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In This Issue: May 7, 2013 Latest News

Special Notice: If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call this toll-free number
, available 24/7, and tell them you are a veteran. All calls are confidential.

VA Caregiver Hotline

VA Orders Claims Backlog Cleared

VA Launches Special 60-Day Initiative to Eliminate
Claims Pending Over Two Years

Please be advised that, as of April 22, 2013, by order of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, the Veterans Benefits Administration will only work claims that are more than 700 days old.  It does not affect those claims that already require priority processing (Homeless, Terminally Ill, Medal of Honor recipients, Former POWs, and Fully Developed Claims).

That means all other members' claims that have been submitted, if they do not fall into one of the exception categories, will not be worked until this older claims backlog is cleared, which is projected by VA to occur by June 19, 2013.  Then the processing of the other claims will resume. 

To view the Fast Letter Directive:

As Reported in The Washington Examiner Watchdog

Vets Worry New VA Plan to Clear Claims Backlog is "All Smoke-And-Mirrors"

In an April 23 article by Mark Flatten in The Washington Examiner Watchdog, a new plan to close old cases at the Department of Veterans Affairs is raising worries the change will just make VA look more efficient instead of helping long-suffering veterans with aging disability claims. The department is under pressure from Congress, veterans groups, and others to end its backlog of more than 600,000 unfinished pension and disability benefits claims cases, especially those that have lingered in bureaucratic limbo for years. 

Read article here

Patient-friendly Statement

New VA Billing Statement

The VA announced on April 25 that it has created a more patient-friendly statement with help from veterans that is easier to understand. The improved statement has a concise layout and several new features that veterans wanted.

Read article here:  An Easier-to-Understand Billing Statement

Women Veterans Call Center

Senator Murray Issues Press Release on
Women Vets' Hotline

On April 23, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement about the new VA women veterans’ hotline:  “As more and more women return from the battlefield, the VA system must be equipped for the unique challenges women veterans face as they step back into their lives as mothers, wives, and citizens. When I reintroduced the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act this Congress, I called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to make improvements to their women veterans contact center, and I was pleased to see them take steps to do just that with the launch of the Women Veterans Call Center today. This is a critical resource in order to make sure women veterans can get the information they need in order to access the VA health care and benefits they have earned.”

The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act of 2013 builds upon VA’s programs for women veterans and families of veterans by enhancing VA’s fertility treatment services, along with other programs. Late last year, Senator Murray was able to pass the bill through the U.S. Senate after delivering an impassioned speech on the Senate floor that described the challenges veterans and their families face in accessing health-care services.

Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636)

As Reported in Stars and Stripes

PTSD Can't Be Cured, Only Managed…

UMWA Color Guard.jpg

As reported in an April 24 article published in Stars and Stripes by Caitlin Dineen of the Fayetteville, NC Observer, experts say there is no cure for PTSD, but those suffering from it can learn to manage it.

Read article here:  Panelists say Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can't be cured, can only be managed

YouTube Video

UMW & VVA Present a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns

UMW & VVA Present a Wreath at the Tomb of the UnknownsUMW & VVA Present a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns

Watch on YouTube

From VVA Education Subcommittee Chair Tom Hall

Third Edition of the VVA Education Guidebook Now Available

Download The Guidebook

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