VFW Raffle Benefits D.A.R.E. Program

Article form The Hudson-Litchfield News May 1, 2015                                        Submitted by Hudson Police Department

On Friday April 24, Russell and Brenda Gora of Hudson VFW Post 5791 presented School Resource Officer Cassandra Avery with a check for $684. The money was raised at an April 10 Meat Raffle, which was held to support the D.A.R.E. Program in the Hudson School District. D.A.R.E. stands for – Drug Abuse Resistance Education – and is used nationwide to provide innovative substance abuse prevention education programs. D.A.R.E.’s “Keepin’ it Real” curriculum is used in the Hudson Middle and Elementary schools to teach fifth and seventh grade students about making safe and responsible choices.

Trump’s Campaign Stops at Hudson VFW Post 5791

Post 5791 was in the Hudson-Litchfield News May 1, 2015

Trump’s Campaign Stops at Hudson VFW Post 5791

May 1, 2015

by Len Lathrop

While whirlwinds might be a weather term, the pre-announced presidential campaign stop by Donald Trump on Monday was nothing less.  Trump whirled in glad-handing the audience of mostly veterans, heading directly to the podium to address the audience.

Trump spoke candidly without prepared notes and stressed that he hasn’t made up his mind quite yet to be a candidate.  He pitched himself as a Washington outsider, and underdog.  “It’s very hard for a person like me to get elected,” Trump said.  “I may not be able to.  I might not get the nomination. Some stiff is going to get the nomination.”

The unannounced candidate’s strongest words were about the recently announced Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  He used words such as “bribery” and “criminal” to describe Clinton’s recent Secretary of State post.  “She’s using the office of Secretary of State to get rich,” Trump commented.

Answering a question from William Tate, Trump danced around the issue of economic competition from other countries, mostly China.  “Wall Street guys, they’re horrible, horrible people, but they are the greatest negotiators in the world.”  “I put them in charge of China and then say, ‘lots of luck China.’”

Trump thanked all the veterans in the audience for their service and, within a brief 20 minutes, was on his way to the next “preannounced campaign stop”

VFW ANNOUNCES KICK-OFF OF YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITIONS

NEW THEMES SELECTED FOR THE 2015-16 CONTEST

April 14, 2015

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) is pleased to announce the kick-off of the 2015-16 VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after students from across the globe took home their share of the more than $3 million in scholarships and awards from last year’s competitions.

The VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation for our great country and fostering patriotism among our nation’s youth. Students are asked to submit an essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.

This year’s Voice of Democracy theme asks students to contemplate, “My Vision for America.” The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner will receive the $30,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship Award.

The Patriot’s Pen competition is open to students in grades 6-8. This year, students are asked to reflect on the statement, “What Freedom Means to Me.” The national winner will receive a $5,000 award.

Student participants are asked to submit their entry (along with a completed entry form) to their participating local VFW Post. The deadline for student entries in both contests is November 1, 2015.

Click here to find your local VFW Post. For more information on the contests, visitwww.vfw.org/Youth

VA Expands Choice Program Eligibility, Effective Immediately

 

04/24/2015 10:36 AM EDT

 VA Expands Choice Program Eligibility, Effective Immediately

VA Will Now Determine Eligibility Using Driving Distance

WASHINGTON  – In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it will determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility using driving distance rather than straight-line distance. This change has been published in the Federal Register and is effective immediately.

“VA is pleased to announce the distance calculation change from straight-line to driving distance for the Veterans Choice Program,” said Secretary Robert McDonald.  “This update to the program will allow more Veterans to access care when and where they want it. We look forward to continued dialogue with Veterans and our partners to help us ensure continued improvements for Veterans’ to access care.”

The change from straight-line to driving distance roughly doubles the number of eligible Veterans.  Letters are being sent to the newly eligible Veterans to let them know they are now eligible for the Veterans Choice Program under this expansion. If a Veteran does not remember receiving a Veterans Choice Card or has other questions about the Choice Program, they can call (866) 606-8198.

Effective immediately, VA is also changing the mileage calculation for beneficiary travel. The change will ensure consistency in VA’s mileage calculations across the two programs. The beneficiary travel calculation will now be made using the fastest route instead of the shortest route.

For more details about the department’s progress and related information, see www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/factsheets_and_details.asp.

VA Makes Strides on Reducing Claims Backlog

Washington – The federal initiative to provide timely decisions on disability payments to Veterans has crossed a major milestone in its final sprint to eliminate the backlog of Veterans’ benefits claims.

The major transformation effort to apply new technology and process solutions has paid off at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It reduced its inventory of backlogged claims from a high of 611,000 claims in March of 2013 to fewer than 200,000 this week, while at the same time improving decision quality.

“Make no mistake, we’re not slowing down short of the finish line,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey. “Our goal is to eliminate the claims backlog by the end of 2015 – meaning all Veterans will receive timely and accurate decisions on their disability claims.”

Hickey credited a combination of factors for the 67-percent drop in backlog: first, the extra hours of work put in by dedicated benefits claims processors across the nation, who have worked evenings, Saturdays and Sundays to drive the backlog down; as well as procedural efficiencies backed by powerful automation tools and paperless claims processing. In addition, she cited the transformation of Veterans Benefits Administration’s training and quality assurance programs resulting in steady increases in the accuracy of decisions.

Just a few years ago, claims processors handled 5,000 tons of paper annually, an amount equivalent to 200 Empire State Buildings. In less than two years, VA converted claims processing to a 21st Century digital environment where claims for VA benefits and services can be submitted and processed, and benefits delivered, online.

Veterans increasingly are filing claims electronically from the start at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov. Veterans can submit their applications online, upload their supporting documentation, and check the status of their claim through a multi-channel Web portal boasting nearly 60 self-service features.

(via VA Press Release)

Veterans may also visit their local VFW Post for assistance with their claims process.

VA updates Disability Claims Application

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2014

 New Process Will Reduce Processing Times and Improve Quality

 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is introducing a uniformed disability claims form to better serve Veterans, families and survivors. Standardizing the process by which Veterans file claims and initiate appeals will make it easier for Veterans and their survivors to clearly state what benefits they are seeking from VA and provide information that is necessary to process their claims and appeals. The new forms eliminate applicant guesswork, which often leads to delays in decisions and ultimately delays in receiving benefits. The new regulations go into effect in late March 2015.

“We must do everything that we can to make it as fast and easy as possible for Veterans and their survivors to file for and receive an accurate decision on their claim,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “Our Veterans and survivors will know, at the outset of the claims process, what is needed, which removes subjective interpretation from the process. We want to eliminate any barriers that make it difficult for our Veterans or survivors to receive benefits to which they are entitled.”

In the past, a Veteran or survivor did not have to use a certain form to seek compensation or other benefits from VA.  Claims or appeals (Notice of Disagreement) could be submitted on any piece of paper which caused delays due to missing information.

By using standard forms for all disability claims, VA can more quickly and accurately identify what the Veteran is claiming or appealing. This will allow VA to immediately move on to next steps in the evidence-gathering and decision-making process, which saves administrative processing time and speeds the delivery of earned benefits.  The existing process is also inconsistent with most, if not all, other government and non-government application processes, such as applying for social security, applying for a driver’s license, applying for a job or filing for an income tax refund.

“These days, government agencies and private businesses rely on standard forms to deliver faster and more accurate customer service,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.  “VA’s ability to deliver better customer service requires the use of standard forms as well. That is why we worked extensively with our partners in the Veterans community to streamline the way we process claims while  preserving the effective date rules concerning informal claims through the creation of a new intent to file a claim process.”

The updated process also includes standardizing the traditional informal claims process by employing a new “Intent to File a Claim” process which affords the Veteran or survivor one year to compile the necessary documentation or evidence to support the claim while preserving an effective date of claim.

More information about VA Forms 21-526EZ, 21-527EZ, 21-534EZ or VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement, may be found at www.ebenefits.va.gov or www.va.gov/vaforms/.

VFW NH Paper Poppy Launches: Raise Awareness of Your Local VFW Post

The Veterans Foundation of NH Inc. raises awareness of the VFW Department of New Hampshire and invites all local communities to express their support for our service men and women by producing the Paper Poppy Project.

Show your support by displaying the Paper Poppy at your location. The Paper Poppy may feature the name of a veteran or a supporter and acknowledges all our local service men & women throughout our community.

The Veterans Foundation of New Hampshire Paper Poppy--We'll Do More For Veterans`The Paper Poppy is produced by the Veterans Foundation of New Hampshire, Inc. to raise awareness of the VFW, inviting family members and veterans to join the organization in building on over a century of service to our nation and to the care of our military families.

This is a grass roots effort to recruit and to assist veterans service through participating VSOs (Veterans Service Organizations) and the Veterans Foundation of New Hampshire, a solvent and self-sustained non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.

The Veterans Foundation (VFNH) operates at the heart of modern post-war support through its developing programs and projects. VFNH is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department New Hampshire and is the Special Project for VFW NH Commander Gregory Lynch.

The Veterans Foundation of New Hampshire is also the only known foundation with a mission to help not only individuals in need, but to assist all veterans service organizations in New Hampshire. Join the VFW NH. Support the Veterans Foundation. Together, We’ll Do More For Veterans

Special Thanks to the Country Goods of East Wakefield for kicking it off. If you would like to support your local VFW Post with Paper Poppies at your location, let us know below:

VA News Highlights

Several headlines from the Department of Veterans Affairs in recent days.  Click the links to read the full stories.

Statement from Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki on the American Jobs Act – Shinseki comments on the proposed Act which includes support for veteran jobs.

VA Announces Expansion of Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will expand its pilot for the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER), which enables sharing of Veterans’ health records.

VA Streamlines Online Applications for Health Benefits Renewal – Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has automated its online Health Benefits Renewal (10-10EZR) form as part of its ongoing effort to streamline access to benefits.

VA Posts Online List of Ships Associated with Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure – Veterans who served aboard U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, may be eligible to receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation for 14 medical conditions associated with presumptive exposure to Agent Orange.