» Veterans Law

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 14, 2017 – House lawmakers are looking to expand the GI Bill to improve education benefits for veterans. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in July advanced a new bipartisan bill, which marks the largest expansion of college aid for veterans in a decade. The legislation combines 18 different House bills and around 30 provisions submitted by Democrats and Republicans. One of its key improvements involves eliminating the current 15-year time limit for veterans to use their education benefits upon returning from service. It would also boost aid for National Guard and Reserve members, […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 7, 2017 – President Trump recently signed legislation that provides the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more power to remove employees for misconduct. It also enhances whistleblower protections. Trump said that the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act ensures “the scandal we suffered so recently never, ever happens again.” He was referring to the secret waiting lists discovered in 2014 that led to veterans dying while awaiting appointments at VA hospitals nationwide. “The new VA Accountability Act is a positive step for a department seeking to change its culture and […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2017 – Veterans face the prospect of being deprived of several of their health benefits as lawmakers seek to make drastic reductions to Medicaid in the proposed health care plan. According to a recent report issued by Families USA and VoteVets, approximately 1.7 million veterans across the nation, and nearly 120,000 in Florida, depend on Medicaid for their health care. A co-author of the report, Andrea Callow, who is the associate director of Medicaid Initiatives, said that veterans frequently confront complicated medical problems arising from their service, such as mental health illnesses and […]


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Las Vegas, NV (Law Firm Newswire) July 28, 2017 – In 2007, U.S. Army Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval Jr. was charged with murder by the very government he had sworn to serve. While deployed to the most dangerous area in Iraq known as the “Triangle of Death,” Sandoval, an airborne infantryman and elite sniper, was instructed to “take the shot” and kill an enemy insurgent wearing civilian clothes. Two weeks later, Army Criminal Investigation Command descended upon Sandoval’s unit and began interrogating the soldiers, trying to link Sandoval and others to war crimes, including murder. Captain Craig W. Drummond was […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 21, 2017 – According to the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the suicide hotline for veterans requires some improvements. A report issued by the department this year stated that several veterans who phoned the hotline were connected to overflow call centers, and some were put in a queue for a maximum of 30 minutes while they waited for someone to answer their call. In 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line was created. It answers approximately 500,000 calls annually. The objective was to have no more than 10 percent of calls sent to […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) July 12, 2017 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is adopting a commercial system used by the Pentagon to revamp the way it stores veterans’ electronic health records. The agency chose to forgo competitive bidding and decided on a private company to build the new technology. VA Secretary David Shulkin cited a public interest exception to federal contracting rules. He pointed out that the Pentagon experienced a delay of 26 months when it engaged in competitive bidding on its system. The secretary said veterans should not have to wait for a better, improved medical […]


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San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 7, 2017 – Bigger Law Firm Magazine provides a map of marketing and technology strategies in the latest issue, available today. In the feature story, Brendan Conley dives into “client journey mapping,” a big-picture approach to marketing that will help firms develop a cohesive, end-to-end strategy. The client journey technique puts the client’s evolving relationship with the firm at the forefront. The firm’s marketing needs change at each successive stage of this relationship, from discovery and consideration to decision and engagement, and finally to lasting loyalty. BLF shines its Product Spotlight on Lawcus, […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) July 5, 2017 – Authorities are investigating multiple cases of suspected opioid and drug theft by doctors, nurses or pharmacists at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Employees at VA health facilities are suspected of stealing prescription drugs for personal use or sale. The Associated Press (AP) reported that VA medical centers have more than double the rate of missing drugs than the private sector. The VA inspector general’s office launched 36 new criminal investigations into prescription drug theft or unauthorized use at VA facilities between October 1 and May 19. The department currently has […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2017 – Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin announced that the agency is considering a plan to close more than 1,100 facilities across the country as it moves toward allowing a larger number of veterans to access private sector health care. Shulkin told a House hearing that the department has identified 735 underused facilities. There are also 430 empty buildings, most of which were constructed around 90 years ago. The VA secretary told lawmakers that closing them would save the government around $25 million annually. However, he did not specify which […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) June 8, 2017 – President Trump signed an executive order to create a new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The office will be dedicated to shielding whistleblowers from retaliation and holding VA employees accountable for misconduct. Trump promised that the office will protect employees who report problems at the VA. He emphasized that, “we will never, ever tolerate substandard care for our great veterans.” Along with investigating reports of retaliation against whistleblowing employees, the new office will look into allegations of misconduct at the VA. It will […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) May 10, 2017 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responded to a recent critical internal watchdog report by insisting it has made significant progress in fixing long-running problems with its suicide hotline. However, lawmakers and veterans groups say the improvements are not enough. The VA inspector general released a scathing audit in March that revealed a large number of rollover calls, inadequate data to determine call quality and other issues at the troubled Veterans Crisis Line. As recently as November, around one-third of calls went to voicemail or backup call centers operated by outside […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 13, 2017 – The House Veterans Affairs Committee approved legislation on March 8 to extend the Veterans Choice Program. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program allows veterans to seek private care when they are unable to get an appointment at a VA facility. The committee’s unanimous vote followed a hearing featuring the testimonies of VA Secretary David Shulkin and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain is a member of a bipartisan Senate group supporting the Choice Program’s expansion. They urged lawmakers to eliminate the program’s current August 7 expiration date in order to provide […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 6, 2017 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will soon offer urgent mental health care to thousands of veterans with less-than-honorable discharges. The services are part of the agency’s expanded efforts to reduce high suicide rates among former service members. VA Secretary David Shulkin emphasized the need to act as soon as possible rather than wait for legislation to pass Congress. Speaking to members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, he noted that most of the veterans who have committed suicide did not have access to VA care. “Far too many veterans are […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 24, 2017 – Florida legislators have introduced two bills that would facilitate veterans’ access to alternative treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other injuries. Among the treatments are acupuncture, equine therapy, music therapy and meditation. Many veterans are deriving great benefits from these types of treatments. One such individual is Army veteran Chad Childers, who was medically discharged following deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. He said he tried to deal with his problems by drinking, and eventually found himself on the streets. Childers later discovered the Five Star Veterans Center where he engaged […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 21, 2017 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is struggling to deal with the aftermath of a nationwide hiring freeze announced by President Donald Trump. The VA has thousands of open positions that are likely to remain vacant until the freeze is over. Veterans’ advocates and lawmakers launched a protest arguing that the hiring freeze would cripple the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). “The new hiring restrictions could be detrimental to our veterans,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “The VHA is already facing a staffing crisis that affects the delivery of important […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 14, 2017 – Newly appointed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin said he is against the full privatization of veterans care under his leadership. The Senate unanimously confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the agency on February 13. “New leadership is vital to improving the VA and its services,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “The new VA secretary will have to make sure that the reforms he pursues are in the best interests of our veterans. The ultimate goal is to have a system that makes health care and […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 14, 2017 – President Donald Trump announced the selection of David Shulkin as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in January. The decision ended a lengthy search for a qualified individual to lead the sprawling federal agency that comprises a nationwide network of 1,700 medical facilities. Trump said he and his transition team interviewed “at least 100 people” to find the right person to take on the responsibility of improving veterans care. They ultimately decided to look for someone inside the VA. The decision means Shulkin, 57, would be the first serving […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 7, 2017 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must tackle a long list of decisions about the effects of Agent Orange and veterans’ eligibility for benefits. A key issue is whether the department will add new conditions to its list of diseases and health problems presumed to be linked to the pesticide. Agent Orange was sprayed to destroy vegetation used as cover by Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam War. ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot have joined forces to investigate the toxic chemical’s effects on Vietnam veterans and their families, as well as their struggles […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 26, 2017 – Many veterans who were diagnosed with mental problems or traumatic brain injury have received less-than-honorable discharges. But such a discharge can result in the denial of veterans’ benefits, thereby causing these veterans to become homeless, imprisoned, develop substance abuse or commit suicide. In an effort to assist these veterans, the Vietnam Veterans Association of America wrote President Obama asking him to pardon all post-9/11 veterans who received less-than-honorable discharges without the due process of a court-martial. They are making the same request of President-elect Donald Trump. Prominent Tampa, Florida veterans lawyer […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 11, 2017 – Leaked internal documents published for the first time by USA Today reveal that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses a secret ratings system to evaluate its medical facilities. The VA has never released the ratings for public viewing, claiming they are only for the agency’s internal use. They show dozens of VA medical centers are performing at below-average levels. For years, the VA has assigned between one to five star ratings to hospitals, with five being the best. The ratings depend on factors such as the quality of care provided, […]


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