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 Veterans Benefits

  1. Consumer Watch: For vets, it pays to shop around for life insurance

    A 75-year-old veteran wrote in to express frustration that rates for Veterans' Group Life Insurance increased in July for those 70 and older, noting that it's hard to find comparable private-sector coverage at that age.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  2. Report: VA employee took recovering vet to crack house

    Although a Veterans Affairs police officer determined that a Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System employee took a patient to a crack house and helped him buy illegal drugs, the worker is still employed more than a year after the incident.

    • Aug. 18, 2014
  3. Mike Simester stands next to his tractor on his 10-acre farm in Muscatime, Iowa. Gannett

    Veterans look to farming to grow and heal

    Mike Simester had always dreamed of a being a career soldier.

    • Aug. 17, 2014
  4. VA Secretary Bob McDonald visits the Phoenix VA Medical Center on Aug. 9. Veterans Affairs

    VA chief: Firings of workers a deliberate process

    The Veterans Affairs Department is in the process of holding bad employees accountable amid a scandal about long wait times for patients and other problems, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Thursday, but he declined to say how many people were being fired and who they were.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  5. More than a hundred employers and community leaders attend the Fort Bragg Veterans Jobs Summit on Tuesday at Fort Bragg, N.C. The two-day summit is held in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundations Hiring Our Heroes program, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Army. Sara D. Davis/AP Images for U.S. Chamber of Commer

    Vets in workforce ramp up as military gears down

    About 1,200 soldiers were ordered and urged by Fort Bragg brass to prepare Wednesday for their future mission: transition to a civilian job.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  6. VA Secretary Bob McDonald visits the Phoenix VA Medical Center on Aug. 9. Veterans Affairs

    Vets awaiting primary care at VA can now seek private physician

    Veterans waiting for a primary care appointment at a VA medical facility may now be able to get one at a private physician under a program that allows veterans to seek medical treatment outside the Veterans Affairs Department.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  7. VA takes big strides in treating military sex trauma victims

    It was in 1990 that 22-year-old Melissa Davis went to the Veterans Affairs Department office in Houston to seek treatment for depression.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  8. Senate bill calls for research on families of troops exposed to toxins

    More research is needed on the health of the children and grandchildren of troops exposed to environmental pollution and chemicals while they served in the military, several U.S. senators say.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  9. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald, right, meets with DAV national commander Joseph Johnston on Aug. 9 at the DAV 2014 National Convention in Las Vegas. David Becker / AP

    New VA secretary touts fixes to veterans group

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald addressed a veterans group for the first time since taking over the troubled agency last month, calling his plans to fix it 'an opportunity we can't miss nor underestimate.'

    • Aug. 10, 2014
  10. Robert McDonald, testifies before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on July 22, 2014 at his confirmation hearing. Win McNamee/Getty Images

    VA will open scheduling books to outside audit

    Veterans Affairs Department officials will open their scheduling books to outside reviewers in an effort to get an independent assessment of how to fix medical center wait time problems, VA Secretary Bob McDonald said Friday.

    • Aug. 8, 2014
  11. Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson speaks during a press conference during a visit to a Denver veterans hospital, on Wednesday. Gibson said that the VA's scheduling problems and personnel investigations can be cleared up in two years. Brennan Linsley/The Associated Press

    VA executive: Wait times can be fixed in 2 years

    Long wait times for veterans to get health care can be cleared up in two years, along with investigations of employees accused of falsifying data to hide the problem, Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 6, 2014
  12. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald testifies before a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearings to examine his nomination to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 22. The Associated Press

    VA Secretary Robert McDonald coming to Phoenix on Friday

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald is scheduled to visit Phoenix Friday, his first stop at a VA medical center since being nominated and confirmed to the cabinet post last month.

    • Aug. 6, 2014
  13. Post-9/11 GI Bill turns 5

    Seventy years ago, the original GI Bill provided a bridge to the middle class for veterans returning from war who may have otherwise found limited opportunity in the civilian world.

    • Aug. 4, 2014
  14. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., right, and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hold a news conference July 28 to announce that the two committees have struck a deal to reform the Veterans Affairs Department. The measure passed Wednesday 420-5 in the House and 91-3 in the Senate on Thursday. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    $16.3B VA reform bill passes Senate 91-3; Obama expected to sign

    The Senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a $16.3 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill on Thursday night, sending the measure to the White House and giving Congress a legislative victory before the start of its summer break.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  15. U.S. Family Health Plan too costly, watchdog report says

    A popular health care program that serves more than 130,000 military family members and retirees is redundant and should be eliminated, the Government Accountability Office says.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  16. Tricare specifics on infertility coverage

    A. Tricare is picky about what it will and will not cover in this area.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  17. IG: Services contribute to delays in processing VA claims

    Veterans wait months longer than necessary to have their veterans disability benefits processed because of delays in how military officials handle service medical records, according to an audit released Thursday by the Defense Department Inspector General

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  18. Tricare Help: Preauthorization and 'medical necessity'

    Q. We're an active-duty family on Tricare Prime. Our dependent daughter received a referral for surgery.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  19. Where would new VA medical facilities be located?

    Several new Veterans Affairs medical facilities would be opened if a House-Senate compromise bill designed to shorten delays in treating veterans becomes law.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  20. The Department of Veterans Affairs in Phoenix on May 17. Matt York/The Associated Press

    House approves VA health care overhaul

    The House overwhelmingly approved a landmark bill Wednesday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care that have plagued the Veterans Affairs Department for years.

    • Jul. 30, 2014
  21. Groups sue VA over rules on PTSD claims for sexual trauma

    Two advocacy groups are suing the Veterans Affairs Department for what they say are the department's discriminatory practices regarding compensation claims related to service-connected sexual assault.

    • Jul. 30, 2014
  22. Internal VA documents show the depth of fraudulent scheduling, manipulation of data and in some cases, intimidation of staff, to hide delays in medical care to veterans in the 6-million patient national system, according to documents provided to USA Today. Ross D. Franklin / AP

    VA manipulated vets' appointment data, audit finds

    Internal VA documents show the depth of fraudulent scheduling, manipulation of data and in some cases intimidation of staff to hide delays in medical care to veterans in the 6-million patient national system.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  23. VA seeks to improve services, care for female vets

    The rising ranks of servicewomen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade has changed the nature of care needed at the Veterans Affairs Department — but the system has yet to fully adapt, advocates say.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  24. Robert McDonald holds up a copy of the Veterans Affairs Strategic Plan Framework while testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on July 22. Win McNamee/Getty Images

    McDonald confirmed as new VA secretary

    It's been a quick courtship for Bob McDonald — and there will be no honeymoon.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  25. Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, accompanied by House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., speaks during a July 28 news conference on Capitol Hill. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    VA reform bill to get vote this week

    In a dramatic legislative turnaround, the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees on Monday unveiled plans for a $17 billion compromise VA reform bill that funds the hiring of more clinicians, expands private care options and makes i

    • Jul. 28, 2014
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