VA News 03/19/20

By RON HOLLOWAY,

This week, the VA suspended future GI Bill use at five colleges due to deceptive marketing and recruitment practices. The five colleges are: University of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University, American InterContinental University, Bellevue University, and Temple University. The decision by VA will apply to all new enrollments, both in residence and online. The suspension will not affect those students currently enrolled in classes during the current term as long as there are no breaks in enrollment for current GI Bill beneficiaries. Investigators say this decision will affect over 16,000 student veterans and it should not be taken lightly.  This shows that preying upon student veterans comes with consequences.” VA is encouraging students attending or considering attending the schools to contact the department’s Education Call Center at 888.442.4551.

VA published a rule in the Federal Register on March 6, 2020, that changes and standardizes the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers and ensures the program regulations reflect changes required by the VA Mission Act of 2018. The proposed rule seeks to standardize eligibility by basing the definition of serious injury on service-connected disability ratings – regardless of whether it resulted from an injury, illness or disease – defining what it means to be in need of personal care services, and ensuring that the eligibility criteria capture the personal care service needs of veterans and service members with cognitive or neurological impairment or mental health conditions, among other things. From what I have seen, this should be another positive step in the right direction for providing better help for our veterans but also for our caregivers. As we all see, our nation’s veterans depend on many of these selfless and dedicated individuals, most of them family members, in their recovery and rehabilitation process and in the past they were not reimbursed, this will help ensure the veterans  are cared for and compensation provided for the caregivers.  Several veterans organizations are reviewing the nearly 300-page document to ensure it conforms to the intent of the law and will provided the needed assistance the caregivers need to properly care for our veterans.  As soon as I the bill has been accepted and passed I will let you know, this should be a big benefit to many of the veterans in our area.

Last week, the Senate passed H.R. 4803, Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act. This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) to ensure children of deployed service members and civil servants are conferred automatic U.S. citizenship and are not disadvantaged because their parents are serving our country abroad. The bill was passed by the House in December and now awaits the president’s signature.

I had a friend who passed away a couple of weeks ago.  He was using catheters; his wife called and told me she had a large supply of his catheters if anyone needed them to let me know and she would get them to me so I could get them to you.  So if anyone needs catheters call the office and we will get them for you.