NMPMA Veterans Service Officer
Mr. Robert Lewis
The Montford Point Marine Association, Inc. Veterans Service Officer assists veterans and their dependents with applications for compensation, pensions, hospitalization and other benefits through an intake process that includes information and referral services.
The Veterans Service Officer and services works with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other nationally chartered veterans service organizations to ensure that veterans, their dependents and survivors receive their richly deserved entitlements.
Services offered by the Veterans Services Office include the following:
Informs veterans, dependents, and survivors of their eligibility for benefits payable through the Department of Veterans Affairs
Assists in obtaining addresses for benefits payable through Social Security Administration or other government agencies
Completes forms for benefits that may be payable through the Department of Veterans Affairs
Completes forms and notifies the appropriate branch of service of the death of a retiree
Informs survivors of procedures regarding military benefits
Obtains supporting documents for claims by veterans, their spouses and dependents
The MPMA Veterans Services Officer and its affiliates are advocates for veterans and their dependents. We provide assistance to veterans and their dependents regarding compensation, pension, medical, educational, insurance, and death benefits. We also assist veterans and their dependents in obtaining important documentation needed to apply for benefits.
Because of the nature of the services, an appointment is required. Please contact your local Chapter VSO or visit your local area state Veterans office website link below to get assistance or make an appointment. If you need assistance contact Mr. Robert Lewis via email.
In the Spotlight
Can I Get Travel Costs for VA Health Care?
Many Veterans can be reimbursed for travel costs related to VA health care services.
The Beneficiary Travel program helps eligible Veterans receive mileage reimbursement. In some cases, it can pay for the costs of an ambulance or a wheel chair van. When a privately-owned vehicle is not reasonably accessible or travel by a common carrier such as a plane, train, bus, taxi, or light rail is medically necessary, Veterans may be reimbursed. The transportation is to help Veterans get to and from their VA health care facility, or to VA-authorized non-VA health care for which the Veteran is eligible. Veterans may apply for travel reimbursement by completing VA Form 10-3542 (Veteran/Beneficiary Claim for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses). Veterans usually receive payments from electronic fund transfers to a bank account or a debit card.
GI Bill Reform Package to Benefit Thousands
H.R.3218 - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017
115th Congress (2017-2018)
VA Press Releases
Veterans Affairs Media Summary and News Clips
13 January 2016
One Hundred Fourteenth Congress
United States of America
AT THE FIRST SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the sixth day of January, two thousand and fifteen
To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide leave to any new Federal employee who is a
veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more for purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability, and for other
‘‘§ 6329. Disabled veteran leave‘‘(a) During the 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment, any employee who is a veteran with a service connected disability rated at 30 percent or more is entitled to leave, without loss or reduction in pay, for purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability for which sick leave could regularly be used.
READ FULL ACT
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it plans to propose expanded
disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine
Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Military and Veteran Benefits
Beneficiary Rx Co-Pays Would Climb for a Decade
Apr 19, 2013
Rahm Emanuel, while serving as President Obama’s first chief of staff, once advised not to let a “crisis go to waste” because that’s when politicians will do things they otherwise wouldn’t.
Defense officials seem to have taken that advice to heart amid the current debt crisis with their plan to boost co-payments on military family members and retirees who use TRICARE retail and mail order pharmacies.
For starters, the current $17 co-pay collected at retail outlets for 30-day prescriptions of brand name drugs found on the military formulary would jump to $26 on Oct. 1, start of the new fiscal year. The retail co-pay then would be increased by $2 every October through 2017 and possibly for five years longer because budget document refers to a 10-year phase-in plan.
Also on Oct. 1, if Congress allows, brand name drugs not on the military-approved formulary would become unavailable using TRICARE at neighborhood drug outlets except on a very limited basis.
Since last year beneficiaries have faced a co-pay of $44 to get a non-formulary drug at retail. Under the administration’s new plan, non-formulary drugs would have to be obtained by mail order. And that co-pay, for a three-month supply of pills, would be raised from $43 to $51 this fall and would see annual increases thereafter to reach $66 by fall 2017.
Meanwhile, the co-pay for formulary brand drugs via mail order would double from $13 to $26 this October and increase by $2 to $4 annually to reach $34 by fall 2017. Again, budget documents suggest five more years of phased-in increases beyond 2017 though specific co-pays aren’t shown.
Beneficiaries could continue to have prescriptions filled for free at base pharmacies, and generic drugs would be filled at no charge by mail until 2017 when co-pays would begin at $9 per 90-day supply. The current $5 co-pay for generic drugs at retail outlets would be increased by $1 a year starting in October 2014.
Last year’s defense authorization bill had allowed some increases in drug co-pays at retail and mail order. Congress also authorized the department to begin a pilot program that will require TRICARE for Life beneficiaries -- retirees and family members 65 or older -- to obtain all of their maintenance drugs by mail order for at least one year starting this fall.
The new plan would shelve the pilot and require all retirees and family members, regardless of age, to use mail order or base pharmacies for drugs to control chronic conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Congress can block these proposals, support them all or reach a compromise. They are part of a larger TRICARE reform package that, as described here last week, also calls for higher out-of-pocket costs to beneficiaries using TRICARE Prime, Extra, Standard or TRICARE for Life.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs, defended the TRICARE increases during hearings over the past week on the fiscal 2014 defense budget request held by the House and Senate armed services and appropriations committees.
Hagel noted that survivors of service members who die on active duty and medically retired members would be spared any TRICARE increases. Also, if Congress adopts these changes, said Hagel, a former enlisted combat veteran of the Vietnam War, TRICARE “will still remain a very substantial benefit. These adjustments to pay and benefits were among the most carefully considered and most difficult choices in the budget.”
Hagel noted that raising TRICARE fees has the “strong support” of the joint chiefs and senior enlisted leaders because they know that “to sustain these benefits over the long term, without dramatically reducing the size or readiness of the force, these rising costs need to be brought under control.”
Earlier efforts to hike beneficiary health costs or take other controversial cost-saving actions “met fierce political resistance and were not implemented,” Hagel said. “We are now in a completely different fiscal environment, dealing with new realities that will force us to more fully confront these tough and painful choices, and to make the reforms we need to put this department on the path to sustain…military strength for the 21st Century.”
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), chairman of the House armed services subcommittee on military personnel, has been part of the fierce resistance. Last week, with Hagel and Dempsey, he sounded like he would be again.
Wilson challenged their arguments that the $49 billion-a-year military health care account is unsustainable, pointing to a $500 million surplus reported in 2011 and $709 million last year. And Defense health costs grew by less than one percent in fiscal 2013, Wilson said.
“My concern is that we know this is a great program. TRICARE people are very satisfied. Military families appreciate this benefit. Commitments have been made to our veterans and to military families,” Wilson said. “Why would we be increasing fees when, in fact, the program is working well?”
Hagel responded that despite recent surpluses, the health care benefit over the long term is unaffordable unless beneficiaries pay more.
Robert Hale, the Defense Department comptroller, warned Wilson that if Congress again rejects higher TRICARE fees and co-pays, the projected savings of $1 billion in fiscal 2014 would have to come “out of readiness or modernization” accounts. Hagel, Dempsey and the service chiefs, Hale said, “feel strongly [that] the right thing to do is a balanced approach to meeting our defense needs with some modest increases in [TRICARE] fees.”
Dempsey added later that he speaks often to service members and families who ask why pay raises have to slow or tuition assistance might be cut or TRICARE fees need to be raised in this tight budget environment.
“The answer is unless we look across the board at all the levers we have to pull, whether its infrastructure, healthcare, pay and compensation, tuition assistance, we’ll have an extraordinarily well-compensated force that will be sitting at Fort Hood, Texas, or at Camp Lejeune, [N.C.] unable to train” for lack of funds. “And therefore we will be putting them at risk.”
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On March 15, 2013 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released its "Chapter A: Summary and Findings" water modeling report for the Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard Water Treatment Plants and Vicinities for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. ( http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/hadnotpoint.html). You will receive a hard copy of the ATSDR fact sheet and other information in the mail in the coming weeks.
This report provides ATSDR's assessment of past exposures to a class of chemicals known as "volatile organic compounds" (VOCs) in the drinking water distributed by these two Camp Lejeune water treatment systems. These VOCs were commonly used as solvents for cleaning machinery and weapons, for dry cleaning, and some are found in fuels.
ATSDR's water modeling estimates that the first month any VOC exceeded the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory standards in drinking water in the Hadnot Point system was August 1953, and at least one VOC exceeded the current standard in Hadnot Point drinking water from August 1953 through January 1985.
This release marks a major milestone towards the completion of scientific efforts pertaining to this issue and another step in ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive science-based answers to the health questions that have been raised. ATSDR will use these results and the results of a similar water model developed for the Tarawa Terrace area in 2007 to estimate chemical exposures for several of their on-going health studies.
Since 1991, the Marine Corps has supported scientific and public health organizations that are studying these issues. We continue to support these initiatives and are working diligently to identify and notify individuals who, in the past, may have been exposed to the chemicals in drinking water. For more information about these efforts, or to update your contact information, please see: http://www.marines.mil/clwater/, call (877) 261-9782 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the complete report and for information about studies being conducted by ATSDR, visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/ or call (800) 232-4636.
To contact Veterans Affairs to learn more about the health care benefits, please visit http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/ or call (877) 222-8387 (Healthcare) or (800) 827-1000 (Benefits).
The Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water Program
State and County Veterans Service Officers
County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO), employed by their respective states, are professionals who know their way around the VA system and can assist veterans and their families in a number of ways. County Services Offices may assist you with compensation/pensions, medical care, military records, grave markers and veteran home loans. Some counties may also have dedicated funds to assist you with temporary shelter/utilities, food/health supplies, medical/dental, job placement, counseling, and transportation.