Benefits

Why is There a Special Benefits Program for the Children of Women Who Served in Vietnam?

Veterans’ children don’t normally qualify for VA health benefits.  Why are women who served in Vietnam different?  The answer is Agent Orange.  The chemicals in Agent Orange accumulate in the body and remain there for years.  One of the consequences of exposure can be birth defects in the children born to women who were exposed to the chemicals.

The U. S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs has a Center for Women Veterans (CWV) and Women Veterans Call Center to assist the many women who have served in the military. The site has links to health information, benefits, resources for women veterans and outreach. The call center provides assistance and resources to women veterans and their families.  The Call Center’s phone number is:  1-855-829-6636 and is available Monday- Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET. An online chat service is also available Monday- Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

For information go to:  http://www.va.gov/womenvet/.  For information on the Dept. of Veteran Affairs Womens Call Center go to: http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/ProgramOverview/wvcc.asp

It was 2014 when the news story broke, and the public learned that the VA health care system was broken.  The scandal erupted in Phoenix, when whistleblowers revealed a secret wait list for veterans requesting care.  The list was hidden from Federal Regulators because the Phoenix VA sent regulators falsified documents that grossly underestimated the length of time veterans were waiting to be given a doctor’s appointment.  As the truth came to light, the public learned that Arizona veterans had to wait an average of 115 days to see a primary care doctor, and more than 40 veterans died waiting for care.

 

Social Security District Manager, Phoenix Downtown

In the United States, people do a lot to recognize and honor the heroes who serve in the Armed Forces and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. July is an appropriate month to recognize veterans and wounded warriors, as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

What is AZ ABLE?

AZ ABLE is a new state-run financial savings program for eligible people with disabilities who live in Arizona.

In 1990, Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.  One of the provisions of the Act mandated the use of a single, free application form for all Federal student aid.  That form (FAFSA) continues to be used today and is the key to obtaining all types of Federal student aid.  Financial aid is offered in the form of grants, scholarships, student and parent loans and work-study programs.

That Arizona Military Family Relief Fund was established to provide financial assistance to families of currently deployed Servicemembers and Veteran families for hardships caused by the Servicemembers deployment to a combat zone post 9/11. Assistance for the fund is determined by an Advisory Committee. More information about the Arizona Military Family Relief Fund can be found here http://dvs.az.gov/benefits/relief_fund.aspx

History of the GI Bill

In the heat of World War II fighting, President Franklin D. Roosevelt turned his thoughts to what would happen at the end of World War II, when floods of American troops and sailors returned home to pick up the pieces of their civilian lives.  He wanted to help those returning GIs, many of whom were only 17 or 18 when they left for war in 1941.  He was determined that this time the U.S. Government would not fail the soldiers and sailors returning from war. Roosevelt had in mind the lessons of World War I.  After that war, troops returned home to find that other people now had their jobs.  Many were restless and without direction, unable to find a role in civilian life.  They were given little help and fewer opportunities.

SMC is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents. For Veterans, Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or by specific disability, such as loss of use of one hand or leg. For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

Those of us who have served in the military have a good, if general, understanding of what it takes to be classified as a veteran.  Civilians, however, don’t always know or understand what veteran status requires.  Are Reservists veterans?  What about the National Guard?  Heck, I’ve met people who think someone who took ROTC in college is a veteran.  So, let’s discuss the issue.  What is the definition of a veteran, and what types of veterans are there? 

DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. Parents DIC is an income-based benefit for parents who were financially dependent on of a Servicemember or Veteran who died from a service-related cause.

These days, most honorably discharged veterans are entitled to military funeral honors in recognition of their service to their country.  Honoring active and former members of the armed services is a long-standing tradition, but it is only in recent years that veterans have been given a legal right to have their status recognized at death with military funeral honors.

DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. Parents DIC is an income-based benefit for parents who were financially dependent on of a Servicemember or Veteran who died from a service-related cause.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes all same-sex marriages without regard to a Veteran’s state of residence. There are a variety of benefits and services dependent up a Veteran’s marital status including benefits for a ‘surviving spouse.’  The VA is encouraging all Veterans in same-sex marriages who believe they are entitled to benefits but were previously denied, based on a ground related to their marriage, to apply for benefits. If you have questions to fill out a form, call 1-800-827-1000. For more information, go to http://www.va.gov/opa/marriage/

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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