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Subject: VVA: Veterans Day 08
US  CENSUS  BUREAU NEWS
FACTS  for Features
CB08-FF.19 Oct. 16, 2008
Veterans Day 2008: Nov. 11
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day has evolved into also honoring living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
23.6 million
The number of military veterans in the United States in 2007. Source: Table 502, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Female Veterans
1.8 million
The number of female veterans in 2007. Source: Table 502, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
16%
Percentage of Gulf War veterans in 2007 who were women. Source: Table 503, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Race and Hispanic Origin
2.4 million
The number of black veterans in 2007. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans were Hispanic; 278,000 were Asian; 165,000 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,000 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 18.7 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.) Source: 2007 American Community Survey -2-
When They Served
9.3 million
The number of veterans 65 and older in 2007. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35. Source: Table 503, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
7.9 million
Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2007. Thirty-three percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 5 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.9 million in World War II (1941-1945); 3 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 6.1 million in peacetime. Source: Table 503, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
358,000
In 2007, number of living veterans who served during both the Vietnam and Gulf War eras.
Other living veterans in 2007 who served during two or more wars:
*       315,000 served during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
*       69,000 served during three periods: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
● 263,000 served during World War II and the Korean War. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
Where They Live 5
Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2007. These states are California
(2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1.1 million) and Pennsylvania (1.1 million). Source: Table 502, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Education 25%
Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2007. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
90%
Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2007. Source: 2007 American Community Survey -3-
Income and Poverty
$36,053
Annual median income of veterans, in 2007 inflation-adjusted dollars. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
5.7%
Percentage of veterans living in poverty, as of 2007. The corresponding rate for nonveterans was 12 percent. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
On the Job
10.7 million
Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2007. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
$32,217
Earnings for women veterans, higher than the $27,272 for women civilians with no military experience. Source: Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earning Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey <
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/women/012062.html>
$42,128
Earnings for male veterans, higher than the $39,880 for nonveterans. Source: Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earning Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey <
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/women/012062.html>
Women veterans were more likely to work 35 or more hours per week (84.3 percent vs.
77.6 percent), to work at least 50 weeks per year (73.1 percent vs. 71.6 percent) and to work in public administration (16 percent vs. 4.8 percent) than nonveterans. Source: Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earning Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey
<
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/women/012062.html> -4-
Disabilities
6 million
Number of veterans with a disability.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey
Voting
17.4 million
Number of veterans who voted in the 2004 presidential election. Seventy-four percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonveterans. Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004 <
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/006562.html>
14 million
Number of veterans who voted in the 2006 congressional election. Sixty-one percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 46 percent of nonveterans. Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2006 <
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/012234.html>
Business Owners 14.5%
Percentage of owners of firms responding to the 2002 Survey of Business Owners who were veterans. Veteran business owners comprised an estimated 3 million of the 20.5 million owners represented by survey respondents. Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002
<
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/010337.html>
68%
Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 and older. This compares with 31 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2002, 55 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established, purchased or acquired before 1990, compared with 36 percent of all employer respondent firms. Source: Characteristics Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002 <
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/010337.html> -5-
7%
Percentage of veteran business owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002
<
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/010337.html>
Benefits
2.7 million
Number of veterans who received compensation for service-connected disabilities as of 2006. Their compensation totaled $28.2 billion. Source: Tables 505 and 506, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
$72.8 billion
Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2006. Of this total, $34.6 billion went to compensation and pensions, $33.7 billion for medical programs and the remainder to other programs, such as vocational rehabilitation and education. Source: Table 505, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February) Labor Day Super Bowl Grandparents Day Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15) Women’s History Month (March) Unmarried and Single Americans Week Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/ Halloween (Oct. 31) St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May) (November) Older Americans Month (May) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) Cinco de Mayo (May 5) Thanksgiving Day Mother’s Day The Holiday Season (December) Hurricane Season Begins (June 1) Father’s Day The Fourth of July (July 4) Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26) Back to School (August)
Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <pio@census.gov>.

The 2008 Edition of Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents is available for download from the VA website at http://www1.va.gov/OPA/vadocs/current_benefits.asp (direct web link).
 

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Suspected Vet Benefits, Stolen Valor or Other Fraud in VA
To report suspected fraud involving veterans benefits, other crimes such as Stolen Valor, fraud, waste or mismanagement in the VA, contact the Office of Inspector General Hotline at (800) 488-8244 or email at
vaoig.hotline@forum.va.gov or write to VA OIG HOTLINE, PO Box 50410, Washington, DC 20091-0410.

VETERANS NEWS
 
DFAS Reports End in Site for Back Pay
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service has reported that by May 31, it will complete its review of 133,000 files of disabled retirees who possibly were due back payments under two "concurrent receipt" programs which Congress approved in 2003 and 2004.
 
So far, DFAS and the Department of Veterans Affairs have paid a combined $308 million in back payments to disabled military retirees.  The VA Retro Pay program was set up two years ago to calculate amounts mistakenly withheld from retirees as they began receiving either Combat-Related Special Compensation or Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay.
DFAS says that 22,500 cases remain to be completed and retro payments calculated and paid.  They also report the number of contractors hired and trained to work the files has climbed to 233 from 51 since December.
 
VA to Contact All Recent Combat Veterans
On Thursday the VA announced that starting May 1, it will begin calling 570,000 recent combat veterans to ensure they know what services are available to them.
 
The first calls will go to about 17,000 veterans who were sick or injured while serving in the wars. If they don't have a care manager, the VA says they will be given one.
 
The next round of calls will target 555,000 veterans from the wars who have been discharged from active duty, but have not reached out to the VA for services. For five years after their discharge from the military, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have access to health care at the VA.
 
VA Website Changes
You may notice that VA's Internet pages (
www.va.gov) look a little different.  The most obvious changes are a smaller banner at the top of every page and an improved search feature, including the option to search the entire VA Web site or just the section you are visiting.  Other changes, such as fewer navigation buttons on the left side of many pages, will be noticeable in the weeks ahead as webmasters adapt new design options.  The changes are based on suggestions made in many of the more than 116,000 visitor satisfaction surveys VA received over the past year and a half.

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Recent VA News Releases
To view and download VA news release, please visit the following Internet address: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel

VA Launches Expansion in Veterans Health Facilities Peake: 44 New Clinics Bring Care Closer to Home
WASHINGTON (June 26, 2008) - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake today announced plans to create 44 new community-based outpatient clinics to bring the world-class health care of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) closer to home for veterans in 21 states.
"VA continues to make access to care easier through an expanding outpatient system focused not only on primary treatment but also prevention of disease, early detection, and health promotion," Peake said.
The new clinics, scheduled to be activated over the next 15 months, will increase VA's network of independent and community-based clinics to 782, an increase of more than 100 in five years.
This growth in community clinics has helped VA meet veterans' expectations for prompt, quality service, with 98 percent of veterans seen within 30 days in all types of VA primary care facilities throughout the country.
In addition to on-site primary care staff, today's modern outpatient clinics frequently feature state-of-the-art telehealth systems permitting veterans to maintain regular contact with doctors in specialties from cardiac care to mental health at regional VA hospitals linked for video consultations, coupled with telemetry of health data or images.
A highly acclaimed national health records system allows practitioners
at even remote clinics to review patient records stored at VA facilities anywhere in the country.
VA's 21 regional networks develop applications for new clinics in consideration of reducing the distance veterans travel to their nearest VA hospital or clinic, as well as local demand, existing hospital, clinic workload and other factors.
A listing of the newly approved clinics is attached.
VA's Planned Sites for New Outpatient Clinics
Alabama (2) -- Marshall County, Wiregrass
Alaska -- Matanuska-Susitna Borough area
Arkansas (2) -- Ozark, White County
California -- East Bay-Alameda County area
Florida -- Summerfield
Georgia (4) -- Baldwin County, Coweta County, Glynn County, Liberty County
Indiana (2) -- Miami County, Morgan County
Iowa -- Wapello County
Louisiana (5) -- Lake Charles, Leesville, Natchitoches, St. Mary Parish, Washington Parish
Maine -- Lewiston-Auburn area
Minnesota (2) -- Douglas County, Northwest Metro
Missouri -- Franklin County
New Mexico -- Rio Rancho
North Carolina (2) -- Robeson County, Rutherford County
North Dakota -- Grand Forks County
Ohio -- Gallia County
Oklahoma (4) -- Altus, Craig County, Enid, Jay
Tennessee (3) -- Giles County, Maury County, McMinn County
Texas (5) -- Katy, Lake Jackson, Richmond, Tomball, El Paso County
Virginia (3) -- Augusta County, Emporia, Wytheville
West Virginia -- Greenbrier County
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VA to Call Combat Veterans With Info on Care, Benefits
<
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=49687>
Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:30:00 -0500
       American Forces Press Service
<
http://www.defenselink.mil/graphics/afisna_2.gif>
VA to Call Combat Veterans With Info on Care, Benefits
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 25, 2008 - The Department of Veterans Affairs will
begin contacting nearly 570,000 recent combat veterans May 1 to ensure
they know about VA's medical services and other benefits. "We will reach
out and touch every veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation
Iraqi Freedom to let them know we are here for them," said Veterans
Affairs Secretary Dr. James B. Peake, a retired lieutenant general who
served as Army surgeon general. "VA is committed to getting these
veterans the help they need and deserve."
A contractor-operated "Combat Veteran Call Center" will telephone two
distinct populations of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, officials
said. In the first phase, calls will go to an estimated 17,000 veterans
who were sick or injured while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. VA will
offer to appoint a care manager to work with them if they don't have one
already. Care managers ensure veterans receive appropriate care and know
about their VA benefits.
For five years after their discharge from the military, these combat
veterans have special access to VA health care. The department screens
combat veterans for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and
traumatic brain injury. VA personnel have been deployed to the
military's major medical centers to assist wounded service members and
their families during the transition to civilian lives.
The new call center's second phase will target 550,000 Afghanistan and
Iraq veterans who have been discharged from active duty but have not
contacted VA for services. Once contacted, veterans will be informed
about VA's benefits and services. The initial calls will be made by a
private contractor, EDS, which specializes in technology services to
improve business. If needed, VA employees will make follow-up calls,
officials said.
"We will leave no stone unturned to reach these veterans," said Dr.
Edward Huycke, chief of the Veterans Affairs - Defense Department
coordination office.
(From a Department of Veterans Affairs news release.)

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http://www.cafepress.com/buy/veterans

Saturday   8 March 2008 0900 hours (9:00am) Eastern
Nature's fury...a meat grinder battle...a man cries out
Battlefield Promises
Two men, in different wars, facing different enemies, ask of God: "Get
me through this and I will serve you the rest of my life."
Join host Gary Lillie and guests the Reverend Murl Eastman, a World War
II Navy veteran and the Reverend John Steer, a Vietnam War 173rd
Airborne veteran. What terror did they live through that caused them to
call out to God and make their battlefield promise?
Tune in Saturday morning on WMAX (1440-AM, Saginaw), WDEO (990-AM, Ann
Arbor/Detroit), WDEO-FM (99.5 FM, Naples, FL) or on the Internet at:
Veterans Radio is dedicated to all the men and women who have served, or
are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States of
America. Our mission is to provide all veterans with a voice, to give
them a forum where they are able to discuss their issues...and tell
their stories.
Dale Throneberry
Executive Producer
Veterans Radio
P.O. Box 3085
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
734-646-8673
www.veteransradio.net

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Anniston Chemical Activity: Information and Much More from Answers.com

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Faithfully Yours,
Barbara A. Cunningham
 Pa HOTH Director East
http://patriotguard.org <http://patriotguard.org/>
 PA Region 6 Assistant Ride Captain
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Charlie and Karen Fredrickson <gbpxxx1kcsb@centurytel.net>
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:01:14 PM
Subject: 2 offers -- date sensitive
Lowe's, Home Depot offering discounts
By Karen Jowers - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday May 22, 2008 18:20:39 EDT
Two national home-improvement retail chains are again offering a 10
percent in-store Memorial Day discount to active-duty personnel,
reservists, retirees, and honorably discharged veterans and their
immediate family members.
The retailers are offering the discount through Monday, May 26.
* Lowe's will offer the discount on in-stock purchases of up to $5,000,
for a total savings of up to $500. To qualify, individuals must present
a valid military ID or other proof of service, such as a membership card
from the VFW or other veteran's organization, or discharge papers.
Excluded from the discount are online sales, previous sales, special
order items, installation and delivery fees, extended protection plans,
gift cards, certain Fisher & Paykel appliances, all Electrolux major
kitchen appliances, and John Deere products.
* Home Depot stores are offering the 10 percent discount on purchases up
to $2,000, for a total savings of up to $200, with valid military ID.
************************************************************************
************
Colonial Williamsburg giving holiday passes
The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday May 22, 2008 16:06:49 EDT
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Colonial Williamsburg is saluting military members,
veterans and their families with free weekend passes for Memorial Day.
The passes provide free admission Friday through Monday to Colonial
Williamsburg's historic area and include a walking tour, bus shuttle
service from the visitors center and parking.
The passes are for active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans
and their families. The service member does not need to be present for
family members of deployed troops.
Military members also can get special rates at Colonial Williamsburg
hotels, museums, restaurants and shops.
On Monday, Colonial Williamsburg will honor the holiday with a service
that includes wreath laying, prayer and musket salutes.

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VA distorts record on wait times
By HOPE YEN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs repeatedly understated wait times for injured veterans seeking medical care and in many serious cases forced them to wait more than 30 days, counter to department policy, an internal investigation shows.

The review by the VA inspector general's office, released Monday, examined 700 outpatient appointments for primary and specialty care scheduled in October 2006 at 10 VA medical centers.

It found that the Veterans Health Administration in recent months falsely reported to Congress that nearly all of its appointments - about 95 percent - were scheduled within 30 days of a patient's requested date. In fact, only three in four veterans - 75 percent - received such timely appointments.

Of the veterans kept waiting more than 30 days, 27 percent of them had more serious service-connected disabilities, such as amputees and those with chronic problems including frequent panic attacks. Under VHA policy, such veterans must be scheduled for care within 30 days of their desired appointment date.

In addition, despite warnings by the IG in 2005 to more accurately report wait times, department officials last year also may have understated the number of veterans on their electronic waiting lists by more than 53,000.

"While waiting time inaccuracies and omissions from electronic waiting lists can be caused by a lack of training and data entry errors, we also found that schedulers at some facilities were interpreting the guidance from their managers to reduce waiting times as instruction to never put patients on the electronic waiting list," VA investigators wrote.

"This seems to have resulted in some 'gaming' of the scheduling process," the 34-page report said.

Responding, VA undersecretary for health Michael Kussman partly agreed that the agency should take additional steps to improve scheduling with better training, procedures and better accounting of records. But he insisted the VA in most cases was doing the best it can and challenged the IG report's methodology, citing patient satisfaction surveys showing
roughly 85 percent of veterans getting appointments when they needed them.

In April, Kussman testified to Congress that 95 percent of veterans were receiving the timely appointments. The VA's 2006 annual report, issued last November, makes similar claims.

"To obtain a more objective, professional analysis of all components of VHA's scheduling process, including electronic wait lists and waiting times reporting, I plan to obtain the services of a contractor who will thoroughly assess the factors," Kussman wrote in Monday's IG report.

The report comes amid intense political and public scrutiny of the VA and Pentagon following reports of shoddy outpatient care of injured troops and veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and elsewhere.

In recent weeks, injured Iraq war veterans have filed a lawsuit against the VA alleging undue delays in health care. The department also is struggling to reduce a severe backlog of disability payments, with delays of up to 177 days to process an initial claim, and it awaits a new leader to make changes once outgoing VA secretary Jim Nicholson steps down Oct. 1.

"This is simply not acceptable," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. He said the report showed the VA was "skewing" its performance on veterans' health care and that the VA was not taking responsibility.

"It is disturbing that VA is refusing to concur with all of the findings and recommendations," he said.

The VA medical facilities reviewed in the IG report were for both primary and specialty care in the following cities: Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; San Antonio, Temple and Dallas in Texas; Cincinnati; Detroit; Indianapolis; Chillicothe, Ohio.

Other findings:

-The VA facilities with the worst record of scheduling appointments within 30 days were Columbia (64 percent), Chillicothe (64 percent) and San Antonio (67 percent). The best performance was seen in Detroit (84 percent), Temple (83 percent), Birmingham and Cincinnati (both 80 percent).

-VA monitoring of scheduling procedures was spotty and incomplete. In one case, a veteran with eye problems visited a VA clinic in December 2005 and was told by his doctor to return in six weeks. However, it wasn't until many months later, in September 2006, that the VA scheduler set an appointment - for October of that year.

The scheduler then reported the veteran had requested an October date, when in fact he had waited 259 days from the six-week target date appointment in January, the report said.

"We saw no documentation to explain the delay and medical facility personnel said it 'fell through the cracks,'" investigators said.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/V/VETERANS_CARE_DELAYS?SITE=MSJAD&S
ECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT


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EEOC Offers Guides for Disabled Vets on Employment
Thanks to Tom Harris and Carrie Aubertine who work for Veterans in NY who sent this information on EEOC & ADA facts about employment for Disabled Veterans.
Alan Gibson, Chair
Employment, Training and Business Opportunity (ETaBO) Committee
=====================================================================================================
Disabilities
EEOC Offers Guides for Disabled Vets, Employers
In a pair of question-and-answer guides, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Feb. 29 posted new information on its Web site for employers and military veterans on workplace issues surrounding veterans with service-connected disabilities.
The guide for employers describes how protections for disabled veterans differ under the employment title of the Americans with Disabilities Act, enforced by EEOC, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which is enforced by the Labor Department with respect to private sector employment. The guide also outlines how the ADA applies to recruiting, hiring, and accommodating veterans with disabilities.
The other new publication answers questions disabled veterans might have about their legal protections when they seek to return to their former jobs or enter the civilian workforce for the first time. This guide also explains the changes or adjustments disabled veterans may need, because of their injuries, to apply for or perform a job.
Each guide includes a list of resources on where to find: more information about the ADA and USERRA; public and private organizations that can assist employers who want to recruit or hire veterans or assist veterans seeking employment; and organizations and agencies that can help identify reasonable accommodations for veterans with disabilities. The guides may be accessed at EEOC's Web site at http://www.eeoc.gov <http://www.eeoc.gov/> .
 ==========================================================================================================
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ________________________________
VETERANS WITH SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITIES IN THE WORKPLACE AND THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
Introduction
According to government statistics, between October 2001 and February, 2008, more than 30,000 veterans serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding duty stations have been wounded in action. 1 <http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/veterans-disabilities.html#fn1>  Many of them have lost a hand or limb or been severely burned or blinded. Others have been diagnosed with hearing loss, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and other service-connected disabilities. 2 <http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/veterans-disabilities.html#fn2> Despite their injuries, many veterans who leave active duty are able to work.
This guide answers questions that veterans with service-connected disabilities may have about the protections they are entitled to when they seek to return to their former jobs or look to find their first, or new, civilian jobs. It also explains changes or adjustments that veterans may need, because of their injuries, to apply for, or perform, a job, or to enjoy equal access to the workplace. Finally, this guide includes resources on where veterans can find more information about the employment rights of individuals with disabilities.
1. Are there any laws that protect veterans with service-connected disabilities?
Yes. At least two federal laws provide important protections for veterans with disabilities. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) has requirements for reemploying veterans with and without service-connected disabilities. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) enforces USERRA. In addition, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability. Title I of the ADA also generally requires covered employers to make reasonable accommodations - changes in the workplace or in the way things are usually done that provide individuals with disabilities equal employment opportunities. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title I of the ADA. Finally, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act applies the same standards of non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation as the ADA to Federal Executive Branch agencies and the United States Postal Service.
2. How does USERRA differ from the ADA?
USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of their military status or military obligations. It also protects the reemployment rights of those who leave their civilian jobs (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) to serve in the uniformed services, including the U.S. Reserve forces and state, District of Columbia, and territory (e.g., Guam) National Guards.
Both USERRA and the ADA include reasonable accommodation obligations; however, USERRA requires employers to go further than the ADA by making reasonable efforts to assist a veteran who is returning to employment in becoming qualified for a job. The employer must help the veteran become qualified to perform the duties of the position whether or not the veteran has a service-connected disability requiring reasonable accommodation. This could include providing training or retraining for the position. See 38 U.S. Code 4313; 20 C.F.R. 1002.198, 1002.225 -.226. Additionally, reasonable accommodations may be available under USERRA for individuals whose service-connected disabilities may not necessarily meet the ADA's definition of "disability." USERRA also applies to all employers, regardless of size. Information on the reemployment rights of uniformed service personnel can be found on DOL's website at www.dol.gov/vets.
Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities with respect to hiring, promotion, termination, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA also prohibits disability-based harassment and provides that, absent undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense to the employer), applicants and employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation to apply for jobs, to perform their jobs, and to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (e.g., access to the parts of an employer's facility available to all employees and access to employer-sponsored training and social events). Under the ADA, an individual may ask for a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application process or during employment. It is best to request a reasonable accommodation as soon as possible after recognizing that one is needed. Additionally, an employer may have to provide someone who has been given one type of reasonable accommodation with a different or additional one (e.g., if the nature of the disability or the job changes, or if another type of accommodation becomes available). Documents explaining Title I of the ADA can be found on EEOC's website at www.eeoc.gov <http://www.eeoc.gov/> .
3. I was severely injured during active duty but don't think of myself as "disabled." How do I know if I am protected by the ADA?
You are protected if you meet the ADA's definition of disability. The ADA defines an "individual with a disability" as a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g., hearing, seeing, speaking, sitting, standing, walking, concentrating, or performing manual tasks); (2) has a record of such an impairment (i.e. was substantially limited in the past, such as prior to undergoing rehabilitation); or (3) is regarded, or treated by an employer, as having a substantially limiting impairment, even if no substantial limitation exists.
The ADA covers more than just individuals who were born with disabilities. It also covers individuals who use wheelchairs, were blinded, or became deaf because of an accident or injury and individuals who are diagnosed with medical conditions such as traumatic brain injury, major depression, and PTSD at any point in their lives.
The ADA does not require that someone be completely unable to work or perform other major life activities. In fact, the law recognizes that many people with physical or mental impairments are capable of working and protects them from discrimination that results from employer misperceptions or from the failure to make what are often simple workplace modifications.
4. I have been found to have a service-connected disability for purposes of receiving benefits related to my military service. Does this mean I am covered by the ADA?
It depends. The definition of "disability" under the ADA may differ from the definition used in other laws. For example, you may be considered a "disabled veteran" if you served on active duty in the armed forces, were honorably discharged, and have a service-connected disability, or are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a public statute administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a military department. See 5 U.S.C.A. 2108. It is possible that you may be a "disabled veteran" but not covered under the ADA. For example, if you receive benefits based on a 10% disability rating for service-connected tinnitus (which causes ringing in the ear), but are not substantially limited in hearing or some other major life activity, do not have a record of a substantial limitation, and are not treated by an employer as if you are substantially limited, then you do not have a disability under the ADA. However, it is certainly possible that you will meet both the definition of "disabled veteran" and the ADA's definition of "individual with a disability." For example, if you have a complete loss of vision due to a combat-related injury, you are a "disabled veteran" entitled to military benefits and also an individual with a disability under the ADA.
5. Is an employer required to hire me over other applicants because I have a service-connected disability?
In most cases, no. The ADA prohibits discrimination "against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual." This means that if you are qualified for a job, an employer cannot refuse to hire you because you have a disability or because you may need a reasonable accommodation to perform the job. You are considered qualified under the ADA if you are able to meet the employer's requirements for the job, such as education, training, employment experience, skills, or licenses and are able to perform the job's essential or fundamental duties with or without reasonable accommodation. Even if you are qualified for a job, however, an employer may choose another applicant without a disability because that individual is better qualified.
Though it is not required to do so, an employer may decide to give a veteran with a service-connected disability a preference in hiring. In fact, federal agencies may use specific rules and regulations, called "special hiring authorities," to hire individuals with disabilities outside the normal competitive hiring process, and sometimes may even be required to give preferential treatment to veterans, including disabled veterans, in making hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions. See the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's question-and-answer guide on "Excepted Service-Appointment of Persons with Disabilities and Career and Career-Conditional Appointments" at www.opm.gov/disability/appointment_disabilities.asp and OPM's "Vet Guide" at www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp; see also OPM's Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program at www.opm.gov/veterans/dvaap.asp.
6. During a job interview, may an employer ask about my missing arm, why I am in a wheelchair, or how I sustained any other injury I may have?
No. Even if your disability is obvious, an employer cannot ask questions about when, where, or how you were injured. However, where it seems likely that you will need a reasonable accommodation to do the job, an employer may ask you if an accommodation is needed and, if so, what type. In addition, an employer may ask you to describe or demonstrate how you would perform the job with or without an accommodation. For example, if the job requires that you lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds, the employer can ask whether you will need assistance or ask you to demonstrate how you will perform this task. Similarly, if you voluntarily reveal that you have an injury or illness and an employer reasonably believes that you will need an accommodation, it may ask what accommodation you need to do the job.
7. Do I have to disclose an injury or illness that is not obvious during an interview or indicate on a job application that I have a disability?
No. The ADA does not require you to disclose that you have any medical condition on a job application or during an interview, unless you will need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process, such as more time to take a test or permission to provide oral instead of written responses. Some veterans with service-connected disabilities, however, may choose to disclose that they have medical conditions, such as PTSD or a TBI, because of symptoms they experience or because they will need a reasonable accommodation at work. Once an employer makes a job offer, it may ask you questions about your medical conditions, and perhaps even require you to take a medical examination, as long as it requires everyone else in the same job to answer the same questions and/or take the same medical examination before starting work.
8. Some applications ask me to indicate whether I am a "disabled veteran." Is this legal?
Yes, if the information is being requested for affirmative action purposes. See EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Preemployment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (1995) at www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html. An employer may ask applicants to voluntarily self-identify as individuals with disabilities or "disabled veterans" when the employer is: (1) undertaking affirmative action because of a federal, state, or local law (including a veterans' preference law) that requires affirmative action for individuals with disabilities; or (2) voluntarily using the information to benefit individuals with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities.
If an employer invites you to voluntarily self-identify as a disabled veteran, it must clearly inform you in writing (or orally, if no written questionnaire is used) that: (1) the information is being requested as part of the employer's affirmative action program; (2) providing the information is voluntary; (3) failure to provide it will not subject you to any adverse treatment; and (4) the information will be kept confidential and only used in a way that complies with the ADA.
9. What types of reasonable accommodations may I want to request for the application process or on the job?
The following are examples of types of accommodations that may be needed for the application process or while on the job:
*       written materials in accessible formats, such as large print, Braille, or on computer disk
*       extra time to complete a test for a person who has difficulty concentrating or has a learning disability or traumatic brain injury
*       recruitment fairs, interviews, tests, and training held in accessible locations
*       modified equipment or devices (e.g., assistive technology that would allow a blind person to use a computer or someone who is deaf or hard of hearing to use a telephone; a glare guard for a computer monitor used by a person with a TSI; a one-handed keyboard for a person missing an arm or hand)
*       physical modifications to the workplace (e.g., reconfiguring a workspace, including adjusting the height of a desk or shelves for a person in a wheelchair)
*       permission to work from home
*       leave for treatment, recuperation, or training related to the disability
*       modified or part-time work schedules
*       a job coach who could assist an employee who initially has some difficulty learning or remembering job tasks
*       reassignment to a vacant position where a disability prevents performance of an employee's current position or where any reasonable accommodation in the current position would result in undue hardship (i.e., significant difficulty or expense)
10. How do I ask for a reasonable accommodation?
You simply have to indicate - orally or in writing -- that you need an adjustment or change in the application process or at work for a reason related to a medical condition. For example, if you have a vision loss and cannot read standard print, you would need to inform the employer that you need the application materials in some other format (e.g., large print or on computer disk) or read to you. You do not have to mention the ADA or use the term "reasonable accommodation." The request also can be made by someone acting on your behalf, such as a family member, rehabilitation counselor, health professional, or other representative.
11. What happens after I request a reasonable accommodation?
A request for reasonable accommodation is the first step in an informal interactive process between you and the employer.
The process will involve determining whether you have a disability as defined by the ADA (where this is not obvious or already known) and identifying accommodation solutions. An employer also may ask if you know what accommodation you need that will help you apply for or do the job. There are extensive public and private resources to help identify reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with particular disabilities. For example, the website for the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides a practical guide for individuals with disabilities on requesting and discussing reasonable accommodations and on finding the right job. See JAN's website at www.jan.wvu.edu/portals/individuals.htm.
12. I am not sure whether I will need a reasonable accommodation. If I don't ask for one before I start working, can I still ask for one later?
Yes. You can request an accommodation at any time during the application process or when you start working even if you did not ask for one when applying for a job or after receiving a job offer. Generally, you should request an accommodation when you know that there is a workplace barrier that is preventing you from competing for or performing a job or having equal access to the benefits of employment. As a practical matter, it is better to request a reasonable accommodation before your job performance suffers.
13. Where can I find more information on USERRA and the ADA?
This guide includes resources on where to find information on your employment rights under both laws and provides a list of public and private organizations that can assist veterans with service-connected disabilities who are seeking employment. It also includes resources on reasonable accommodation.

RESOURCES
Laws Protecting Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities
ADA
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
www.eeoc.gov/ada/adadocs.html
EEOC's website provides enforcement guidance and other policy documents on the ADA, as well as information on how to file a charge of discrimination under any of the statutes EEOC enforces.
USERRA
The Department of Labor (DOL)
www.dol.gov/vets
DOL, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, provides information on USERRA, including a resource guide and fact sheet.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)
www.esgr.net <http://www.esgr.net/>
ESGR is a unit in the Department of the Defense, established to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers. ESGR has more than 900 volunteers who help employers and employees understand what USERRA requires.

Locating and Securing Employment
President's National Hire Veterans Committee - Hire Vets First
www.hirevetsfirst.gov <http://www.hirevetsfirst.gov/>
This comprehensive career website is designed to help employers find qualified veterans, as well as help veterans to make the most of a national network of employment resources.
The One Stop Career Centers serve the needs of those looking for jobs and employers seeking employees. They assist businesses with recruitment, training, and retention of skilled workers. There are nearly 2,000 One Stop Career Centers nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, through its regional offices, supports nationwide employment training programs for veterans with service-related injuries.
State Veteran Employment Services
www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), through its Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS), helps support a network of local employment service representatives dedicated to assisting veterans with service-related injuries in locating and securing employment.
Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)
www1.va.gov/vso/
Many of the national VSOs, such as Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans Association, and Blinded Veterans Association, offer employment-related services to veterans with service-related injuries in various localities.

Reasonable Accommodation

EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the ADA (2002)
www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html
This extensive guidance clarifies the rights and responsibilities of employers and individuals with disabilities regarding reasonable accommodation and undue hardship and provides practical examples of the types of accommodations that may be needed to enable a person with a disability to be considered for a position, perform the essential functions of a job, or enjoy the equal benefits and privileges of employment.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
www.jan.wvu.edu <http://www.jan.wvu.edu/>
JAN provides a variety of resources for employers and individuals with disabilities. JAN also provides lists of possible accommodations based on specific disabilities as well as links to various other accommodation providers.
Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP)
www.tricare.mil/cap
CAP provides assistive technology and services to individuals with disabilities, federal managers, supervisors, and IT professionals.
________________________________
Footnotes
1 See U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Personnel and Procurement Statistics at http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/castop.htm .
2 The term "service-connected" means, with respect to disability or death, that the disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service. See 38 U.S. Code 101. In this document, the terms "veteran with a service-connected disability" and "disabled veteran" are intended to have the same meaning. The terms "disability" and "individual with a disability" are intended to have the same meanings as those terms in Title I of the ADA. For more information about the relationship of these terms to one another, see Question 4.
________________________________

POSTSERVICE MORTALITY AMONG VIETNAM VETERANS
 
In 1987, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared the postservice mortality (through December 1983) of a group of 9,324 U.S. Army veterans who served in Vietnam with that of 8,989 Vietnam-era veterans who served in Korea, Germany, or the United States. Over the entire follow-up period, the total death rate for Vietnam veterans was 17% higher than for other veterans. The excess mortality, especially through motor vehicle accidents, suicide, homicide, and accidental poisonings, occurred mainly in the first 5 years after discharge from active duty and involved. Thereafter, mortality among Vietnam veterans was similar to that of other Vietnam-era veterans, except for drug-related deaths, which continued to be elevated. The excess in postservice deaths due to external causes among Vietnam veterans is similar to that found among men returning from combat areas after World War II and the Korean War.
 
In 2004, an update of the 1987 mortality study was published. This follow-up study further assessed the health effects of the Vietnam experience on cause-specific mortality, especially chronic conditions. It compared mortality rates between Vietnam veterans and veterans who did not serve in Vietnam. Vital status and underlying cause of death were retrospectively ascertained from the end of the original study in 1983 through 2000. Data were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression to factor in the effects of multiple risk factors on survival. Death from all causes was slightly higher among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans over the entire follow-up period. Despite the increasing age of the study group (mean = 53 years) and longer follow-up period (average 30 years), death rates from disease-related conditions, including cancers and circulatory system diseases, did not differ between Vietnam veterans and their peers. Vietnam veterans continued to experience higher mortality than non-Vietnam veterans from unintentional poisonings and drug-related causes.
 
Publications
Postservice Mortality among Vietnam Veterans
This report presents results of the mortality component of the Vietnam Experience Study (VES).
 
* Part 1 [PDF, 2987 KB] Available from Sutton upon request
* Part 2 [PDF, 2718 KB] Available from Sutton upon request
 
The Centers for Disease Control Vietnam Experience Study. Postservice mortality among Vietnam veterans. Journal of the American Medical Association 1987;257:790–5.
 
Catlin TK, Flanders WD, McGeehin MA, Boyle CA, Barrett DH. Postservice mortality among Vietnam veterans: 30-year follow-up. Archives of Internal Medicine 2004;164:1908–16.
 
You can email Paul at :
Paul Sutton
 

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U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Richard Burr
Ranking Member                                
825A Hart Senate Office Building • Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2074 • FAX (202) 224-8908
http://burr.senate.gov
 
Burr Introduces Veterans Disability Benefits Reform
Brings long overdue modernizations to veterans’ disability system
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 28, 2008CONTACT:
 Chris Walker
Mark Williams
Phone: (202) 224-3154
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Burr, the Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs introduced legislation today that would simplify and modernize the veterans’ disability system at the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The “America’s Wounded Warriors Act” would require VA to replace the current outdated VA rating schedule with a new schedule that takes into account both average loss of earning capacity and loss of quality of life.  It would also create “transition” payments to help medically discharged veterans, so they can focus on treatment, rehabilitation, and getting back into the workforce.  The bill would simplify the claims process by ending the duplicative system that requires all injured veterans to get rated by both VA and the Department of Defense.  These updates provide common sense solutions for today’s veterans living in the modern world.
 
“Veterans deserve the best.  They deserve a disability system that is modern, simple, and available to older veterans and future veterans.  Right now, veterans have a confusing, outdated process to get their disability benefits,” Burr said.  “We cannot put this off for another 50 years.  Our veterans deserve a system that is simple, up-to-date, and open to all.”
 
The legislation would establish a new disability retirement system for servicemembers deemed unfit for service.  It would pay a lifetime annuity based on rank and years of service, regardless of the level of severity of the servicemember’s disabilities.  Veterans would receive the entire Department of Defense annuity and any VA disability benefits, ending the confusing practice of offsetting these payments now.  It would also create a bright-line rule on what benefits a medically discharged servicemember would receive, regardless of what branch of the military he or she was in.
 
Lifetime eligibility for health and dental coverage under TRICARE will be determined after Congressional consideration of a Department of Defense study.  All other existing retirement benefits, such as commissary and exchange privileges, would be extended to all who retire under the new system. 
 
Modernization of the VA disability system is the second component to this legislation.  It directs the VA to conduct several studies in relation to a new modernized disability system and report its findings to Congress.  Studies include determining the appropriate amounts of compensation under a new, modern disability rating schedule.  Additional studies include determining the appropriate amount and duration of transition payments to be paid to servicemembers retired due to disability, who are participating in intensive programs of rehabilitation or who are within three months of medical retirement from active duty.  Additionally, the legislation directs VA to submit a proposal to Congress detailing the new rating schedule and transition payment rate structure and the entire proposal would be subject to an up-or-down vote by Congress.  The new system would be open to all veterans.  Recipients of compensation under the old system would have their disability ratings grandfathered in unless they submit a claim under the new system.

Personal Data for 35,000 Vets Stolen
Stars and Stripes | Leo Shane III | August 27, 2007 WASHINGTON -
Personal records including addresses and Social Security numbers of more than 35,000 veterans and their families were stolen this month from the offices of a POW support organization in Texas, officials announced Friday.
Leadership of the American Ex-Prisoners of War said they are working with local, state and federal authorities to track down the burglars, but they are asking all their members to watch for signs of illegal activity.
'We'll be notifying all of them of the crime in our upcoming mailings,' said Clydie Morgan, national adjutant for the group. 'We need them to keep an eye on their credit accounts and personal records.' The break-in occurred at the group's Arlington office on either Aug. 11 or 12. Police records show thieves took a number of computer hard
drives, mail, checks and other paper files.
Morgan said those digital and paper records included information on the group's entire membership, including addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and VA claims data. Department of Veterans Affairs officials also are involved in the investigation.
Veterans concerned about the possibility of identity theft can contact one of the three major consumer reporting agencies to obtain a free credit report and review their current financial status. Those agencies can be reached via phone or online:
Equifax: 800-525-6285;
www.equifax.com 
Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com   
TransUnion: 800-680-7289;  www.transunion.com
Under federal law anyone can place a 90-day fraud alert on their credit report, which forces a thorough identity check before agencies can issue new credit cards or bank accounts.
The alert provides greater security to those worried about criminals stealing their identity, but it can also significantly delay legitimate requests for other services. Commercial monitoring services are also available.
The American Ex-Prisoners of War organization, founded in 1942, is open to all former military prisoners of war, all former civilian internees and the families of those individuals.
Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion.
 
http://forums.military.com/1/OpenTopic?q=Y&a=dl&s=78919038&f=672198221&
x_id=147201&x_subject=Personal
   
Data for 35,000 Vets
Stolen   
http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,147201,00
.html
  

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http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfOCT07/nf101307-1.htm

NEW VA POLICY COULD CHANGE LARGE, RETROACTIVE

AWARDS -- "...New procedures...to follow in cases involving awards with an effective date retroactive eight or more years or that result in a lump-sum payment of $250,000 or more..."

The VA has a new policy..."...New procedures...to follow in cases involving awards with an effective date retroactive eight or more years or that result in a lump-sum payment of $250,000 or more..."

I was sent a VA Fast Letter explaining this change and asked a veterans' benefits attorney to comment.  Attorneys thoughts are in italics.

"In essence now the VA Central Office C&P service in Washington will make the decision with regard to the effective date and the amount of the award. While I'm not sure there is a legal problem with this procedure (this procedure is similar to that by which an extraschedular rating is granted or denied), the new procedure will obviously result in a delay of payment to a veteran or surviving spouse or children. It also appears somewhat smelly."

I asked the attorney:  Does this mean that VACO could actually change the date/amount awarded to a veteran? If so...explain, please?

"In short, yes. The Fast Letter states '[w]henever a rating decision grants service connection with an effective date retroactive eight or more years, the claims folder must be flashed to alert the authorization activity of the extraordinary award. This instruction also applies whenever an earlier effective date of eight or more years is granted for a previously service-connected disability.' Thus, the provisions of the Fast Letter apply to both claims for service connection (S/C) and claims for an earlier effective date (EED) where S/C was previously granted. As usual, the wording of the Fast Letter leaves much to be desired. For example, the Fast Letter does not discuss from what date the 'eight or more years' is to be calculated. Without going into all the possible scenarios, suffice it to say there are several different ways an ED for a grant of S/C or an EED for a previously granted claim can be assigned, and each of these ways present different possibilities for the determination of a starting date from which to calculate the 'eight or more years.'

The Fast Letter actually proscribes three levels of review for these EEDs and awards over $250,000. First, the rating officer makes a decision. If the decision involves a grant of an effective date 'retroactive eight or more years'  or results in a lump-sum payment of $250,000 or more, then it will be reviewed by the 'Post-Determination team' at the RO. Then it will be reviewed by the RO's Veterans Service Center Manager and finally by the C&P Service in Washington. At any stage of the review process the original decision could be changed.

In case you are wondering, the ultimate decision issued by the RO after the three reviews can still be appealed to the Board and the CAVC. A Fast Letter cannot change this procedure.

Fast letter at: http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfOCT07/OCTFILES/ExtraordinaryAwardsFastLetter.pdf
Fast Letter printed below:

-------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Veterans Benefits Administration
Washington, D.C. 20420
August 27, 2007
Director (00/21) In Reply Refer To: 211B

All VA Regional Offices Fast Letter 07-19
SUBJ: Procedures for Handling Extraordinary Awards

Background

The Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service Bulletin dated June 2007 discussed new
procedures for regional offices (ROs) to follow in cases involving awards with an
effective date retroactive eight or more years or that result in a lump-sum payment of
$250,000 or more. These awards require a review by the C&P Service prior to award
authorization. This fast letter (FL) provides more detailed guidance for handling these
types of cases.

Responsibility for Identifying These Cases

The Rating, Appeals, and Post-Determination Teams are responsible for identifying cases
that meet these criteria.

Procedures for Appeals and Rating Teams

Whenever a rating decision grants service connection with an effective date retroactive
eight or more years, the claims folder must be flashed to alert the authorization activity of
the extraordinary award. This instruction also applies whenever an earlier effective date
of eight or more years is granted for a previously service-connected disability. After
flashing the folder, forward the case to the Post-Determination Team. Do not offer these
rating decisions to any veteran's representative for review until the C&P Service makes a
final determination regarding the propriety of the decision.

Procedures for Post-Determination Teams

Rating Veterans Service Representatives (RVSRs) and Decision Review Officers (DROs)
should be the first to identify a case involving an effective date retroactive eight or more
years. However, Veterans Service Representatives (VSRs) and Senior Veterans Service
Representatives (SVSRs) on the Post-Determination team are ultimately responsible for
identifying these cases, as well as any awards involving a lump-sum payment of
$250,000 or more. If using VETSNET Awards, the application will automatically
calculate the retroactive amount.

The VSR or SVSR who identifies a rating decision meeting the established criteria will
prepare the referral memorandum for the Veterans Service Center Manager (VSCM) to
request an administrative review by the C&P Service (see enclosed). The VSCM will
then review the decision and sign the memorandum if he or she agrees with the decision.
Signature responsibility may only be delegated to an individual serving as VSCM in an
acting capacity. For additional information on requesting an administrative review,
please refer to M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart vi, Chapter 1, Section A, Topic 3.

Please note: Do not leave any of these awards in GAPd status or authorize them until
the C&P Service concurs with the Veterans Service Center (VSC) decision.
Procedures for Transferring the Claims Folder to C&P Service

After completing the memorandum and attaching it to the file, the VSC will send the
claims folder via Federal Express to:

C&P Service (211B, Advisory Review)
810 Vermont Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Reflect a temporary transfer of the claims folder in COVERS and update the suspense
accordingly. In addition, before the claims folder leaves the RO, add the claimant flash
250K Retro Review via the VETSNET Participant Profile application. The C&P Service will
review these cases and return them to the VSC by Federal Express within five days of receipt.

Procedures Upon Return of the Claims Folder From C&P Service

If the C&P Service concurs with the VSC decision, the veteran's representative (if
applicable) will then be allowed to review the decision prior to its promulgation.
These new procedures do not replace the three-signature requirement for awards
exceeding $25,000 (whether processed through BDN or VETSNET). The VSC must still
follow the three-signature award procedures as outlined in M21-1, Part V, 9.01(b).

If the C&P Service determines the decision is improper, it will provide specific corrective
action.

Cases Involving BVA or CAVC Decisions

Ratings based on decisions by the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) or the U.S. Court
of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) will be excluded from the C&P Service review
only when BVA or CAVC assigns the effective date and/or the retroactive increased
evaluation. Otherwise, when processing decisions by BVA or CAVC, follow the
procedures outlined in this FL whenever the rating decision involves an effective date
retroactive eight or more years or the award results in a lump-sum payment of $250,000
or more.

Cases Processed Under the Nehmer Court Order

Cases processed under the Nehmer v. U.S. Veterans Administration court order are
exempt from the provisions of this FL because these cases are already being reviewed by
the C&P Service.

Questions

Questions concerning this fast letter should be submitted to VAVBAWAS/CO/21Q&A.

/s/
Bradley G. Mayes
Director
Compensation and Pension Service

Enclosure: Sample Memorandum

Department of Veterans Affairs

Memorandum

Date:

From: Veterans Service Center Manager, _________ Regional Office

Subj: Administrative Review-Retroactive Effective Date/Lump-Sum Payment

File number: _________________

To: Director, Compensation and Pension Service

Issue(s)

At issue in this case is whether the effective date and/or amount of payment are appropriate.

Background

Please see rating decision in claims folder dated ________.

Conclusion

We propose to .... (Propose a recommendation for each issue cited in the
first paragraph. Example: EURWe propose to pay $275,000.00 retroactive
benefits for the period 07/01/97 to 08/01/07.EUR ) Your concurrence is requested.

___________________________

Signature

( ) CONCUR

( ) DO NOT CONCUR: See attached.
_______________________________________ ___________

Director, Compensation and Pension Service Date

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against the VA

Matthew Ford wrote:

Dear USDR family and friends,Please enter the
following and make note of the statements and
accompanied references. Great reading!

www.mofo.com/docs/pdf/ptsd070723.pdf

Spread the word folks! I haven't seen any of this
in the papers.

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SEN. RICHARD BURR CHOSEN TO LEAD REPUBLICANS ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

September 11, 2007
Media contact: Jeff Schrade (202)224-9093

(Washington, DC) - Republican members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs today announced they have chosen Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) as the temporary ranking member of the committee.

Burr will temporarily replace Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

"I appreciate the confidence my Senate colleagues have expressed in me today. There are almost twenty-five million veterans living in the United States and over 750,000 live in my home state of North Carolina. I am committed to ensuring that veterans across the state and the country receive the best health care and services we can provide," Burr said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide variety of programs and services for the nation's 24.7 million veterans. The majority of VA benefits focus on health care, including mental health, disability, and long-term care services. VA operates major medical centers in Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville and Salisbury. These medical centers served more than 1,294,000 outpatient visits and had 16,568 inpatient admissions in 2005. The VA also operates community-based outpatient clinics in Charlotte, Durham, Greenville, Raleigh, Morehead City, Wilmington and Jacksonville and an outpatient clinic in Winston-Salem.

The North Carolina Republican has placed special focus this year on improving life for the nation's estimated 200,000 homeless veterans. In June his Services to Prevent Veterans Homelessness Act of 2007 (S. 874), was approved by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs as part of the Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury and Programs Improvement Act of 2007 (S. 1233). Burr's legislation will increase veterans' access to assistance for housing, physical and mental health services, health insurance, as well as vocational and financial counseling.

Burr is also active on veterans' health issues. A health care policymaker for over a decade, Burr has most recently been vocal on traumatic brain injury, Department of Defense and VA sharing of electronic medical records and the efficiency of the VA health system, especially for veterans in rural areas.

Burr has served on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs since he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on January 3, 2005. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 and served five terms before be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

In addition to his new leadership position on the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Burr serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee; the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and the Indian Affairs Committee.

The son of a minister, Richard and his family moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when he was a young child. After graduating from Wake Forest University he rose to a senior sales management position with a wholesale commercial products company before running for Congress.

Senator Burr and his wife, Brooke, have two sons in college.

####


Jeff Schrade, Republican Communications Director
U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
825AHart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Direct: 202-224-9093 Cell: 202-680-9552 Fax: 202-228-8908

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& therefore is not a crime .
No Members claim to have made any of the graphics that they send to this lis/websitet. 
The graphics come from a wide variety of web sources & are therefore deemed to be public domain. As far as they are aware they are licensed for personal use only, & are by their respective artist. Any infringement of said copyright is non intentional.
The tubes/mists/graphix are for Non-Profit use ONLY any other use is prohibited.
All respected rights go back to the original creator


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All Graphics on this website are snaggable. Merely right click on them and save to your your photos on your computer. The Webmistress is a "Feel Free Graphic Artist". This is another website created by POW/MIA Angel. Copyright 2007.

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