Veterans Affairs

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VFW-Supported Bill To Protect Students Veterans Seat To Become Law
Last week, the Senate passed H.R. 6322, the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, which was previously passed by the House. If signed into law, the bill would ensure student veterans who are engaged in work study programs can continue to receive their work payment checks, along with their housing payment allowance. This bill would also make sure student veterans whose schools are closing due to the COVID-19 crises are not penalized any months of their GI Bill entitlements while this pandemic is still impacting the country. The VFW would like to thank Chairman Takano and Moran, along with Ranking Members Roe and Tester for making sure that in this uncertain time, veterans are still being taken care of.

VA Committee Urges VA To Postpone Elimination Of The 48-Hour Rule
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (HVAC) recently sent a bipartisan letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie regarding VA’s decision to repeal the 48-hour review policy. On April 24, VA intends to rescind a decades-long policy that allows accredited veteran service officers to review claims for accuracy prior to a veteran being notified of a ratings decision. In the letter, Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) and Ranking Member David Roe (R-TN) requested information from Wilkie regarding any alternatives to the 48-hour review policy VA has considered and whether service officers would be provided with access to draft decisions before they are finalized. The VFW thanks Chairman Takano and Ranking Member Roe for their support in preventing this dangerous change.

No Copayments For COVID-19 Testing
Under H.R. 6201, the families First Coronavirus Response Act, TRICARE will waive copays for approved COVID-19 testing that is ordered by a doctor. Beneficiaries are not responsible for copays for tests (and related provider service and supplies) furnished on or after the date of enactment. Claims that were filed with a copay will be reprocessed to remove the co-payment or coat share. Beneficiaries who already paid a copay for non-covered test can file for reimbursement by filing a factual appeal.

Mortgage Forbearance During The COVID-19 Pandemic
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to produce a “What you need to know: Mortgage Forbearance” video to educate consumers who may have difficulty making on-time mortgage payments due to the national coronavirus emergency.

Catastrophic Cap Credit For Some TRICARE Households
Since Jan.1, 2018, enrollment fees for TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Select and US Family Health Plan (USFHP) haven’t been applied to the annual TRICARE family catastrophic cap for certain households. The Defense Health Agency is working to fix the issue. The issue only affects those TRICARE-eligible households who exceeded or came close to exceeding their catastrophic cap in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Executive In Charge Of VHA Expresses Gratitude For VSOs
Dr. Richard Stone, executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration sent out a video earlier this week expressing his gratitude for the Veterans Service Organization (VSOs). Throughout the world, VFW members are #StillServing our fellow veterans and communities even during the COVID-19 pandemic by holding blood drives, performing well-being checks, linking national mental health resources to those who may require their aid and relaying critical updates and resources.

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