Dec. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2011. 

Shortly after the Senate action, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) announced plans to schedule H.R. 5712 for a vote on November 29, leaving just enough time to get the bill approved and on the president’s desk to stop the December 1 cut from occurring.  He also stated Congress would use the additional time provided by H.R. 5712 to work out a longer-term solution. 

Yesterday, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) introduced H.R. 6427, a bill that would delay cuts for a 13-month period instead.  As reported often here, there is broad agreement in Congress on fixing the doctors’ reimbursement issue, but Members remain unsettled on how to pay for the change.  Increasing numbers of lawmakers are reluctant to add to the national debt.  Savings within the Medicaid/Medicare payment system offset the cost of H.R. 5712, but it may be some time before lawmakers come up with the estimated $15 billion needed to pay for H.R. 6427.

While the long-term solution is more desirable, it is more important that Congress takes action to stop the December 1 cut from occurring—even if only for a month while they look for a better solution.  The Senate has taken action, now it is the Houses turn.  We encourage you to use the USDR CapWiz System to send a message to your representative urging them to support H.R. 5712 when it comes to the floor on the 29th. 

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TRICARE Provides Answers to Behavioral Health Questions

TMA Press Release — Whether it’s “butterflies in the stomach” or a quickened heart beat, most people feel anxious at some time or another.  While it is normal to worry or feel nervous in stressful situations – public speaking, an important event or unexpected news – some people constantly feel on edge and panicky.  Similarly, although sadness is a normal emotion in difficult times such as death, long periods of hopelessness may be a sign of depression.  Read more by clicking here

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Giving to Others Can Change Lives

Sometimes in life, people want to give help to others, but don’t have large amounts of money or know how to donate. Other times, one just needs a little lift to get back on their feet but doesn’t know how or where to get help. Everyone else’s problems may seem bigger or more worthy. It can feel embarrassing to ask for a handout. But with Veterans-For-Change, people can offer help when they are strong, and ask for assistance when life seems overwhelming. What a wonderful trade-off.

We request your support by considering a donation to Veterans-For-Change and help us make magic for those who need us most!

In order to meet the needs of those who come to Veterans-For-Change every month, we need 100 regular monthly donors of $20 each and 100 regular monthly donors of $50.  With every dollar we receive $0.93 will go directly to Veterans and their families in need of a one time assistance grant to help get them over a rough patch in life.

Even if you’re not able to commit to a monthly donation, a one time or annual donation is very much appreciated.  And if you’ve been blessed to never have problems, please consider the movie “Pay it Forward!”

If you’re able to contribute $25, $50, $100 or more, please click HERE to be taken direct to the PayPal site!

If you’d prefer to send a check or money order, please send an E-Mail to:  Jim Davis for instructions.

If Veteran’s don’t help Veteran’s, who will?

Tax ID #27-3820181

Programs of Veterans-For-Change:

  • Claims & Appeals Assistance
    • Assist in Gathering Military & Medical Records to file VA Claims
    • Veteran Service Officer Referrals
    • Advice on how to keep records, personal journals
    • Assist in gathering evidence to support claims
  • College Scholarship Fund for Children of Veterans
  • Emergency Financial Assistance
    • Electric
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Trash
    • Food
    • Rent
    • Budget Assistance & Guidance
    • Credit Repair Assistance & Counseling
  • Homeless Heroes Project
    • Christmas Backpacks with T-Shirts, Socks, Boxers, Personal Hygiene Products, Food vouchers
  • Nationwide Stand-down Programs
    • Provide housing counseling
    • Benefits Counseling
    • Connect with Veteran Service Officers
  • Service Recognition Program
    • Veteran
    • Spouse
    • Child
  • Veteran Outreach Program
    • Christmas Baskets for Low Income Veterans
  • Veteran Service Officer Referral Program

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Stop Loss Pay Deadline Approaches

Once again we are reminding veterans and current service members, who were involuntarily retained in the military under the so-called “Stop Loss” program, to apply for the special pay before the Dec. 3 deadline.  Military members whose service was involuntarily extended or whose retirement was suspended between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, may be entitled to a retroactive payment of $500 for each month of extension. Information on the special pay and links to the application are available on the Department of Defense website.

The average amount being given is $3700.  A nice contribution to your Holiday fund!

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Have you been harmed because you made a Veterans’ Preference claim, or do you know of someone who has?

Our nation’s Veterans’ Preference Statute needs to be amended to include a retaliation clause, so that Honorably discharged veterans do not have to hire an attorney at their own expense when retaliation occurs.

In an effort to showcase the need for the update, to convince political officials to sponsor/support an amendment to the Veterans’ Preference Statute, I am writing a book:  Honor the Troops:  Keep Our Promises!

The book will feature first-person accounts of veterans who served our country honorably, but were later harmed simply because they sought to use their Veterans’ Preference benefit.

Your help in locating veterans who have been harmed will be immeasurably helpful and greatly appreciated.

Please contact:  [email protected].

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Adopt-A-Soldier

As we all know we still have troops serving in Iraq and they will be there over the Christmas Holidays.

We have several names of soldiers serving and we’d like to adopt all our soldiers out to Church’s and Organizations to make sure they know we have not forgotten them, and they’re not alone.

Each name would need to have approximately 100 zip lock bags filled with non-perishable foods such as hard candy, trail mix, tooth brushes, tooth paste, non fragrant deodorant, CD’s, DVD’s, non fragrant hand lotion, socks, tan colored T-Shirts, Christmas Cards, you can pretty much name it if it fits and ships.

If you’re able to adopt a soldier for this Christmas Season, please send an E-Mail to:  [email protected]

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Buddy Search

Have you been looking for a buddy you served with?  Gone to all the privately owned websites, had no luck?

Look no more!

Veterans-For-Change has databases with 236,590 former military listed.

If you’re looking for a buddy, send an E-Mail to [email protected] with the First and Last Name, Last City/State known, and Branch of Service and we’ll respond with all those listed within 7-10 days.

Please keep request to no more than two names, and only place your request one time.  If the person you are trying to locate isn’t found it goes on a wait list to check new databases as received.

If you’d like to be included, please E-Mail me and request a buddy list entry form.

This is another FREE service of Veterans-For-Change!

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A Veterans Advocacy and Assistance Organization

The purpose of Veterans-For-Change is to make major changes in the treatment and rights for all veterans.  In benefits claims, appeals, medical care and treatment, VA Facilities, PTSD, Agent Orange issues (including Toxic Dioxin resulting in Diabetes, Cancers and numerous other health problems), POW MIA recoveries,  TBI and dioxin poisoning during current and past Combat Operations in the Persian Gulf region.

Members combine their talents, information, ideas and suggestions and contribute to a monthly letter that’s sent to all 535 members of Congress expressing the concerns over various issues and offers possible solutions.

This is in an effort to make change within the VA system, to streamline, expedite and insure claims are honored to the best possible rating, to insure all medical facilities are using the best equipment in the most modernized facilities with a properly trained and fully licensed and compassionate medical staff.

Additionally we circulate petitions for various pieces of legislation to promote their being presented on the floor and voted on.

We conduct research, develop ideas, solutions, and programs and do our best to make sure they’re put into action. We also provide guidance and assistance to veterans, spouses, their children and widows with their claims and appeals and the support of all veterans who seek assistance.

We must guarantee the rights of every single veteran and gain the rights and benefits promised!

If you can volunteer 30-60 minutes per month, from the comfort of your own home and computer, please join us in this tremendous fight and make your voice heard loud and clear.

Veterans-For-Change Advocacy Group:         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VETERANS-FOR-CHANGE/

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Another Case of Cross Contamination in a VA Medical Facility

To Whom This May Concern:

Approximately 45-60 days ago the Dayton VA shut down the Dental Clinic in an emergency. It appeared that a dentist named Dr. Dwight Pemberton, 82 years old, had infected several Veterans with blood born pathogens.

Over the past 2 years several dental staff employees had reported, on multiple occasions, to the Chief of
Medicine, Stephen Cohen, as well as the Medical Center Director, Guy Richardson, that Dr. Pemberton was practicing in violation of standard sanitary protocols. Neither executive moved to correct this problem. Now, what was swept under the rug has become a huge lump.

They closed the Dental Clinic, started transferring Vets to Cincinnati or Columbus for treatment and begun a search of exactly how many Vets Dr. Pemberton had treated. The number was staggering. It seems he has treated over 2000 (two-thousand) Veterans. They have set aside a section of the Medical Center for triage and will began to send letters to each and every Veteran treated by this 82 year old Dentist and start testing for blood born pathogens. They are testing for HIV, Hep C, Hep B and MYRSA.

They have worked very diligently to keep this out of the Main Stream Media.

As a person whose reputation has been to expose VA violations in their treatment of America’s Veterans
I am continuing in that effort.

If you have any questions and/or concerns as to the veracity of this story please feel free to contact
me.

Sincerely Yours,
Darrell Hampton

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