Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Veterans Identification Cards

The following information was passed to us by one of our members. Please note the link in the note will get you to the VA Sign Up page, however, they are asking users to provide an email as they are having issues with the amount of traffic.

Update: The VA started accepting applications for the Veterans Identification Cards at the end of November 2017. The VA has announced there is no anticipated cost for the Veterans ID card, even though they are authorized to charge a fee. You can apply here. (Note: The VA is experiencing a high volume of applications and there are expected delays to issue cards).

Friday, November 3, 2017

Action Alert: Legion Opposes Steep TRICARE Fee Hikes

The American Legion Needs Your Help Protecting TRICARE Benefits!
Contact Your Members of Congress Now
(October 23, 2017) Last year, Congress increased TRICARE costs for military retirees and their families who enter the military after January 1, 2018.
Current military retirees and their family members are exempt from these cost increases. However, Congress is now considering legislation that would remove this exemption.
As of now, the Senate is primarily pushing for these changes.
This proposal would result in higher TRICARE fees for military retirees, including pharmacy copayments, which are already three times higher than they were in 2011, and enrollment costs for certain plans, such as the new Select plan, would nearly triple.
There is an inherent cost of fielding a professional, all-volunteer military, and the promise of a modest stipend immediately upon retirement and inexpensive health care are keys to retaining our best and brightest service members.
The American Legion will not stand idly by while Congress continues to rob Peter to pay Paul and we need your assistance in telling Congress "No!"
Take Action: Contact your Senators and Representative to demand that they reject any proposal that would result in TRICARE fee increases for current beneficiaries, and let them know that veterans have paid for their benefits through blood, sweat, and tears many times over.
(If received by email, scroll up and click the Take Action link, otherwise see below and send a prepared message to Congress. Also, Like this on Facebook.)

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Friday, September 29, 2017

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Do you have questions about or need assistance with VA benefits? Are you looking to see which VA benefits are available to you? Give us a like and follow on Facebook to connect with our social media team. Each day, our page features benefits news, updates, tips, how-to's and discussions on VA benefits.
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Veterans Benefits Administration · 810 Vermont Avenue, NW · Washington, DC 20420 · 1-800-827-1000

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

VA News

June 27, 2017

VA Secretary Formalizes Expansion of Emergency Mental Health Care to Former
Service Members With Other-Than-Honorable Discharges
Secretary Announced Plans to Expand Coverage in March

WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released finalized plans that lay the framework for providing emergency mental health coverage to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges. 

This is the first time a VA Secretary has implemented an initiative specifically focused on this group of former service members who are in mental health distress.  

“Suicide prevention is my top clinical priority,” said Secretary Shulkin, also a physician. “We want these former service members to know there is someplace they can turn if they are facing a mental health emergency — whether it means urgent care at a VA emergency department, a Vet Center or through the Veterans Crisis Line.”

Effective July 5, all Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers will be prepared to offer emergency stabilization care for former service members who present at the facility with an emergent mental health need. Under this initiative, former service members with an OTH administrative discharge may receive care for their mental health emergency for an initial period of up to 90 days, which can include inpatient, residential or outpatient care.

During this time, VHA and the Veterans Benefits Administration will work together to determine if the mental health condition is a result of a service-related injury, making the service member eligible for ongoing coverage for that condition.  
Since Secretary Shulkin announced his intent in March to expand VA mental health coverage to service members with OTH administrative discharges, VA has worked with key internal and external stakeholders, including members of Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and community partners on the issue.

Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Veterans Can Register for Online Military Exchange Shopping

Veterans Can Register for Online Military Exchange Shopping 
Some veterans who register at will be invited to be beta testers. They will have the ability to shop online earlier than the planned November 11, 2017launch date. Officials said the sooner veterans register on the site, the better their chances of being chosen as a beta tester. Honorably discharged veterans interested in shopping online at military exchanges can begin their verification process immediately. Exchange officials said, some patrons may be able to shop online before the program's full launch. The exchange websites offer tax-free shopping, and discounted pricing. Actual online pricing can be seen only by those who are authorized to shop at the following websites:      

shopmyexchangeshopcgxmymcx and mynavyexchange uses information from the Defense Department's Defense Manpower Data Center to verify a veterans' status. Veterans will receive notification of their acceptance as online shoppers. If their records are incomplete, they will receive guidance on how to update their records. Doing this in advance of the deadline will allow veterans to start shopping on November 1, or earlier if they are chosen as "beta testers" of the system. 
This new benefit, which would increase the online shopping base by an estimated 13 million veterans, only applies to online military exchange shopping. This will not affect shopping at the physical military installations. Until now, online exchange shopping was only available to active-duty, reserve and Guard members, retirees, 100 percent disabled veterans and their dependent family members, as well as certain others. 
Cindy Whitman Lacy, Marine Corps Exchange Director of Business and Support Services at Headquarters Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs said in a statement announcing the verifying website, "It's an honor to now provide this service and benefit to our well-deserving veterans. Once a Marine, always a Marine."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Michigan Connects Veterans with Benefits

Editor's note: This is the first of a weekly series of Department Spotlight stories featuring unique programs and initiatives of departments throughout The American Legion. Click the link below to view the article.

Sunday, March 12, 2017