Veterans Law | Law Firm Newswire

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 18, 2020 – On January 1, the Veterans Administration (VA) began deciding claims of Blue Water Navy Veterans, those who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, and have developed an illness related to Agent Orange. The Blue Navy Act of 2019, signed into law on June 25, extends the presumption of herbicide exposure, such as Agent Orange, to veterans who served on naval vessels offshore of Vietnam or on a ship operating in the coastal waters of Vietnam during the 13-year period. The VA lists […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 24, 2020 – Active duty military personnel and their families may now file medical malpractice claims against Department of Defense (DOD) medical facilities, after 70 years of being blocked from doing so. The National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019 finally granting the ability to sue military care providers for injury or death due to malpractice. The 1950 Supreme Court decision in Feres v. United States established a precedent that determined that active duty military could not hold the federal government responsible for any personal injuries or death sustained […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 13, 2020 – A new law aimed at expanding benefits for Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War will help veterans purchasing homes using loans backed by the Veterans Administration (VA). Beginning January 1, 2020, the new law eliminates limits on the amount of VA loans some veterans can get without making a down payment. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which became law on June 27, 2019, and took effect January 1, 2020, gives VA disability benefits for Agent Orange exposure to veterans who served in ships off the coast […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 11, 2020 – The Department of Veterans Affairs submitted a waiver request and pilot program to Congress to expand access to dental care for veterans under Section 152 of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act). Currently, the VA provides only limited dental care for veterans and many do not qualify for dental benefits. This makes it hard for the agency to facilitate. With this proposed program though, the VA would partner with community-based and pro bono dentists who would be willing to provide free or […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 4, 2020 – A recent study from researchers at the Institute for Behavioral Health at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management found a link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and higher suicide rates. Veterans with a moderate to severe TBI are twice as likely to die by suicide. Furthermore, they also face a higher risk of suicide by firearm. As many as 23 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans returned from service with a TBI. Traumatic brain injury is shockingly common for modern veterans; they suffer TBIs at roughly twice the […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) and Office of Information and Technology (OIT) plan to launch the availability of virtual hearings before the Board in 2020. The Board makes final decisions in appeals of cases involving veterans’ benefits and services. Veterans will be able to participate in Board hearings via their mobile phones or laptops using the VA Video Connect app from the comforts of their homes. Currently, veterans must go the Board hearings in Washington, D.C., or to a VA facility that has video […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 23, 2019 – Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, held a hearing on November 6 concerning scams targeting veterans. Committee members sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expressing their concerns and asking what is being done to combat the problem. Committee members heard from a veteran who was the target of a scam, a Vet to Vet volunteer, a senior law enforcement official with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and committee members. The committee hearing brought attention to the enormity of […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 18, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced two moves to improve veterans’ access to information. Veterans can now access their VA health data along with their health records from other health care providers in one place. The VA also released a new video tutorial highlighting a tool allowing veterans to exercise more control over disability claims. Apple and the VA announced that veterans will have access to the Health Records feature in the Health app on their iPhones. The VA launched Health Records in the summer, allowing select patients to […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 13, 2019 – In the year since the MISSION Act was signed into law in June 2018, qualifying hospitals around the country have seen an increase in the number of veterans being treated. The MISSION Act expanded healthcare options for veterans who qualify for VA benefits and allowed them to seek certain types of health care services outside of VA facilities. The MISSION Act (the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018) provides VA benefit-eligible veterans the option of receiving emergency care, urgent care and a variety of procedures […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) November 12, 2019 – A 1.6 percent cost-of-living benefits boost will be given to military retirees and veterans for 2020 and some may see the increase as soon as December. This amount is roughly half of the increase from last year. It will affect around 69 million people. Cost-of-living adjustments, or COLA for short, are calculated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on inflation and consumer spending over the months prior to the calculation. COLA varies widely from year to year. In 2016, no cost-of-living adjustment was made to benefits. In 2017 COLA was […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) November 5, 2019 – As the prevalence of social media and other online communication channels has grown in popularity over the last couple decades, so has the number and variety of scams that attempt to bilk unsuspecting victims out of their money. Anyone can be fooled by a scam; however, military service members and veterans are targeted by scammers more than the general public and they lose more money to scams than do other groups. A recent study from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) found that veterans who were successfully targeted lost an average of […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2019 – A panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ruled a veteran was entitled to full education benefits under both the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills, subject to the cap on total benefits. The veteran served from January 2000 to June 2002 as an enlisted person in the Army. The veteran paid into the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). From July 2003 to about May 2004, he received MGIB benefits for his undergraduate studies. From June 2004 to December 2005, he served on active duty as a member […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) October 15, 2019 – A federal court recently ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs violated a law that requires it to approve claims for veteran’s emergency room fees not covered by private insurance. The VA may now be required to pay out billions of dollars in reimbursements to veterans. The case involved the VA’s own interpretation of VA policy regarding emergency room fees. The law intended to make the VA the secondary insurance payer for any private-emergency room expense left over after the primary insurance policy pays its portion. However, the VA was denying […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) October 8, 2019 – Veterans are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. The Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, which provides housing vouchers to veterans who are persistently at-risk of homelessness, seeks to change that. Research shows that the program is very successful in doing so, however the recently negotiated 2020 federal budget does not include any increase in funding for HUD-VASH. HUD-VASH is a collaborative effort from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The first HUD-VASH vouchers were issued during the Clinton administration and the program […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2019 – The Department of Defense (DoD) processed almost $1 billion in improper travel payments in the last three years. The payments were made to members of the armed forces and to civilian employees of the department from 2016 to 2018, found an analysis from the Government Accountability Office. When something goes awry with the travel expense reimbursement process, it is considered an improper travel payment. For some that means no payment at all, for others it could be that the wrong amount was paid out. “Although the numbers are surprising, they are […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2019 – In March, officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said that they had enough evidence to link four new medical conditions to exposure to Agent Orange and that those diseases would be added to the Agent Orange presumptive benefits eligibility list by early summer. To the disappointment of thousands of veterans who could benefit from these additions, no such change has yet been made. The VA found that a link between exposure to Agent Orange, and other defoliant chemicals used during the Vietnam War era, and (i) hypertension, (ii) bladder […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 16, 2019 – A veterans advocacy organization filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over its decision to delay paying disability benefits claims to Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans until at least January 1, 2020. Lawmakers have also urged VA officials to lift a stay on processing the disability claims, calling for quicker action on the cases instead of waiting until next year. Military Veterans Advocacy (MVA) filed the lawsuit in the Federal Court of Appeals. The group called the stay “unlawful” and requested the court to compel the VA to begin […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 15, 2019 – Congress has passed the LEGION Act, which aims to increase the number of veterans who are eligible for membership in the American Legion. It is expected to be signed into law later this month. The LEGION Act, which stands for the Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act, will redefine eligibility periods used by the American Legion and allow hundreds of thousands of veterans who served during “peaceful” times between declared war eras. The American Legion eligibility period will now be from the bombing of Pearl Harbor through […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 7, 2019 – In a feasibility study report released by Congress last month, the Department of Defense has acknowledged that exposure to the burn pits sometimes used at military sites to dispose of waste can have dangerous health consequences. The report stopped short of closing the burn pits and ending the practice, however. Veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq have had some significant health issues as a result of the toxic smoke and byproducts of the open fires. Waste management via burn pit is only allowed when there are no other options for […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 1, 2019 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a measure that will expand the availability of alternative treatment options for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The bill was signed during a ceremony at the University of South Florida (USF) Office for Veteran Success on June 26. The measure, HB 501, won unanimous support from the Florida House and Senate during this year’s legislative session. It was sponsored by state Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin, and backed by Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director Danny Burgess. USF was […]


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