The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began accepting applications by mail on Nov. 3 for the Fry Scholarship under newly expanded eligibility criteria to include surviving spouses. The expanded criteria for the Fry Scholarship is the latest in a series of VA actions to implement provisions of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Choice Act"). Specifically, Section 701 of the Choice Act expands the Fry Scholarship to include the surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.
To reduce cost and increase efficiency, the Department of Defense (DoD) is moving away from mailing letters with update information. This means that instead of a letter, you will get email notifications when there are important changes to your DoD benefits, including TRICARE. The email will link you to milConnect, a secure DoD website, where your personal information will be posted. The initial email you receive will give you an opportunity to "opt-out" of receiving emails and continue receiving paper notifications.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment season began Nov. 15, 2014, and is scheduled to run through Feb. 15, 2015. To ensure Veterans, beneficiaries and family members have the information they need to make informed healthcare choices, VA has updated existing information available through a website. Visit the site at: www.va.gov/aca . Key Facts: • Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system already meet the minimum essential coverage standards set by ACA and don't need to take any further action. • Veterans who are not enrolled can enroll at any time.
There are two concurrent receipt programs available to Military retirees who have VA-rated disabilities. They are the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) program and the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program. Retirees who receive VA disability payments have their retired pay "offset" (reduced) by the amount of VA pay. These concurrent receipt programs "restore" some or all of that retired pay. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) calculates and pays monthly CRDP and CRSC compensation.
One of the criteria that is mandatory in order for a disability claim to be deemed service connected is a "nexus," or a link between the current medical condition and the veterans military service. The only exception to this are presumptive conditions, which merely have to be proven in order to be service connected. After a nexus is established, the VA Regional Office generally will want to know how great the odds are, percentage wise, of the current condition being a result of, related to, or aggravated by the military condition.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has launched a campaign to educate veterans about identity theft prevention. The campaign, titled 'More Than a Number', references the personally identifiable information that VA encourages veterans to protect. "We recognize that for veterans, as for all Americans in the digital age, identity theft is a growing concern," said Steph Warren, VA's Chief Information Officer.
Here are the general rules as to who gets reimbursement for VA appointments and how it works: • If you are 30 percent or more service-connected by the VA. • If you are less than 30 percent, then the treatment you are receiving must be for a service-connected condition. • If you receive a VA pension, Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. • If you are traveling in relation to a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. • Veterans with an annual income below the annual VA pension rate (determined by a means test). • The current allowable reimbursement amount is 41.5 cents per mile.
Last week part one of the frequently asked questions on VA home loans was presented now we will conclude this week. Reservists are eligible for VA Loans, too. Who qualifies? Eligibility extends to members who have completed a total of six years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and two-week active duty for training) and received an honorable discharge; continue to serve in the Selected Reserves. Individuals who completed less than six years may be eligible if discharged for a service - connected disability.
Why get a VA loan over other types? Simply put, a VA Home Loan allows qualified buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment. There are also no monthly mortgage insurance premiums to pay, limitations on buyer's closing costs, and an appraisal that informs the buyer of the property value. For most loans on new houses, construction is inspected at appropriate stages and a 1-year warranty is required from the builder.
Designed to honor the families of active and veteran members of the military, the Minnesota Military Family Tribute (MFT) will be the first of its kind in the nation. Poised on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol Mall, the tribute will thank those that have made, and continue to make, sacrifices here at home. Framing the south end of the Minnesota State Capitol Mall, the tribute will consist of three main components: the Gold Star Table, the Thank You Military and Veteran Family Walkway and Story Stones.