On October 1, 2015, Veteran Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel the highest title of honor bestowed by the commonwealth of Kentucky honoring those who have dedicated their lives to civic service. Commissioner Wangen was nominated for this award as a result of his dedication to the service of veterans on a national level through his involvement in many organizations.
Congress has included billions of dollars of funding to the VA, earmarked to provide funding for a new treatment regiment for Hepatitis C, limiting side effects and increasing the likelihood of curing the disease in veterans. Vietnam era veterans are diagnosed Hepatitis C at over double the rate of civilians, showing a clear need for innovative and effective treatment.
This funding is a huge success for the treatment of these veterans and hope to improve the high numbers of veterans suffering from Hepatitis C.
On November 25, 2015, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016 sunset the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP). The REAP program was originally created to provide benefits to members of the Reserve components who were called or ordered to active service by the President or Congress in response to a war or declared national emergency.
REAP served to bridge the education benefit gap between those eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve and those serving in the Reserve component who were called to active duty but were not eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve. Long story short … the Post-9/11 GI Bill in many ways has replaced REAP because it has also closed this gap by providing eligibility for certain Reserve and National Guard members called to active duty. This will impact students right away.
VA Plans to Propose Expanded Disability Benefits Eligibility for Veterans Exposed to
Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it plans to propose expanded disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. Accordingly, VA now recognizes all same-sex marriages without regard to a Veteran’s state of residence.
Our motto is: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another ”We do not nor will not let any generation of veterans be treated the way we were when we returned home from our war. Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is a congressionally chartered veterans organization with about 60,000 members. Our national headquarters is located in Silver Spring Md. We have 3 national meetings per year along with either a national leadership conference or our national convention making up the 4th meeting each year.
The official Medicare website, www.medicare.gov, now has 2016 Medicare premiums and deductibles information.
Medicare is administered by the Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS press release announcing 2016 Medicare premiums and deductibles also contains this information. Here is part of that press release:
Q: Can I receive both Social Security and military retirement?
A: Yes. Active duty military service has been Social Security covered employment since 1957. Generally, there is no reduction of your Social Security benefits because of your military retirement. More about this is here within the SSA Retirement Planner section.
The 2016 annual retirement earnings test amounts will be the same as for 2015. They are not changing.
The annual retirement earnings test concerns how employment earnings in a year affects Social Security received in that year. The earnings test includes only the individuals personal gross wages or net self-employment for the full calendar year. Other income or income of a spouse is not applicable.