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Author: The Rep for Vets

Rep for Vets > Articles posted by The Rep for Vets

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Advocates Push to Expand PACT Act Benefits, Add Blood Cancers to Burn Pit Presumptive Conditions List

Veteran couple advocating for an expanded burn pit presumptive conditions list

Veterans' advocates are pushing to have several blood cancers linked to burn pit exposure added to the list of burn pit presumptive conditions created by the PACT Act. The move would make some Gulf War and post-9/11 veterans eligible for expedited disability benefits and healthcare, and would mark the first expansion of the PACT Act for burn pit-related diseases since the law went into effect in 2022. For veterans afflicted with these blood cancers, presumptive status and the benefits that flow from it can’t come fast enough. Military.com reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has committed to a thorough...

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VA Healthcare Expansion: What WWII Veterans Need to Know

Disabled World War II veteran participating in memorial ceremony

For those veterans who served in WWII and may not have utilized VA healthcare facilities, a recent outreach initiative may have caught your attention. It's not a scam. This is the VA's effort to encourage eligible veterans to apply for additional no-cost health care services provided by the VA, including nursing home care and home-based primary care. We were actually a bit surprised to learn that WWII veterans aren’t already enjoying free health coverage from the VA, but better late than never, right? Enrolling means no copays, no enrollment fees, and no monthly premiums. Importantly, you may also keep your private...

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Veterans to See Solid 3.4% VA Pay Increase In 2024

veterans learning about 2024 va pay increase

Good news for veterans on the horizon. Those receiving VA disability compensation are in for a boost—a 3.4% VA pay increase in 2024 to be exact. To put that in dollars, for every $1,000 a veteran gets in benefits, they will see an extra $34 in 2024. Spouses and family members receiving survivor benefits are also set to see the same increase in their monthly payments. This year's uptick might not match the notable 8.7% increase driven by inflation last year, but even modest increases are important in helping our veterans keep up with rising prices. At the Rep for Vets,...

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A VA Tech Issue Caused 57,000 Disability Claims to Vanish. What Happened?

Veteran struggling with VA.gov website

Last month, tens of thousands of veterans received surprise letters from the VA informing them that a disability claim they made at some unspecified point in the past was not processed. The letter read in part, “The Department of Veterans Affairs is sending this letter in response to an issue identified which may have resulted in a failure to establish a claim based on your past submission through…VA.gov.” The vague wording of the letter left many veterans to speculate on what claim the letter referenced, if they had done something wrong, and, most importantly, how much disability compensation they might have missed...

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From Battle Scars to Benefits: Understanding the Top 11 VA Disability Claims

Veteran getting assitance with a VA disability claim

In 2022, the federal government paid out over $120 billion in VA disability claims to almost 6 million veterans, according to the latest VA Benefits Report.  Now, that benefits report on is one long and wordy beast, but don't worry. We've combed through it, and today we’re breaking down the 11 most common disabilities for which veterans may claim VA benefits. They include things like tinnitus (ringing in the ears), knee and ankle limitations, hearing loss, PTSD, migraines, lumbosacral or cervical strain, paralysis of the sciatic nerve, scars that impair your ability to work, and diabetes mellitus. If you've got any of...

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The Hidden Connection: Agent Orange Exposure and Kidney Disease

Decades may have passed since the Vietnam War, but the battle for disability benefits tied to diseases caused by Agent Orange exposure continues for some veterans. Surprisingly, kidney disease has yet to receive presumptive status, leaving many veterans wondering why this is the case. In this article, we delve into VA documents and epidemiological studies to explore the connection between Agent Orange and kidney disease.  We also look at ways veterans can secure disability benefits for kidney disease they suspect is connected to Agent Orange exposure, through secondary service-connection. Agent Orange Benefits for Vietnam Veterans During the Vietnam War, millions of individuals were...

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How to Spot Predatory Claims Agents and Protect Your Disability Benefits

Veteran evaluating Trajector Medical for disability claim assistance

When it comes to tackling the adventure of filing a disability claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans have a number of options. If you have a knack for deciphering fine print and embarking on epic quests to track down paperwork scattered across various military and medical offices, you can file it yourself.  If that’s not your forte and you prefer a companion on this journey, you can call upon a registered Veterans Service Organization (VSO) for assistance. They’ll do it for free, but you might end up waiting a long time, and you may not get the personalized attention...

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New Study Finds Alarming Cancer Rates Among Air Force Veterans. What’s Being Done About It?

An alarming new Department of Defense study revealed that Air Force service members and veterans have higher cancer rates than their peers in other branches of the military. Of the over 900,000 service members who were surveyed between 1992 to 2017, aircrew service members had much higher cancer rates over the same 24 year period. The study found elevated cancer rates for air crews and ground crews alike. Pilots faced an 87% higher rate of melanoma, a type of skin cancer; a 39% higher rate of thyroid cancer; and a 24% higher rate of all types of cancer. Ground crews faced a...

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Don’t Miss Out on These Sweet Tax Breaks for Veterans in 2023!

A dessert enthusiast demonstrating how tax benefits work for veterans

Tax breaks are one of the more overlooked slices of the veteran’s benefits pie. Sure, it may not be the star of the show, but that slice of pie (or cake, if you prefer) can be pretty darn tasty and filling, and it's included with your meal! Likewise, tax breaks may not be the most glamorous of benefits, but they can help veterans save money and reduce their tax liability. Plus, who doesn't love saving money on taxes? So, let's give tax breaks the credit they deserve and not overlook this tasty slice of the veterans’ benefits pie. We start with an...

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Can You Receive VA Disability and Military Retirement Pay at the Same Time?

Retired veteran teaching grandson how to fish

Wondering if it's possible to receive VA disability and military retirement pay without sacrificing one for the other? The answer is yes, it is possible, but only under certain conditions. Retired veterans who have a disability rating of 50% or higher, or qualify for Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC), are eligible to receive both benefits in full. Veterans who have a disability rating lower than 50% will have their retirement pay reduced by the amount of their VA compensation, dollar for dollar, unless they qualify for CRSC. We think this is an important topic that doesn't get enough attention. We've brought together...

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