Over the past several weeks, DAV has received hundreds of inquiries from DAV members and other concerned parties regarding the proposal to eliminate the total disability rating based on Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits for veterans over the age of 62 contained in the President's fiscal year 2018 budget. Specifically, the proposal would terminate existing IU total disability ratings for veterans when they reach the minimum retirement age for Social Security purposes (age 62), or upon enactment of the proposal if the veteran is already in receipt of Social Security retirement benefits. In the May 24 House Veterans' Affairs Committee budget hearing, DAV expressed its strong opposition to this proposal. We are aware that the elimination of these benefits would affect not only the veteran's family income, but other critical ancillary benefits, such as dental coverage, Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA), commissary and exchange privileges, and the value of Social Security benefits. Additionally, this will impact access to some state benefits such as property tax exemptions for veteran homeowners, free vehicle registration and free access to state parks.
Please be assured this is a key priority for DAV and we are trying to respond to your phone calls and email messages as quickly as possible. DAV is actively working to educate Capitol Hill lawmakers and the public about the devastating impact this proposal would have upon service-disabled veterans and their families.
Steps DAV has already taken:
- Action alert for members: DAV members and their supporters have sent almost 24,000 emails to Members of Congress through the DAV Commander's Action Network, advising them of our strong opposition to the proposal.
- Testimony: On May 24, 2017, DAV, along with our Independent Budget (IB) partners, Paralyzed Veterans of American and Veterans of Foreign Wars, testified on the Administration's budget to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and expressed our opposition to the IU proposal. DAV and its IB parnters will again condemn the IU proposal at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on June 14th at 2:30 PM. There will be a live feed of the hearing on that day.
- Press Release: The IB veterans service organizations issued a press release concerning our opposition to the President's budget and IU proposal on May 25, 2017.
- OP/ED from DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine to be distributed to major media outlets nationwide.
- Meetings with Members of Congress to educate them about the negative impact of the IU proposal on veterans and their families.
- Letter to House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees and Congressional leadership to highlight the impact of the IU proposal and express our strong opposition to it.
- Developing an information sheet for DAV members to use in their own meetings and conversations with elected officials
Please keep in mind this is ONLY a proposal and the start of the budget process. But it is critical we protect our benefits by educating our elected officials about the negative impact this proposal would have on service-disabled veterans and their families. Please send a message to your elected officials to express your views on this important issue. We appreciate your support in our efforts to assure that America's veterans with wartime injuries and illnesses continue to receive all the benefits they are due from a grateful nation.
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Thursday, May 18, 2017
From: "House Committee on Veterans' Affairs" <HVACPress@mail.house.gov>
Date: May 18, 2017 15:12
Subject: RELEASE: Roe, Walz Lead Resolution to Authorize American Legion Centennial Coin
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Thursday, February 16, 2017
02/16/2017 08:19 AM CST
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Mattis Meets With Turkish Defense Minister in Brussels
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins said Mattis also assured Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işik of the support of the United States as a strategic partner in the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The secretary and minister agreed to continue their full range of bilateral defense activities and consultations, and to look for ways to further strengthen defense cooperation in the future, Higgins added.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
From: "Ground Operations" <email@example.com>
Date: Feb 10, 2017 10:15
Subject: Farmer-Veterans Movement Getting Stronger
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Lt Col Virgil I "Gus" Grissom, USAF
Lt Col Edward H. White, USAF
Lt Cmdr Roger B. Chaffe, USN
Saturday, January 28, 2017
News Releases VA
News Release Statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs on federal hiring freeze 01/27/2017 01:55 PM EST
Statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs on federal hiring freeze
WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced exemptions to the federal hiring freeze in the President's memo dated January 23rd, 2017. The authorities outlined in the President's memo provide VA the ability to continue filling essential positions that provide public safety services to our Veterans. We strongly believe that these exemptions are in line with the President's intent. "The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public health and safety, including frontline caregivers," Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Snyder said. "The President and VA remain committed to seeing that our Veterans receive the quality care and benefits they've earned. This is the right thing to do for our Veterans." The memorandum is available for viewing here. # # # Media Inquiries: Lydia Blaha VA Deputy Press Secretary 202-461-7458 Lydia.Blada@va.gov Keep updated & let us know how we're doing. Facebook Twitter Google Plus Blog Website Subscribe You have received this message because you are subscribed to Veterans Affairs. Access your Subscriber Preferences to make changes to your subscription or Unsubscribe. Get this as a forward? Sign Up to receive updates from Veterans Affairs. Having questions or problems? Please visit subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com for assistance. If you are in crisis and need immediate help, please call 1-800-273-8255 and (PRESS 1) or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/. Please remember the only secure way to ask personal questions is at https://iris.custhelp.com. Explore VA benefits at explore.va.gov
Sent to firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of US Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue, NW · Washington, DC 20420
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tiffany Haverly
Roe Announces Committee Leadership
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) announced the leadership for the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs for the 115th Congress.
Roe released the following statement:
"These incoming subcommittee chairmen have impressive backgrounds in public service, and many of them have served in the military. They've each been tireless advocates for veterans, and I'm confident they will keep fighting to improve the lives of our nation's heroes as chairmen of their respective subcommittees. I am also glad Rep. Bilirakis will continue serving as vice chairman. I look forward to working with Rep. Bilirakis and the subcommittee chairmen to pass meaningful legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs and continue the committee's diligent oversight."
115th Congress Leadership:
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL): Vice Chairman
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL): Chairman, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX): Chairman, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH): Chairman, Subcommittee on Health
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI): Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
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