This week the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will NOT appeal the Procopio v. Wilkie Decision. This decision extends the presumption for VA disability claims to the Blue Water Navy veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam and who were exposed to toxic chemical defoliants during the Vietnam conflict.
In January 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C., in a 9-2 decision extended presumptive VA disability benefits to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans who were exposed to toxic chemical defoliants. The DOJ had until June 28, 2019 to decide if it wanted to appeal the decision. The FRA is listed as a "friend of the court" by the petitioner Blue Water Navy Veteran, Mr. Procopio.
The FRA wants to thank Shipmates that weighed in on this issue through the FRA Action Center. The association still supports the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (H.R.299 & S.1195) that will ensure that the VA interrupts Procopio correctly and expands presumption for certain Korean veterans and benefits to children with spina bifida with at least one parent who served in Thailand.
Did You Know? - Congress designates TAPS as "National Song of Remembrance - The 2013 Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed by the President includes a "sense of Congress" resolution that "TAPS" should be the official national song. The origins of “Taps” is not known, but a resolution passed by the House says it was created in 1862 by a Union general, Daniel Butterfield, and a bugler, Oliver Willcox Norton, as a signal to mark the end of military activities for the day. It is similar to a melody played by British troops at funerals.
State Veteran's Benefits Directory - Each state manages its own benefit programs. The following is a list of links to the websites for each of the individual states that offer veterans benefits. Be sure to take advantage of the benefits you have earned by clicking on the link to your State Department of Veterans Affairs. See what benefits Virginia offers.
View the Virginia Veterans Resource Guide by clicking here.
Veterans' Medallion Available for Order - New Option for Marking Veterans' Graves in Private Cemeteries - The Department of Veterans Affairs is making available a new medallion to be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased's status as a veteran. If requested, the medallion will be furnished in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or marker for veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990, and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. The medallion is currently available in three sizes, 5 inches, 3 inches, and 1½ inches. Each medallion will be inscribed with the word VETERAN across the top and the Branch of Service at the bottom. Appropriate affixing adhesive, instructions and hardware will be provided with the medallion -
see more information at http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmtype.asp.
Special Extra Earnings for Military Service - Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security. Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit. Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for inactive duty training.
If your active military service occurred from 1957 through 1967, the IRS will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits. From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.
The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. Here's how the special extra earnings are credited on your record:
Service in 1957 Through 1977 - You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
Service in 1978 through 2001 - For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details. For more information, please visit http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/military.htm.
Various medical supplies and appliances are available at the Legion Post. They include bed pans, walkers, crutches, canes, wheel chairs, elevated toilet seats, tub grips, hospital beds, and other items. The American Legion will temporarily load these items to anyone. If you have a need call the Post Home at 336-9749 between noon and 9 pm.
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