Veterans Affairs

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Take The VFW 2020 Voter Survey
As recently as last week, there were 2.1 million U.S. service members and 20 million veterans, including spouses, surviving parents, and voting age children, all of whom for a powerful voting bloc exceeds 100 million. With another federal election year upon us, the VFW believes it is important to survey its members and supporters to better understand your voting habits. The 10-question survey, which should take about two minutes to complete, will run through June 30, 2020. Your feedback is important to the VFW.


PREVENTS Roadmap Released
VFW Washington Office Executive Director. B. J. Lawrence recently attended the release of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of suicide (PREVENTS), which is a nationwide plan for ending suicide. The PREVENTS Task Force calls for a number of steps to be taken, including a nationwide public health campaign to change the culture around suicide and mental health, launch a National Research Strategy for effective solutions for the prevention of suicide and build partnerships among organizations to share best practices.

VFW Participates In SVAC Roundtable On Toxic Exposure
VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Matthew Doyle recently participated in a roundtable hosted by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss a possible legislative solution to address toxic exposure during military service. Doyle stated “The VFW affirms its purpose for a permanent framework to grant disability benefits to veterans who have developed health conditions as a result of their exposure—This framework would be evidence-based so that science would drive the granting of benefits, and benefits would not be granted without adequate science.” The VFW thanks chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT) for hosting the roundtable, and for their effort to expand veterans’ disability benefits for toxic exposure.

Washington Post Hosts Toxic Exposure Event
The Washington Post recently hosted another segment in the series Veterans Frontline Concerns on the harmful effects of burn pits and other toxic exposure incidents during military service. The event featured a discussion with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Representative Raul Ruiz, (D-CA) and actor Jon Stewart on the legislative efforts to address toxic exposure. At the event, Senator Tillis stated, “We need an independent agency to really understand the nature of the exposures and then they can give us guidance on the population that was actually affected. But this is something that we should be talking about getting done in this Congress or the next Congress.” The VFW thanks Senator Tillis and Representative Ruiz for their efforts to expand VA benefits for veterans who have developed health conditions as a result of their exposure to toxic substances. Learn more about the VFW’s proposed framework for providing VA disability benefits and treatment to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service.

VA Hosted Virtual Women Veterans Event On June 23
On June 23, the VFW joined VA Acting Deputy Secretary Pam Powers, who hosted an event for women veterans. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie kicked off the event to include presenters from all three VA administration, as well as the Center for Women Veterans and the Veterans Experience Office. The discussion focused on how the VA responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressed how VA has changed as a result of it and the post-pandemic environment.

TRICARE Dental Program Increasing Annual Maximum
United Concordia the TRICARE Dental Program contractors, announced it will be raising every enrollee’s annual maximum an additional $300. For the contract year that runs from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The annual maximum will be $1,800. The change is automatic. Enrollees do not need to take any action for this to apply.

New DOD Web Tool Launched For Families With Special Needs
The DOD Office of Special Needs, and Military OneSource launched a new digital tool to guide families in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). Using this tool, families can learn about support services to prepare for a move or deployment respond to changes in Education or medical needs, and adjust to new life situations. Support is available from EFMP on installations and through the Military OneSource network, which provides 24/7 support to service members and families any where In the world. You can contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or live chat with a consultant.

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