Article – Benefits Protection Team Leader, Howard Ray

VETERANS LEGISLATION 

  1. New COLA Stays Stagnant: Military retirees, veterans receiving VA compensation, and some 70 million Americans on Social Security will see a 0.3 percent cost-of-living increase at the end of the year.  Veterans’ benefits are not automatically tied to the Social Security increase, but Congress in July passed legislation to link them in 2017. The slight increase matches the 2016 raise and marks the third consecutive year COLA has been less than a half percentage point.1. 

  2. Women Veterans Campaign: The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with Lean In Women Veterans to launch the campaign “I Serve” in efforts to highlight women veterans who have answered the call to duty. The campaign aspires to promote the diversity of women veterans and celebrate the many accomplishments they have had in our military. To participate, female veterans are asked to record a 15-second video on their phones reading a specific script–– “I am (name), and this is what a veteran looks like…” (Pause) “I serve/served!”  To learn more about the campaign, visit: https://likeawomanblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/womens-i-servedserve-campaign/.
  3. Quarterly PTSD Research Report Released: The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder released their quarterly report on Tuesday. The publication focused on accelerated aging associated with PTSD that has been researched by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University School of Medicine. This is believed to be mostly due to factors of stress and external environmental factors increased by PTSD that lead to poor physical health. Researchers also believe that mental health directly impacts the physiology of individuals just as much as their external environment. To read the full report, visit: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/V27N3.pd

  4. Delay in DOD New Electronic Health Care Record: This week, the Department of Defense announced it would modify its initial roll out of its new electronic health care record, Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS. Instead of piloting MHS GENESIS in four military installations before the end of the calendar year, DOD will begin the new health care record at Fairchild Air Force Base this calendar year and expand to other inpatient facilities in the Pacific Northwest by June 2017. DOD is still on track for full implementation by 2022. To learn more about MHS GENESIS, visit: http://www.health.mil/News/Articles/2016/10/13/MHS-GENESIS-to-launch-in-February-2017.
  1. Veterans Online Self-Help Resources: The Department of Veterans Affairs has created free, online and confidential training for service members and veterans to learn skills and tools to manage stress and to overcome life’s challenges such as parenting, financial difficulties and adjustment issues. To learn more, visit: http://www.veterantraining.va.gov/.

 

Howard Ray, Benefits Protection Team Leader
DAV Department of Texas
7507 Legend Rock, San Antonio TX 78244-2414
Home: (210) 661-5944 Mobile: 210-725-5894 Email: legislative@davtexas.org