Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Filner Intros HR 812: Doomed to die in committee.

Bob Filner introduced HR 812 on Friday last, and it is the exact same bill he introduced in early May of 2009, the bloated, super expensive bill that he refused to move from committee last year even though there were over 255 co-sponsoring members of Congress -- far more than the 218 required to pass a bill in the US House of Representatives.

The language of the bill is identical to HR 2254 that he introduced in the last session of Congress, and then failed to support.

We are working to get the Agent Orange Restoration Act, and the Agent Orange Supplemental Act introduced sometime in the coming weeks. While the Supplemental Act covers Vietnam Era Veterans [not Vietnam Veterans] who were exposed to dioxin-containing herbicides, and it is very expensive -- VERY EXPENSIVE.

The Agent Orange Restoration Act seeks to restore benefits intended by Congress in the original Agent Orange Act of 1991, which have since been voided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It seeks to restore the Vietnam Service Medal [or the Armed Forces Service Medal for Service in Southeast Asia], and a documented illness from the current list of Agent Orange related-diseases as the sole qualifiers for presumptive exposure to dioxin containing herbicides. In short, if you got the medal, and an AO disease, you are service connected. No more "boots on the ground".

As Filner's bill did last year, HR 812 will seek to "leave no one behind," but its failure will result in ALL being left behind.

Please contact your Representative and your Senators and urge them to NOT support HR 812.

Meanwhile, you can help get the right Bill passed by joining us at VASVW. Click on the Orange VASVW logo in the left column of this page for more information, or visit:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vasvw/

Membership is and always will be free, and it is open to all.

The Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam War, Inc.
Service to the Nation decades ago, now back in action!
"Fortitudine vincimus!" - By endurance we conquer!

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." --Edmund Burke

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2011: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Seventh Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Survival

Veterans

Please pay attention to this very carefully. Survival is of paramount importance. Many of you are in a tight spot financially, some more than others.

I have recommended on more than one occasion that you get to your local Social Security office and file a joint application for Social Security Disability Insurance [SSDI] and Supplemental Security Income [SSI].

The application will be processed and, if eligible, you will get one or the other, not both, but it will be the one that maximizes your benefit.

If you worked, but can no longer work, and you paid into Social Security, the money you receive will likely be SSDI, and it can be a great blessing. In fact, it is YOUR money, so go for it. You will be eligible after a short time for Medicare parts A [hospitalization with co-pays and deductibles] and B [doctors visits].

If you did not work, or did not pay into Social Security you will likely receive SSI. This is usually a lesser amount than SSDI. In most states, SSI will also provide you with Medicaid, and it usually means full medical, dental, hospitalization and prescription coverage. You will not be required to give up your Veterans Pension to receive this benefit. SSI is not considered countable income against your Veterans Pension.

If you are 62 or older you may be eligible to collect your Social Security retirement benefits.

In any case, if you cannot collect any of these, then swallow your pride [which you can't eat] and go to your local Welfare office and apply for Cash, Food Stamps and Medical Benefits. Not all states have all three benefits. They will, however, allow you to survive on enough cash and food stamps to eat decently, and to have at least some of your Medical bills covered, usually all of them.

At the very least, you are likely eligible for Food Stamps. Take advantage of them. You paid your taxes, now reclaim some of them.

And, VERY IMPORTANT, do not forget to apply for these benefits for your wife as well. Include her on the applications. If she spent her life as a housewife, she will likely be eligible for SSI. If she worked more than a few years, she will be eligible for SSDI or SS Retirement depending on her age.

One last thing: most of us qualify for classification as "low income". There is a Federal Program called Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. You may apply any time from December to March or April for help with your heating bills.

Your local County Welfare Office will also help you apply for Social Security Benefits and usually is where the LIHEAP Program is run.

Now, if you are receiving any service connected disability compensation from the VA, you can also receive SSDI or SSI, or any retirement pension including Social Security. You may also be eligible for Food Stamps and some Medicaid Coverage depending on your income level.

Medicare is the Federal Medical insurance program associated with Social Security benefits [SS Retirement, SSDI, SSI, or Railroad Retirement].

Medicaid is medical coverage administered by state Welfare Agencies [usually county offices] using a combination of Federal and State funding.

Simply put, you cannot afford to ignore these potential benefits. Go apply. Get yourself and your wife some money that you are entitled to, and some medical coverage.

Note: Federal law prohibits the counting of the value of your home and one vehicle against these benefits. You cannot lose your home by applying for and receiving any of the benefits mentioned.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2011: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Seventh Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.