Newsletter

December 2018

Vets Views

Page 3 

 

Retirement Services Officers (RSOs)

Do you have questions on benefits, SBP, Retiree Appreciation Days or anything else retirement-related? Then contact the RSO for your area or go to the Army Retirement Services website http://www.armyg1.army.mil/retire (Note: That’s the number 1 after the g).

Sister Service Retiree Publications

Air Force Afterburner: http://www.retirees.af.mil/afterburner/

Coast Guard Evening Colors: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/retnews/

Marine Corps Semper Fi: https://www.manpower.usmc.mil, then click on “Semper Fidelis Online” under “News and Features” Navy Shift Colors: http://www.npc.navy.mil/ReferenceLibrary/Publications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 1, 2018

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie Statement on the Passing of President George H. W. Bush

“All of America’s veterans are saddened by the passing of President George H. W. Bush. His courage in combat was special even during the war in the Pacific, where our forces demonstrated some of the highest levels of valor and heroism in our history. When holding the highest offices in our country, he never forgot those who wore the uniform. The Department of Veterans Affairs sends its thoughts and prayers to the Bush family in remembrance of this extraordinary American.”

Statement by Secretary Robert Wilkie on Forever GI Bill Housing Benefit Payments

To clear up any confusion, I want to make clear that each and every post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary will be made 100 percent whole –retroactively if need be – for their housing benefits for this academic year based on Forever GI Bill rates, not on post-9/11 GI Bill rates.

I made this clear to Chairmen Isakson and Roe on calls Tuesday and want to reassure Veterans and taxpayers that is indeed the case.  Although VA has encountered issues with implementing the Forever GI Bill on Congress’ timeline, we will work with lawmakers to ensure that – once VA is in a position to process education claims in accordance with the new law – each and every beneficiary will receive retroactively the exact benefits to which they are entitled under that law.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

November 29, 2018 

VA Benefits Chief: "Every Single Veteran Will Be Made Whole"

Today, during a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs,

VA Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence delivered the following statement:

Before I get into my opening statement on the subject of this morning’s hearing, I want to address a misleading NBC news story from late yesterday that gives the false impression that some Veterans on the GI Bill will not be made whole with respect to their housing payments based on  an announcement VA made yesterday.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Each and every Veteran on the post-9/11 GI Bill will be made 100 percent whole -- retroactively if need be -- for their housing benefits for this academic year based on the current uncapped DoD rates, and, beginning in spring 2020, we will be in a position to provide Veterans with the new rates where applicable to meet the law known as the Forever GI Bill.

Once again – each and every, and I mean every single Veteran, will be made whole for their housing benefits this year. As we announced yesterday, the rates we are providing are the current academic year uncapped DoD Basic Allowance for Housing rates based on the location of a school’s main campus, rather than the physical location of the student.

For many students, this DoD BAH rate will be equal to or higher than their current payment. If a student was overpaid due to the changes in law or because of VBA’s challenges in implementing the law, the student will not be held liable for the debt.

And, starting in the Spring term of 2020, VA will have solved its current technology difficulties so that the department is in a position to provide post-9/11 GI Bill Veterans the new rates, where applicable, to comply with the Forever GI Bill.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

November 28, 2018 

VA seeks public comment on Program of Comprehensive Assistance

for Family Caregivers, as amended by VA MISSION Act of 2018

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will accept public comments for 15 days on how to implement certain changes to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) required by the VA MISSION Act of 2018.

Through PCAFC, VA provides family caregivers of eligible Veterans certain benefits, such as training; respite care; counseling; technical support; beneficiary travel (to attend required caregiver training and for an eligible Veteran’s medical appointments); a monthly stipend payment; and access to health care (if qualified) through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).

“VA values the knowledge, skill, and perspectives of all caregivers,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This public comment period demonstrates our desire to create a program that best serves the participating caregivers and Veterans.”

The VA MISSION Act of 2018 expands eligibility for PCAFC to family caregivers of eligible Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty before Sept. 11, 2001 using a phased approach, establishes new benefits for designated primary family caregivers of eligible Veterans and makes other changes affecting program eligibility and VA’s evaluation of PCAFC applications.

Submitted responses will be used to guide future regulatory modifications and implementation of the expanded PCAFC. More information about the VA Caregiver Support Program and a link to submit comments is available at www.caregiver.va.gov.