VA Disability Benefits and Guns: How proposed legislation may impact you
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
4d ago
Veterans around the country possess firearms for recreation, protection, and employment, among other things.  Many are apprehensive about pursuing medical treatment and/or the VA disability benefits they may be entitled to because they’re concerned their guns will be taken away. Those who are in treatment (particularly for mental health) may underreport their symptoms as a preventative measure to not lose their right to own a gun.  Unfortunately, these things hinder a veteran’s ability to get an increased disability rating, which results in them missing out on thousands of dollars in ..read more
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VA Proposed New Rule for Agent Orange Exposure
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
1M ago
The benefit of presumptive designations is the burden of proof to receive VA disability benefits is lowered. The VA has outlined plans to include more locations where herbicides were stored, tested, and used.  In the proposal, locations would be added in the United States, Canada, and India for Agent Orange. This expansion would be in addition to the existing eligibility requirements for Agent Orange Exposure and disability compensation. 2022 Presumptive Service Connection In 2022, the VA expanded presumptive service connection for several health conditions related to toxic exposures ..read more
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Advocates Push to Expand PACT Act Benefits, Add Blood Cancers to Burn Pit Presumptive Conditions List
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
2M ago
Veterans’ advocates are pushing to have several blood cancers linked to burn pit exposure added to the list of burn pit presumptive conditions created by the PACT Act. The move would make some Gulf War and post-9/11 veterans eligible for expedited disability benefits and healthcare, and would mark the first expansion of the PACT Act for burn pit-related diseases since the law went into effect in 2022. For veterans afflicted with these blood cancers, presumptive status and the benefits that flow from it can’t come fast enough. Military.com reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ha ..read more
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VA Healthcare Expansion: What WWII Veterans Need to Know
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
4M ago
For those veterans who served in WWII and may not have utilized VA healthcare facilities, a recent outreach initiative may have caught your attention. It’s not a scam. This is the VA’s effort to encourage eligible veterans to apply for additional no-cost health care services provided by the VA, including nursing home care and home-based primary care. We were actually a bit surprised to learn that WWII veterans aren’t already enjoying free health coverage from the VA, but better late than never, right? Enrolling means no copays, no enrollment fees, and no monthly premiums. Importantly, you may ..read more
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Veterans to See Solid 3.4% VA Pay Increase In 2024
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
5M ago
Good news for veterans on the horizon. Those receiving VA disability compensation are in for a boost—a 3.4% VA pay increase in 2024 to be exact. To put that in dollars, for every $1,000 a veteran gets in benefits, they will see an extra $34 in 2024. Spouses and family members receiving survivor benefits are also set to see the same increase in their monthly payments. This year’s uptick might not match the notable 8.7% increase driven by inflation last year, but even modest increases are important in helping our veterans keep up with rising prices. At the Rep for Vets, we’ve long held the view ..read more
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A VA Tech Issue Caused 57,000 Disability Claims to Vanish. What Happened?
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
6M ago
Last month, tens of thousands of veterans received surprise letters from the VA informing them that a disability claim they made at some unspecified point in the past was not processed. The letter read in part, “The Department of Veterans Affairs is sending this letter in response to an issue identified which may have resulted in a failure to establish a claim based on your past submission through…VA.gov.” The vague wording of the letter left many veterans to speculate on what claim the letter referenced, if they had done something wrong, and, most importantly, how much disability compensati ..read more
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From Battle Scars to Benefits: Understanding the Top 11 VA Disability Claims
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
6M ago
In 2022, the federal government paid out over $120 billion in VA disability claims to almost 6 million veterans, according to the latest VA Benefits Report.  Now, that benefits report on is one long and wordy beast, but don’t worry. We’ve combed through it, and today we’re breaking down the 11 most common disabilities for which veterans may claim VA benefits. They include things like tinnitus (ringing in the ears), knee and ankle limitations, hearing loss, PTSD, migraines, lumbosacral or cervical strain, paralysis of the sciatic nerve, scars that impair your ability to work, and diabetes ..read more
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The Hidden Connection: Agent Orange Exposure and Kidney Disease
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
6M ago
Decades may have passed since the Vietnam War, but the battle for disability benefits tied to diseases caused by Agent Orange exposure continues for some veterans. Surprisingly, kidney disease has yet to receive presumptive status, leaving many veterans wondering why this is the case. In this article, we delve into VA documents and epidemiological studies to explore the connection between Agent Orange and kidney disease.  We also look at ways veterans can secure disability benefits for kidney disease they suspect is connected to Agent Orange exposure, through secondary service-connection ..read more
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How to Spot Predatory Claims Agents and Protect Your Disability Benefits
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
6M ago
When it comes to tackling the adventure of filing a disability claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans have a number of options. If you have a knack for deciphering fine print and embarking on epic quests to track down paperwork scattered across various military and medical offices, you can file it yourself.  If that’s not your forte and you prefer a companion on this journey, you can call upon a registered Veterans Service Organization (VSO) for assistance. They’ll do it for free, but you might end up waiting a long time, and you may not get the personalized attentio ..read more
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New Study Finds Alarming Cancer Rates Among Air Force Veterans. What’s Being Done About It?
Rep for Vets Blog
by The Rep for Vets
6M ago
An alarming new Department of Defense study revealed that Air Force service members and veterans have higher cancer rates than their peers in other branches of the military. Of the over 900,000 service members who were surveyed between 1992 to 2017, aircrew service members had much higher cancer rates over the same 24 year period. The study found elevated cancer rates for air crews and ground crews alike. Pilots faced an 87% higher rate of melanoma, a type of skin cancer; a 39% higher rate of thyroid cancer; and a 24% higher rate of all types of cancer. Ground crews faced a 19% higher rate of ..read more
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