“Forever GI Bill” Signed Into Law
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, H.R. 3218, passed by the House and Senate was signed by the President on August 16, 2017. Also known as the Forever G.I. Bill, the legislation improves provisions in the existing G.I. Bill and provides more flexibility for using educational benefits. The measure contains a number of provisions that specifically impact disabled veterans and their families, including:
- Increases monthly Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) payments by about 40 percent effective October 1, 2018 (note: effective August 1, 2018, DEA decreases from 45 to 36 months to be consistent with other VA educational programs);
- Eliminates the 15-year limit for using the G.I. Bill, allowing for the use of the educational benefits for life, for those who were discharged after January 1, 2013;
- Grants full G.I. Bill benefits to Purple Heart Recipients, regardless of total time in service effective August 1, 2018;
- Provides G.I. Bill eligibility for reservists undergoing medical care for active duty injuries effective August 1, 2018;
- Restores used G.I. bill benefits to enrolled students whose school permanently closes after January 1, 2015, effective November 14, 2017; and
- Allows veterans who are National Guard members and Reservists who are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits, to “pause” their eligibility so their time under the VR&E program is not negatively affected while called up for active duty orders. This provision takes effect immediately.
The Veterans Administration Medical Center’s Mobile Outreach Clinic Van generally visits our Post at 46th St & West Ave on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM.
Area veterans are offered primary care services including medical history and physicals, management of acute and chronic illnesses, women’s health and patient education. Ancillary services offered include immunizations and lab services. A social worker is available for assistance with eligibility/enrollment, mental health referrals, and identification of resources available to veterans.
The clinic van is available at a number of other sites as well as our own Post.
The Post 524 contact is Bud O'Donnell, Service Officer. He can be reached at (609) 992-5952 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Walk-in visitations are welcome, but reservations are recommended. To schedule an appointment, photo IDs or questions with enrollment and eligibility call:
Amie Kaba-Roha at (302) 354-8653 or email: Amie.Kaba-Roha@va.gov
For medical questions or prescriptions call:
Mary Tait, RN - (302) 932-3777 or
Nelson Kimemia, LPN - (302) 668-4371
Michele Kuhn, FNP - 302-250-2991
Wilmington Medical Center
1601 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19805
Call 800-461-8262, ext. 4946, 5240, 4218
Wilmington 24/7 Nurse Call Center
Dial 302-994-2511, Select Option #3
Atlantic County Community Based Outpatient Clinic
1909 New Road
Northfield, New Jersey 08225
800-461-8262, ext. 2800 or 2805
Hours of operation: Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The clinic will also be open on alternating Wednesdays until 6:30 p.m.
Northfield also has an Optometry (Eye) Clinic and
can provide fittings for hearing aids.
Cumberland County Community Based Outpatient Clinic
1051 West Sherman Avenue
Building 3, Unit B
Vineland, New Jersey 08360
800-461-8262, ext. 6500 or 6505
Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Vineland has both an Audiology Clinic and Optometry Clinic.
Cape May County Community Based Outpatient Clinic
(Cape May CBOC)
The CMC CBOC is currently located at the United States Coast Guard Station. Efforts are underway to open a new clinic more centrally located in the county. It recommended using the other clinics unless you are a current patient at the USCG Station clinic. Keep in mind, appointments are necessary to enter the base.
SF-180 REQUEST PERTAINING TO MILITARY RECORDS
This form is used to request records that are held by the National Archives and is the one used to request the military service record (DD-214) and
other records held at the center.
The veteran or a legal representative (e.g. next of kin) can make the request.
VA Form 10-10EZ Application for Health Benefits
This form is used by the veteran to file claims.
VA Form 21-22 APPOINTMENT OF VSO AS CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE
This form is used to assign a VA Accredited Service Officer to act as a veteran's agent to assist in filing difficult/appeals claims with the VA.
VA’s Office of Women’s Health Services (WHS) is partnering with the Office of Women's Mental Health to increase awareness about depression as it relates to women Veterans. Today’s woman Veterans could be our sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers or great-grandmothers, with several generations of women veterans in a single family unit. The generational, geographic and culturally diverse cohorts of women Veterans may have unique mental health needs when it comes to seeking help, services and treatment for depression.
VA seeks to increase awareness about depression and help inform women Veterans of information and services available to help them understand, identify and seek treatment for depression. Depression is the most common diagnosis among women Veterans. It goes largely unrecognized. The good news is that it is treatable.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR WOMEN VETERANS
VA offers a full range of mental health services for women Veterans, including outpatient, residential and inpatient services. Women Veterans can call the Women’s Call Center at 855-829-6636, or download and read VA’s Mental Health Guide (see page 17) to learn more about the available services, which include assessment and evaluation, medication management, and individual and group psychotherapy. Specialty services are available to target diagnoses such as PTSD, substance abuse, depression, conditions related to military sexual trauma (MST), and homelessness.
There is always hope and VA can help.
Did you know that you may be able to receive free community-based counseling at one of 300 VA Vet Centers across the country—even if you are not enrolled in VA health care?
Vet Centers provide individual and group counseling, and outreach and referral services to Veterans and active duty Servicemembers who served in any combat zone, area of hostility, experienced a military sexual trauma, or served as part of a drone crew.
Vet Centers are staffed primarily by Veterans, many of them combat Veterans. They can help you and your family with:
Transitioning, readjustment, and issues related to marriage, family, and bereavement.
Referrals to VA health care and benefits, employment, and other community services.
Making connections to other Veterans and support in your community.
To learn more about Vet Centers and to find out which VA benefits you may be eligible for, visit explore.VA.gov.
Watch this video to see how Vet Centers have changed the lives of other Veterans.
Do you have a difficult time getting out of your house because of your physical or medical condition? VA medical staff can come to your home to provide Primary Care instead of you visiting the VA Medical Center or Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).
VA Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) is a unique home care program that provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary, primary care in the homes of Veterans with complex medical, social, and behavioral conditions for whom routine clinic-based care is not effective.
In contrast to other home care systems that target patients with short-term remediable needs and provide episodic, time-limited and focused skilled services, HBPC targets patients with complex, chronic, progressively disabling disease and provides comprehensive, long term home care.
HBPC is designed to serve the chronically ill through the months and years before death, providing primary care, palliative care, rehabilitation, disease management and coordination of care services.
There are four (4) teams that supply VA Home Based Primary Care, depending on where you live in the district. Attached is an overview of the Northfield Team and they can direct you to the team that services your area. Their telephone number is 1-800-461-8262 ext. 2843.
Veterans Who Need Routine Audiology and Optometry Appointments Will Soon Be Able To Directly Schedule Appointments
Veterans receiving care at Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Medical Centers will now be able to schedule routine ear and eye appointments at local VA Audiology and Optometry clinics without a primary care referral – a move that eliminates multiple steps and gets Veterans into appointments quicker. Before now, Veterans seeking appointments with audiologists or optometrists had to first make an appointment with a primary care physician for a referral for a routine clinic consult visit. A clinic representative would contact the patient to set up the consult appointment, which could result in a several weeks’-long lag between the appointment and when the Veteran was actually seen. The new process, the Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling Initiative, which began as a successful pilot at three sites in 2015, is being expanded to all VA Medical Centers.
“The Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling Initiative allows Veterans who need eye and ear care to be seen sooner,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “It also has the benefit of freeing up primary care physicians so access to primary care improves for other Veterans as well. This kind of process improvement is exactly the type of innovation we expected when we launched MyVA in 2014. In the end, we changed a VA process by considering the needs of our Veterans, a change that allows for more timely care and an improved Veteran experience.”
VA has increased salaries for physicians and dentists to close the pay gap with the private sector and to make VA an employer of choice. With more competitive salaries, VA will be better positioned to retain and hire more health care providers to care for Veterans.
“We want our Veterans and those who care for them to know that we are doing everything that we can to improve their experience with VA and to provide the care our Veterans deserve in a thoughtful and timely way,” said VA Under Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin.“We have made progress, but know there is more work to be done. This Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling Initiative is one of many initiatives underway to improve Veterans access to care.”
The Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling Initiative is expected to be fully operational within all VA Medical Centers by the end of 2016.
The Cape May County Clerk's Office records and maintains U.S. Military Honorable Discharge documents (DD214) for veterans. Protect your right to receive veterans benefits by ensuring the security and future access of your military discharge record.
The Cape May County Clerk's Office provides Veteran's Photo Identification Cards to veterans who record their U.S. Military Honorable Discharge document. The Veteran's Photo Identification card may be used to obtain discounts offered by participating merchants/ vendors.
The Cape May County Clerk's Office issues Vendor Licenses to honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, marines, nurses or army field clerks as well as exempt firefighters.
The above link connects to a list of businesses and service providers that have registered with the Cape May County Clerk their discounts and special offers to veterans who show their Cape May County Veteran's Photo Identification Card. This list is not a complete list of all who provide discounts to veterans. It will change frequently and businesses reserve the right to change the offer at any time.
Below are some additional web-sites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file/ask for them.
Homeless Veterans http://www.va.gov/homeless
National Foundation for Women Legislations (www.womenlegislators.org)
Vietnam Women Veterans - Almost ten thousand women were there.
For a list of not only the women who gaves their lives in Vietnam but the start of a complete women's casualty list see: They Gave Their Lives
The Vietnam Womens Memorial Project's new website is at: VWMP