Have you received a suspicious call from an organization claiming to represent or have affiliation with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)? Did the caller guarantee a lucrative payout for your disability compensation or pension claim for a “small fee”?
If so, you may be a target of a scammer. Recently, VA has seen an increase of fraudsters and non-accredited representatives who are targeting the pension benefits of elderly Veterans and their dependents and survivors.
VA is committed to defeating fraudsters, who target elderly Veterans, by educating them, their families, and all partners about the types of fraudulent tactics being used against them, including Pension Poaching.
The scheme often involves financial maneuvers such as advising claimants to hide their assets in trusts or annuity products sometimes resulting in lost investments and lucrative fees paid to the advisor. Pension Poaching is rapidly evolving as a preferred method used by criminals to defraud elderly Veterans, survivors, and their families who are eligible for VA benefits.
To avoid being a victim to these tactics, here are some helpful tips to remember when protecting yourself from fraud:
To report suspected activity, please contact the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) by calling 1-800-488-8244.
You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting : https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/contact
Protecting Veterans’ benefits against fraudulent activity is one of the best things everyone can do to honor them, their service and sacrifice.
‘VetMart Food Pantry’ replenish their supply of food and personal care items for our Veterans and their Families that are in need.
Bring donations to:
Vet Mart - 516-572-6526
2201 Hempstead Turnpike, Bldg Q,
East Meadow, NY
The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing changes to the VA Schedule for Ratings Disabilities
The proposed updates to the rating schedule for these conditions will enable VA to incorporate modern medical data and terminology to provide Veterans with more accurate and consistent decisions.
Veterans who currently receive compensation for a service-connected condition in these body systems will not have their disability rating impacted when the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities is updated.
Updating the rating schedule allows Veterans to receive decisions based on the most current medical knowledge relating to their condition. By incorporating modern medical data in the assessment of disabilities and how they impact earning capacity, Veterans will receive evaluations which more accurately compensate them for their service-connected disabilities.
Proposed updates include:
Thomas J. Murphy Director, Northeast District Performing the Delegable Duties of the Under Secretary for Benefits
From Project 9 Line
Feds to balance budget directly from disabled Veterans pockets The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing changes to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities specifically pertaining to the respiratory & auditory body systems as well as mental disorders. The “savings” from these proposed changes are projected at 100 Billion dollars over the next 10 years. That equals $100,000 directly from 1 Million Veterans pockets. The main conditions affected are Sleep Apnea, Tinnitus, and PTSD.
We only have 1 week left to stop them.
Please alert your network around the country to tell their local congressman that we do not want these changes made. Also, please tell your media contacts the same. Together we can stop them but we must Act now. The VA claims that they will not reduce any current Ratings but it is the VA’s regular practice to periodically reassess disabled veterans who have not sought an increase. If a reassessment occurs, it may be done under the new guidelines and the risk of reduction is most definitely present. This new rating schedule may effect every veteran past, present, and future. The reason for the proposed sleep apnea changes is because many veterans who were exposed to burn pits and/or agent orange (both are dioxin) have developed the condition sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is extremely debilitating and can be fatal. Currently, if a veteran is diagnosed with sleep apnea and is prescribed a CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine they are entitled to 50% service connection. Sleep apnea symptoms include; excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia), depression, anxiety, headaches, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, increased accidents, cardiac issues, loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, morning headache, difficulty staying asleep (insomnia), of inability to concentrate, irritability, snoring, restlessness while sleeping, waking up suddenly after gasping or choking, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, or crankiness, constant need to go pee at night, night sweats as well as it can lead to a stroke.
The VA is proposing to eliminate the 50% threshold verbiage that currently states “the veteran requires the use of a breathing assistance device, such as a CPAP machine” which entitles the veteran to 50% service connection. By removing this verbiage they will effectively eliminate any future applicants from getting the 50% rating for sleep apnea. The VA states “the basis for assignment of evaluation at all of these proposed levels will be the functional impairment caused by sleep apnea, not simply the method of treatment.” Also, the VA claims the “purpose of these changes is to update medical terminology, incorporate medical advances that have occurred since the last review, and provide well- defined criteria in accordance with actual clinical practice.” This is not so, It’s all about the money as shown through the VA projected savings in the VA economic impact study released on January 27, 2022. From said VA economic impact study – “VALUE: VA has determined that there are costs and transfer savings associated with this rule-making. The total transfers savings is $15 billion from FY 2022-2026 and $57.1 billion over a 10-year period from FY 2022-2031.” Most of that savings (40 Billion) is from the proposed sleep apnea ratings changes and Tinnitus removal (15 Billion). The reason for the tinnitus changes is because almost everyone that has served has developed tinnitus. Tinnitus is the most commonly service connected condition. Over 90% of Veteran applicants are granted service connection for tinnitus (over 2 million veterans are service connected for tinnitus) and are paid about $150 per month at the current rate. The VA is proposing to eliminate the 10% rating for tinnitus and combine the symptoms of tinnitus with hearing loss and rate it under hearing loss. The issue is that the threshold for service connection for hearing loss is much more difficulty to achieve. The result of this change will make it extremely difficult for veterans to be compensated for tinnitus and the constant ringing in the ears. Also, in a separate simultaneous proposal, the VA is proposing to change the Rating Schedule for mental health conditions. After review it seems that these changes may be beneficial to veterans but we should all be wary of assuming any benefit from these changes just yet. The definition and interpretation of the new verbiage has yet to be played out. With an estimated savings of 45 Billion over the next 10 years, it appears that the veterans with mental health conditions could be paying the price. Estimated savings based on the VA economic impact study of the proposed changes to the mental health verbiage within the ratings schedule. “Estimated impact: VA has determined that there are costs and transfers associated with this rule making. The total budgetary impact is $18.3 billion from FT 2022-2026 and $45 billion over a 10-year period from FY 2022-2031.” We can not let them make these changes. Please take the time to alert your fellow Americans, fellow veterans, elected officials, and media connections that we do not want these changes made.
Links to VA regulation proposals: https://www.regulations.gov/document/VA-2022-VBA-0009-0001
Writing your specific representatives is easy and takes very little time. All you’ll have to do is these 7 steps.
1. Click on this link or copy and past this url into your browser: https://www.congress.gov/contact-us
2. Click on the box in the middle of the page that says “find address or place” and either click “use current location” or type in your address.
3. After you type and select your address the page directs you to all your members. Each one has their name as a hyperlink. Click on their name.
4. It then brings you to the members profile and a link to their website. Click the link to their website.
5. Each representative has their individual website with a contact option. Click on contact and follow the prompts filling out all boxes with your information.
6. Copy and past the “Call to Action Template” and make sure you fill out your name, amount of tours, name again at the bottom and your email. If you have not served overseas or are a concerned citizen advocating for disabled veterans, then you can simply delete the second sentence of the letter.
7. Please take the time to alert your fellow veterans, concerned citizens, elected officials, and media connections that we do not want these changes made. Disabled veterans stand to lose more than they can bear.
Rain Date To Be Determined.
Call or email to reserve a 10 feet table space. ( Space is Limited, Table is not provided.)
( See flyer on Bulletin Board 1 )