Warrior Gateway Supporting Student Veterans of America at National Conference

Members of the Warrior Gateway team will be attending “The 4th Annual National Conference presented by Student Veterans of America,” December 8-10, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV.  This will be a great opportunity to connect with student veterans, their families, and the organizations and institutions assisting them.  To see the event schedule, register, and learn more information, click here.

Opening remarks and guest speakers include: Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Col. David Sutherland, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Kevin Schmiegel, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The conference theme is “Combating Veteran Unemployment,” which is a predominant issue right now for veterans nationwide.  One of the conference highlights will be the career fair on Friday, which will involve Student Veterans of America partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and RecruitMilitary to bring employers from across many different sectors together that want to hire veterans.  Top tier employers will be in attendance, such as veteran friendly employers Booz Allen Hamilton and General Electric.  Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume and employers are asked to bring national and local job opportunities.

We will provide a live feed from the event through social media, so stay in touch!  If you are attending, or know someone who is, please connect with us. We are excited to network with as many student veterans, military families, and other organizations as we can.

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Warrior Gateway will be supporting veterans continuing higher education and employment next week at the 4th Annual Student Veterans of America National Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  http://www.warriorgateway.info/?p=2958

New VA bill established to assist post-9/11 veteran caregivers could fall short

On 5 May 2010 President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, Public Law 111-163. The bill, first of its kind, intends to provide direct assistance to veteran families. However, recent press releases indicate that the bill is in distress. Many articles are quick to fault the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) after the organization missed the 31 January 2011 deadline to start carrying out provisions of the bill, and before that, the 1 November 2010 implementation plan milestone. The VA signed the long-awaited implementation plan on Wednesday 9 February, but the contents of that bill may be falling short of its mark. For instance, only about 10 percent of the intended post-9/11 caregiver population (est. 850) are said to be eligible for assistance.

New benefits – restricted to caregivers of the critically wounded and seriously ill of the post-9/11 veterans – outlined by the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, include: monthly stipend (based on the average home healthcare costs in the veterans hometown), health care coverage, travel expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying veterans undergoing care), respite care, and mental health services/counseling.

Among those supporting the bill are the following political figures:

  • Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI)
  • Sen. Richard Burr (NC)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (WA), Chairwoman, Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee
  • Rep. Jeff Miller (FL), Chairman, House Committee on Veteran Affairs

While some of the enhancements are currently available, many will require an issuance of regulations, whereas others will remain unavailable. To date, the VA has given no timeline as to when the services will be available to caregivers. However, under the law, the VA must report to Congress within 2 years about the possibilities of providing the enhanced benefits to all post-9/11 caregivers.

The Warrior Gateway can assist those that are affected by the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 by providing veteran caregivers a place to find assistance services located in their hometown. The free-of-charge Warrior Gateway directory currently has over 100 caregiver assistance organizations available for veterans of all eras.

Please feel free to post comments about this blog and suggest other topics you would like to see covered by the Warrior Gateway Government Relations Blog.

Are You Eligible for Up to $2,582 a Month?

Thousands of veterans and surviving spouses are eligible to receive a significant monthly income from the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance pension program. But few are aware that these benefits exist. 

For those in South Carolina, a free veteran’s benefit seminar will be held at the Westminster retirement community at 11 East Augusta Place in Greenville this Sunday, August 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.  To learn more about the seminar, call (864) 370-9030.

The Aid and Attendance Program assists surviving spouses and wartime veterans who have served at least 90 days during a war and who meet other requirements with up to $2,582 per month.

Looking for assistance with VA benefit programs in your community? Visit here.

Looking for other services in South Carolina?  The Warrior Gateway can connect you with organizations in your area. Do you know of helpful organizations in your local community? Share them with others on our online directory.

To view the original article, Free seminar in Greenville to shed light on veteran’s benefits, click here.

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Were You “Stop-Lossed”? Don’t Forget to Claim Your Special Pay Benefit

Time is running out for service members and veteran to claim their Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP).   With an average benefit of $3,700, there is good reason for veterans and their families to take action.

The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act established RSLSP, and provides $500 for each month/partial month served in stop loss status. Those eligible for RSLP include service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009.

If you or someone you know may be eligible, visit http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0710_stoploss/ This Department of Defense webpage links to service-specific sites with more information on the RSLSP claims process.

Looking for help navigating the Federal claims process? Visit the Warrior Gateway Directory.  We currently have 1,274 organizations that offer assistance with federal benefits.

Have experience with a claims organization? Write about your experience so others may share your insights. You can also add organizations that are not yet part of the Directory.

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Veterans Program a Success with Colorado Springs Veterans

Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group’s Peer Navigator program is successfully helping veterans with making their way through the often confusing world of VA benefits and healthcare.   The group connects veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) experts in cutting through the red tape and getting the services these veterans need.  Kevin Porter, director of public affairs for the organization, says “A few hundred Colorado veterans have benefited from the program so far.”   The program provides a “friendly face” to guide former military personnel and their families through the transition back to the civilian world.

This program stands out from other programs because of its immediate response to the requests for help.  “Our peer navigator, if you’re at church if you’re at home or you’re at a bar, they’re dispatched to that location, just like an ambulance would be,” says Porter.  This program gives veterans hope for their futures as citizens in the country they defended.

For more on this recent success story view the full article.

Do you have experience with this or other VA programs for the Colorado Springs area?  Click here.

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