Two U.S. senators insisted Tuesday that Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki reveal why his agency is nearly three months late in creating a legally-mandated registry of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans potentially poisoned — some lethally — by exposure to toxic trash-fire trenches.
The so-called "burn pits," scattered throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, spewed acrid smoke while breaking down damaged Humvees, ordnance, mattresses, rocket launchers, and even amputated body parts. Some were ignited by jet fuel.
From a Social Security Administration News Release
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 – Social Security claims from veterans with a Veterans Affairs Department disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total have a new process that will treat their applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions.
Carolyn W. Colvin, acting Social Security commissioner, said the new process is similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from wounded warriors.
Not all our casualties of war served overseas in combat. Some are children who never left our shores. Collateral damage, some might call it. Our Cover Story from Martha Teichner:
How many of these homecomings have you seen on television since we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago? How many children, looking into a returning soldier's eyes for the parent who went away?
These are supposed to be happy endings, happily-ever-after moments. But often they are anything but.
VA celebrates Women’s History Month with a look at some fascinating women Veterans and their remarkable achievements.
Sarah Emma Edmonds joined the United States Army to “fight for her country” in the Civil War. She disguised her sex and used the name Frank Thompson. A nurse in the Second Volunteers of the United States Army, she was unique because she able to remain in the army for several years and was successful as a Union spy, while impersonating a man.
The Pentagon’s new proposal for reforming military retirement is drawing sharply negative reactions from today’s career-minded service members, according to a recent survey of Military Times active-duty readers.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Bailey never fought in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, where many U.S. troops were exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange.
But last July, Bailey, then 67, won a hard-fought and groundbreaking battle when the Veterans Affairs Department finally approved his claim that Agent Orange caused his prostate cancer and metastatic pelvic cancer.
14,100. Sounds like a random number, doesn’t it? But to us, 14,100 represents the number of servicemembers, veterans and their family members whose stories have come to us through their consumer complaints.
WASHINGTON – Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among Veterans. The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for healthcare, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs – mostly disability compensation and pensions for Veterans.
BY CHRIS ADAMS
McClatchy Washington Bureau | February 27, 2014
WASHINGTON — The average time for a denied claim to work its way through the cumbersome Department of Veterans Affairs appeals process shot up to more than 900 days last year, double the department’s long-term target.
After hovering between 500 and 750 days for the past decade, what the VA refers to as its “appeals resolution time” hit 923 days in fiscal 2013. That was a 37 percent jump in one year, from 675 in fiscal 2012, according to a review of the department’s annual performance report.
ITT Pushed Consumers into High-Cost Student Loans Likely to Fail
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services, Inc., accusing the for-profit college chain of predatory student lending. The CFPB alleges that ITT exploited its students and pushed them into high-cost private student loans that were very likely to end in default. The CFPB is seeking restitution for victims, a civil fine, and an injunction against the company.
A new study found that airmen who flew and maintained the C-123 Provider long after the planes were used to spray Agent Orange over Vietnam were exposed to dangerous levels of the dioxin that remained in the aircraft.
A report in Scientific Research titled "Post-Vietnam Military Herbicide Exposures in UC-123 Agent Orange Spray Aircraft" found that environmental testing of the planes revealed traces of dioxin levels above the Defense Department's own standards for maximum permissible exposure to poisonous chemicals.
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids among America’s Veterans using VA health care. The Opioid Safety Initiative (OSI) is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of Veterans suffering from chronic pain.
Lawmakers in a deeply divided House of Representatives can’t agree on much anymore, but they’re unanimous on at least one thing: Veterans shouldn’t be stuck with out-of-state tuition costs at public universities.
A bill that would force schools to ease such residency rules for vets — or lose GI Bill eligibility entirely — passed the House Feb. 3 without a single dissenting vote, 390-0.