VA Mission Act Update

on Thursday, 11 April 2019.

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The new eligibility criteria will be a major improvement over existing criteria in terms of making things simpler: currently, eligibility criteria vary between VA’s community care programs. When the new criteria go into effect, Veterans can expect better access and greater choice in their health care, whether at VA or through a community provider.

The eligibility criteria are projected to go into effect in June 2019 after final regulations are published and effective, so the criteria are not yet final. In addition, key aspects of community care eligibility include the following:

  • Veterans must receive approval from VA prior to obtaining care from a community provider in most circumstances.
  • Veterans must either be enrolled in VA health care or be eligible for VA care without needing to enroll to be eligible for community care.
  • Eligibility for community care will continue to be dependent upon a Veteran’s individual health care needs or circumstances.
  • VA staff members generally make all eligibility determinations.
  • Veterans will usually have the option to receive care at a VA medical facility regardless of their eligibility for community care.
  • Meeting any one of six eligibility criteria listed below is sufficient to be referred to a community provider—a Veteran does not have to meet all of them to be eligible. (Real-world examples of when a Veteran would be eligible for community care are included in the eligibility fact sheet linked at the end of the article).

A New Way to Help Veterans: Donate Your Vehicle

on Wednesday, 05 December 2018.

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Supporters of LCVFSF have been generous with donations of time and money. Now there’s another way. If you own a car, motorcycle, ATV or other motorized vehicle, you can donate it to our Foundation. We get the funds. You get whatever tax deduction your donation earns.  In partnership with Auto Parts City of Gurnee, we are happy to offer a new and easy way to make a donation to LCVFSF to help the Veterans of Lake, McHenry and Southern Kenosha counties.

"A Sea of Khaki"

on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

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On Feb. 8, thousands of mourners filled the United States Naval Academy’s chapel in Annapolis, Md., to pay their respects to Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, 35, who was killed by a suicide bomber at a restaurant in Manbij, Syria, last month, along with three other Americans. Kent was stationed at Fort Meade, Md., where she was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, a Navy unit that supports the National Security Agency and military special operations forces. She was supporting the latter at the time of her death.

During the ceremony, a bugler played taps. The Navy hymn “Eternal Father” rang from the pipe organ. But the memorial service departed from most of those that the Academy chapel has hosted in the past — in more ways than one.

Your Benefits: Active Guard Reserve

on Monday, 25 March 2019.

National Guard and Reserve members with active service may qualify for a variety of VA benefits. Active service includes:

Active duty (Title 10) - full-time duty, such as, but not limited to, a unit deployment during war, including travel to and from such duty, OR

Full-time National Guard duty (Title 32) - full-time duty, such as responding to a national emergency or duties as an Active Guard Reserve, where you receive pay from the Federal government

Service Platoon Offers Opportunities to Give Back

on Monday, 11 March 2019.

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My name is Mike Maguire, and it is my honor and pleasure to be named the new Service Platoon leader for the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation (LCVFSF). Let me state up front that I am not a Veteran, but I am a life long American citizen, and I have the greatest respect and admiration for all our Veterans.

I believe that we as citizens, and the beneficiaries of the service and sacrifice that these brave men and women, and their families, have willingly given for our freedom and liberty, must never forget them. LCVFSF is run by Veterans for Veterans, but they also firmly believe that a partnership between civilians, and Veterans is vital to their primary mission of providing assistance to ALL Veterans, in areas ranging from employment, health and family issues, housing, any many others. I know by the fact that you have all signed up to participate in this service that you all feel the same way.

Legal Advice Line Available from Prairie State Legal

on Thursday, 11 January 2018.

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Prairie State Legal Services is pleased to launch its telephone legal advice line for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault who live in the counties served by PSLS**

The Legal Advice Line is open:
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
9am to 1pm
Wednesday Evenings
6 p.m. to 8 pm

Victims Legal Advice Line
844/388-7757 (toll free)

We provide bilingual staff or interpreters for limited English proficient callers.

Veterans Appeal Act Effective February 19th

on Friday, 08 February 2019.

The Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 became law on August 23, 2017 (Pub L. 115-55). It is also known as the Appeals Modernization Act. You can read the law in full on Congress.gov.

Know More
The need for a Modern Appeals System Rapid Appeals Modernization Program

Frequently Asked Questions

  • VA's Implementation Plan
  • Opt-in Letter with election Form
  • Multimedia Materials
  • RAMP Overview Video
  • Benefits of RAMP Video
  • RAMP Fact Sheet
  • RAMP Infographic
  • RAMP Poster
  • RAMP Brochure

Need to File a Secondary Claim? File as a DRC

on Sunday, 24 March 2019.

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Do you have a condition that was directly caused by or has gotten worse because of your service-connected condition? If so, you can file a secondary claim for disability compensation for that condition. If you’re planning to file a secondary claim, make sure you file it as a Decision Ready Claim (DRC). Filing as a DRC means you can get a decision on your claim in 30 days or less.

Work with the Veterans Assistance Commission in Waukegan or with another accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO) to determine if the DRC Program is right for you and your secondary claim. They can then help you gather and submit all relevant and required evidence so your claim is ready for us to make a decision when you submit it.

Don’t have a secondary condition? You can also file these other types of compensation claims through the DRC Program:

  • Direct Service Connection Claims
  • Presumptive Service Connection Claims
  • Increased Disability Claims
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (for surviving spouses)

Learn more about the DRC Program, including eligibility requirements and what medical evidence you need to submit.  Go to: https://www.lakecountyil.gov/725/Veterans-Assistance-Commission or to find an accredited VSO and get more information before going to the VAC, go to:  https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/drc.asp

VA’s Center for Women Veterans Social Media Highlights, Connects and Informs Women Veterans

on Monday, 25 March 2019.

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Posted in Women Veterans by Danielle Corazza

The women Veteran population is growing and VA is stepping up to meet the need through innovative programming and services specifically designed to serve women. But, once the programs are deployed, how do we get the word out? How do we ensure that women Veterans self-identify and take advantage of the benefits they’ve earned and deserve? And, how do we capture the sentiment and reality of what women Veterans are experiencing so we can raise those voices to drive effective policy?