Submitted by David Czysz on Thu, 05/18/2023 - 09:47
First District Service Officer

By Richard Strehlow  262-641-0977


Did you know “Pension Poaching" is financial exploitation often targeting veterans who are age 65 or older, or veterans who are disabled and may be receiving monthly pension payments from the DMVA and/or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)Veterans and their advocates should be aware of scammers looking to poach their military pensions, warns VA.

Did you know veterans who are incapable of overseeing their own bills may be assigned a fiduciary who manages a veteran's financial affairs?  That kind of assistance leads the VA to make a report to the background check system as a disability that may preclude the veteran from purchasing a firearm.

Did you know eligible veterans and some former service members can now go to any VA or non-VA hospital for emergency health care during an acute suicidal crisis, and it will be paid for by VA? This includes ambulance transportation, related prescriptions, up to 30 days of inpatient or crisis residential treatment, and up to 90 days of outpatient care at no cost to them.

Did you know while suicidal ideation does not have a distinct listing under the VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities (Rating Schedule), it is often a symptom of other qualifying service-connected conditions? Under the Rating Schedule, suicidal ideation appears as an indicator in diagnosing, evaluating, and rating a veteran’s service-connected disability for a mental disorder. The Schedule provides that evaluating a mental disorder, the rating agency must consider the frequency, severity, and duration of psychiatric symptoms. Thus, in many cases, suicidal ideation can increase a veteran’s rating for disability benefits. Moreover, other evidence, such as continuous depression, anxiety, and panic, can increase a veteran’s rating and subsequent monthly compensation. However, various factors can impact the availability and amount of disability benefits a disabled veteran can expect to secure.

Did you know the VA is required to help you gather evidence to support your claim for VA benefits? The VA will make a reasonable effort to help you get the following types of evidence:

You’ll need to tell the VA what type of records you need, the dates of the records, and where the VA can get the records


Did you know a Direct Service-Connection is when you had an injury or illness while on active duty and that condition was documented and treated? Direct service-connection also requires that the same condition is currently an issue and being treated by a medical provider. Of note: the medical provider does not have to be the VA; it can be a private medical provider. The claims process consists of the appropriate application and the supporting medical evidence, and then the VA has a medical provider determine if the past and current conditions are connected to the veteran’s military service. For members of the National Guard and Reserve Forces, documented injuries that occurred while on drill or annual training might be service-connected.


Did you know surviving spouses and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefitsSocial Security benefits protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty or performing other work. Wounded military service members can receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims


Did you know seventeen veterans died by suicide every day in 2019, according to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report? The National Center for PTSD estimates that, on average, 7 percent of all veterans will have PTSD in their lifetimes; that number is elevated among female veterans, at 13 percent, in part because of higher rates of military sexual trauma among women. Other studies have shown that veterans sustain several other health conditions at higher rates than the general population: More than one in ten have a diagnosed substance use disorder, and at least two-thirds of veterans who served after 9/11 have “diagnosable mental health concerns.


Did you know the Compensation and Pension (C & P) examinations are administrative (not clinical) exams during which the examiner reviews documented evidence, including the veteran’s provided account and description, and when requested makes an opinion on whether current medical issues are related to events or injuries during military service? Information is then provided to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) for review and potential assignment of a disability rating.

Did you know Tricare copays for many drugs will rise again in 2024 as part of a long-term plan to ratchet up patients' share of the costs through 2027? Congress ordered the series of rate hikes that began in 2018. The rates, which will go up as much as $8 for a 30-day supply of drugs not on Tricare's coverage list, also known as "non-formulary," were published in a Defense Department reimbursement guide. Generic drugs and brand-name medication on the coverage list will also see price increases.


Following the passing of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, there are now three new conditions on the Agent Orange presumptive list. These conditions include:


The addition of these conditions means that many more veterans will be eligible for VA disability benefits. If you filed a claim for one of these conditions in the past, the VA will automatically review your case to see if you’re now eligible. 


The latest additions to the Agent Orange presumptive list comes from Sec. 404 of the Honoring Our PACT Act (the short name being, “Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act”) which lists two additional diseases that can be service connected.

This is a huge win for any Vietnam War veteran or any other veteran suffering from Agent Orange exposure related symptoms.


Did you know spouses of deceased service members and veterans would be able to keep getting survivor benefits if they remarry at any age under a new Bill inching forward in the Senate? Right now, surviving spouses who remarry before age 55 become ineligible for benefits such as the Department of Veterans Affairs' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation and the Defense Department's Survivor Benefit Plan.


Did you know osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to weaken and become more susceptible to breaks? Dubbed a “silent disease,” one in five women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis but many go undiagnosed until they break a bone. Fractures of the hip, wrist and spine, joint and back pain, and a reduction in height due to diminished posture are common symptoms of osteoporosis. In extreme cases, these symptoms can become disabling and may leave veterans struggling to do the activities they once loved. Thankfully, osteoporosis can be prevented through screening and lifestyle changes. VA encourages veterans to talk with their primary care provider to establish a preventative care plan


Did you know in addition to monthly disability payments, you may also be entitled to other benefits if you have a service-connected disability? This could include medical care, employment retraining, disability housing grants, fiduciary services, Aid & Attendance benefits, and more.  A VA disability benefits lawyer or accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) can help you understand all the sources of support available to you.


Did you know the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides a headstone for unmarked graves of an eligible deceased veteran at no charge? To request a headstone, grave marker, or niche marker, fill out the VA Form 10-1330 and send to:

Department of Veteran Affairs

5109 Russell Rd.

Quantico, VA 22134-3909 


Remember………. That all gave some, but many gave all!                        Image removed.