News Blog

LVMAC Tidbits

Understanding Travel Reimbursement for VHA Health Care

We have had a number of inquiries regarding VA travel reimbursement.  The information sheet provided below should answer most questions.

1.  PURPOSE:    To explain travel reimbursement for VHA health care as it applies to veterans and their families.



Speaker:  On 17 August, BG (PA) Michael Gould, the Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs in the Commonwealth, spoke to the council.  He explained that most states have a Secretary of Veterans Affairs but in this state the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has the responsibility.  He is one of three deputies and serves at the pleasure of the Governor, though he sees his responsibility is in serving first the veterans.

His Office of Veterans Affairs is primarily consumed with the operation of six state veterans homes, requiring some 1800 employees.  Its other functional responsibilities, in comparison, are relatively small.  For example, the Office of Veterans Affairs has three small field offices of veterans service officers located in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Ft. Indiantown Gap which file VA claims on behalf of veterans and work in confederation with the County Directors of Veterans Affairs.

This does not mean he is not busy.  He has an open door policy for any veteran and has traveled approximately 63,000 miles on veterans business in the last year.

General Gould pointed out that his office manages six benefits programs, such as a paralyzed veteran pension and an emergency assistance fund, to the tune of $1 million but these touch only 1 to 2 per cent of the state’s veterans and as constituted are mostly redundant, considering the federal programs available for the same purposes.

He believes changes are necessary in his office (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — Review of Medical Separations

DoD Physical Disability Board of Review is Reviewing Medical Retirement Ratings

Share this with the younger veterans you encounter. It may be old news, but it is worth repeating.

Roughly 70,000 vet­er­ans rated at less than 30% disability and given a  med­ical sep­a­ra­tion between Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 and Decem­ber 31, 2009 now have the chance to get their sep­a­ra­tions reviewed and pos­si­bly upgraded to a “med­ical retire­ment” status.  This could mean thou­sands in added ben­e­fits for dis­abled vet­er­ans who were orig­i­nally denied a mil­i­tary retire­ment.  The review is being con­ducted by the Phys­i­cal Dis­abil­ity Board of Review.  It will exam­ine each applicant’s med­ical sep­a­ra­tion records and make a rec­om­men­da­tion to the respec­tive  Ser­vice Sec­re­tary based on its find­ings. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

VA Creates Office of Economic Opportunity

The Vietnam Veterans of America’s (VVA) Newsletter of July/August 2011 reports it has long pressed for the creation of  a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration, a fourth administration under the Department of Veterans Affairs — the others being the Veterans Benefits, Veterans Health, and National Cemetery Administrations.  The Department of Veterans Affairs has now created an Office of Economic Opportunity. The education, home loan guarantee, vocational rehabilitation programs are now to be under one roof. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

VA Rolls Out 2011 Edition of Its “Primer” Handbook

Although not available yet in printed form,  the 2011 edition of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors  handbook is now available online at (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

Vet Cards and Discount Programs

We have had several queries about “Vet Cards” in relation to discount programs offered by various businesses in the Lehigh Valley. Currently no such thing as an official “Vet Card” exists locally. Also, misunderstandings of the policies of various businesses which offer discounts abound. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

VVA Is Looking for “Volunteers” of Chem-Bio Testing

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) organization is a plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to illuminate the long-term harm done to service members who “volunteered” for testing of chemical and biological agents at Edgewood Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from the 1950s through the 1970s. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

Lejeune Update … Depression Hits Older Veterans … Latest Agent Orange Info … HIV Test encouraged

Vet Toxic Exposure … Lejeune:  A Senate bill (S.277) (Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011) would make it easier for veterans and their families affected by contaminated water aboard base to receive medical assistance.  It has the support of 22 National and state organizations.  It is NC senators who introduced the bill.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 500,000 people may have been exposed in the 30-year period from 1957 to 1987 to a host of toxic chemicals, including known human carcinogens benzene and vinyl chloride, as well as drying cleaning solvents and degreasers.  It’s the largest DoD environmental contamination on record. (more…)


Speaker:  Ann Friedenheim, Clinical Supervisor for Confront Services, Treatment Trends, Inc. spoke about a new program to be launched by Treatment Trends and called, “Supporting the Homefront: Educational Footing for Families of Veterans and Active Duty Men and Women.”

After three years of planning and effort, (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits

Reminder: Veterans Sanctuary is now open for business Veterans Sanctuary is accepting referrals as of  July 11, 2011.  Veterans Sanctuary offers moderate to long term (Level 3B – 3C) inpatient – non- hospital treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders (including Read more…