» Veterans Affairs

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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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 27, 2016 – The Florida Legislature on February 24 unanimously passed a bill that will grant disabled veterans free parking at all public airports across Florida. The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Ken Roberson, R-Punta Gorda, and Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice. Under the measure, publicly owned or operated airports in the state will be barred from charging disabled veterans for parking. However, individuals must have a disabled veteran license plate in order to be eligible. Earlier, veterans would only qualify for free parking if their cars were specially equipped with wheelchair lifts, ramps or […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 14, 2015 – A Florida Hospital Association survey has found that 95 percent of its member hospitals are waiting for around $134 million in outstanding payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 30,000 outstanding claims are for medical services the state’s hospitals provided to veterans who faced long wait times at VA health care facilities or lived too far away from them. According to the association, around 6,000 of the unpaid claims have been delayed for over two years. In October 2015, VA Secretary Robert McDonald received a letter from 12 Florida Congress […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 14, 2016 – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced new criteria on Dec. 1 to increase patient eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program. The change is expected to open the program to about 160,000 more veterans seeking health care at private hospitals and clinics closer to home. VA officials said staff have been granted more flexibility to evaluate eligibility. The changes are effective immediately. “The VA is taking a positive step toward consolidating care among different programs, increasing eligibility and improving its health care services after reports of long wait times at overwhelmed VA […]


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Harrisburg, PA (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2016 – Many veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but some of them are not being properly diagnosed because of the use of a test by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Consider the case of Army Captain Charles Gatlin, who served as a platoon leader in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2006. A car bomb detonated in close proximity and he was knocked to the ground by the explosion and struck by flying debris. He was evacuated and later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2015 – The Department of Veterans Affairs and the government are likely to fall short of their goal of eliminating veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. According to a report released on Nov. 19, the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates there were nearly 48,000 homeless veterans across the United States as of Jan. 2015. The number marks a 4 percent drop from 2014, but a decline of more than 27,000 people since 2010. Officials said that missing the goal should not take away from the significant progress that has been […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 22, 2015 – Allison Hickey, undersecretary for benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs, resigned on Oct. 16 after the department’s internal watchdog discovered flaws in the oversight of promotions involving senior executives. The VA Inspector General (IG) found that around 24 senior executives were promoted or given new positions within the department. However, many of their salary raises did not “consistently reflect changes in the positions’ scope of responsibility,” according to an IG statement. Hickey was facing a congressional inquiry into the accusations. Hickey stepped down despite the department’s 88 percent drop in […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 14, 2015 – The chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs said on Aug. 10 that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should fire problematic employees faster. “I want accountability faster,” said Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida when he appeared with VA secretary Robert McDonald in Denver, Colorado, for a national convention of the Disabled American Veterans. Miller and other members of Congress have criticized the amount of time the VA has taken to discipline workers responsible for the ballooning construction costs of a medical center in Denver and those accused of […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 16, 2015 – Revelation over limited firings for long wait times triggers congressional ire, legislation. When a nationwide scandal over manipulated wait times at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals rocked the agency last spring, the controversy resulted in the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and calls for reform. And Robert A. McDonald, Shinseki’s successor as VA chief, followed up with the announcement in February that the department had fired 60 people in the wake of the scandal. The VA quickly corrected that figure, saying that only 14 employees lost their jobs and lesser […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) June 8, 2015 – The first housing project dedicated to homeless women veterans in the United States was inaugurated on May 5, 2015. U.S. secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert A. McDonald, along with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Blue Butterfly Village in San Pedro, Los Angeles. The housing community comprises 73 two-bedroom units that can accommodate families of up to six people. Veteran families will receive priority for 61 of the townhouses, which are expected to be filled up by the end of the year. “The Blue Butterfly Village […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 23, 2015 – On March 25, the military pledged to provide appropriate treatment and awards for injured service members. In a rare expression of military contrition, Under Secretary Brad R. Carson apologized for the Army’s substandard treatment of U.S. troops who were exposed to chemical weapons while serving in Iraq. The under secretary also spelled out new measures to provide medical care for those veterans suffering from chemical exposure and to recognize veterans harmed by chemicals who had previously been denied awards. Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel appointed Carson last fall to oversee […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 2, 2015 – A new study of transgender military veterans found that their suicide rate is significantly higher than that of the general veteran population. The study examined 3,327 transgender veterans from 2000 to 2009, and it found that the suicide rate was 82 per 100,000 person-years. The overall veteran suicide rates is only 37.7 per 100,000 person-years — less than half that rate. “This study highlights the intense mental health issues and gaps in care that many veterans, especially those in the transgender community, face,” said Jim Fausone, a veterans attorney in Northville, […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 24, 2015 – A new study by the Institute of Medicine found that veterans who worked on aircraft contaminated by Agent Orange after the Vietnam War were exposed to potentially hazardous levels of the chemical, which is known to have long-term health effects. The findings come in contrast to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) long-time position that it is unlikely that veterans were harmed by postwar exposure to the herbicide. “Unfortunately, many veterans who were harmed by Agent Orange continue to face difficulties in getting compensation for their injuries,” said Jim Fausone, […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 27, 2015 – Many veterans develop drug and alcohol addiction related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning home, and they may end up facing criminal charges as a result of these issues. Michigan currently has 20 veterans treatment courts designed to provide alternative consequences and treatments specific to the veteran population. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD. This issue is closely related to another striking statistic – in 2004, about 10 percent of inmates were veterans. “Veterans with PTSD are much […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 6, 2015 – A new study by the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California found that the average service member faces considerable challenges when transitioning to civilian life after service. The study found that close to two-thirds of veterans are unprepared for civilian life. Upon leaving the service, nearly 80 percent do not have a job lined up, while 40 percent do not have housing arrangements. The veterans also face physical and mental health issues. About one-third of veterans leaving the service have considered committing suicide. “Veterans face a bleak […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 13, 2014 – President Barack Obama recently announced 19 new steps to expand veterans’ access to mental health care. The expansion follows a serious government scandal uncovered earlier this year. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was caught hiding lengthy delays in health care access for veterans, including months-long waits for appointments. Eric Shinseki resigned as head of VA as a result. Last month, Obama signed a $16.3 billion bill to improve veterans’ access to medical care and other VA issues. “PTSD and suicide are monumental problems affecting the veteran population,” said Andrew […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 2, 2014 – A new rule affects veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who left military service with a less-than-honorable discharge. On September 3, the Defense Department announced a new set of guidelines that could impact thousands of veterans with PTSD. These guidelines will provide benefits to many veterans with PTSD who were hitherto barred from receiving them because of a less-than-honorable discharge.  The DOD’s new policy represents the latest step in an evolving attitude toward PTSD. The condition was first recognized as a disorder with specific symptoms in 1980. “The Defense Department’s announcement […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2014 – A bipartisan bill that will allocate $16.2 billion to improvements to veterans’ health care was passed overwhelmingly by Congress and has been signed into law by President Obama. The deal is designed to reduce wait times and increase the number of doctors and nurses, among other changes. The bulk of the money, Veterans Affairs’ $10 billion, will go towards emergency spending to allow veterans who can’t get appointments with VA doctors to get care from outside physicians. $5 billion has been allocated to hiring medical staff, and the rest will be […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 10, 2014 – A landmark study examining the lifetime effects of combat-related PTSD has shown that the disorder can have serious long-term consequences. The National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study, published by Abt Associates and funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is the first-ever large-scale, long-term study of combat-related PTSD, according to the New York Times. Abt’s study showed that over a 25-year period, veterans with PTSD were twice as likely to die prematurely as veterans without PTSD. Although the study did not point to a leading cause, it did find that warzone PTSD […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 3, 2014 – The Office of the Michigan Attorney General has published two new legal guides designed to help Michigan servicemembers, veterans and their families. The first guide, the “Michigan Military and Veterans Legal Service Guide,” provides a comprehensive listing of legal resources to help Michigan veterans access benefits and protections in a range of areas including healthcare, education, employment and housing. The second guide, “The Michigan Guide to Military Family Law,” focuses specifically on explaining the rights of military families when facing issues in civilian family court. According to the Michigan Department of […]


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