VFW National Patriot's Pen Competition Winners Announced

Today, Susan Wilson, Programs Coordinator for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, announced the 2012-2013 Patriot's Pen winners. They are:

1st Place - Mariessa McKenna is the winner of the $5,000 North End Post 144, Paul A. Spera Past Commander-in-Chief Award for writing the First Place winning essay in the organization’s National Patriot’s Pen Competition. Mariessa is an 8th grade student. Mariessa was sponsored by VFW Post 8065 and Ladies Auxiliary in Bowie, Maryland. (First place winner will receive her award during the Parade of Winners in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 2013)

Navigating Veterans' Benefits meeting held at Benedictine University

Please see the attached flyer for more information

Monday, January 28, 2013 • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Krasa Student Center

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Benedictine University Student Veterans Club (SSAMCO) invite you to find answers to the most frequently asked questions about veterans’ benefits, such as:

• Disability and health coverage.
• Eligibility and entitlement.
• Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, Montgomery G.I. Bill

Illinois Department E-Newsletter

This is the January 2013 VFW Department of Illinois E-Newsletter.

If you have (or know someone who has had) a service-connected TBI...

To all Veterans, their families or friends:

With the turning of the new year, we start to think again about all the things we should be doing and haven't gotten around to doing yet. For a lot of veterans, this could involve getting help from a local veteran's organization or the VA for TBI. It's easy to look at what is involved in requesting help and saying to ourselves, "It just isn't worth it."

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

From the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs

On behalf of IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia, I want to direct your attention to an extremely worthwhile career building opportunity for returning servicemembers and military veterans. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Midwest Energy Alliance is hosting a free Building Operator Certification (BOC) program this spring semester explicitly designed for job-seeking veterans, and there are only 10 seats remaining.

From the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs

On behalf of IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia, I want to direct your attention to an extremely worthwhile career building opportunity for returning servicemembers and military veterans. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Midwest Energy Alliance is hosting a free Building Operator Certification (BOC) program this spring semester explicitly designed for job-seeking veterans, and there are only 10 seats remaining.

Revised Fully Developed Claim Procedures

The “EZ” forms have been revised as well as the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) procedures. These new procedures will be followed when the veteran uses the new August 2011 VAF 21-526EZ. The Fast Letter and the new forms explain the differences between the FDC process and the standard claim process, to include what the claimant needs to do and when the claimant should submit information and evidence. The new VAF 21-527EZ and VAF 21-534EZ will be available soon.

VA releases newly updated Agent Orange ship list

This month, seventy two (72) more ships have been added to VA’s Agent Orange ship list. To review the newly updated ship list go to:
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/list.asp
Note: DSO’s should review pending Blue Water navy claims to see if any can be resolved with this new information.

Pension rate for some married veterans increases

Pension rate for certain married veterans increases Veterans married to veterans who both are in receipt of or entitled to pension at the aid and attendance rate are now entitled to an increased rate of maximum annual pension rate, $32,433, increased from $30,480. This increase is effective with running awards and claims pending on or received after August 6, 2012.

Emergency Housing Assistance for Veterans Affected by Sandy

VA is offering emergency housing assistance to veterans, service members, their families, and survivors displaced from their primary dwelling following a FEMA-declared natural disaster. VA will offer VA-owned properties to displaced persons as a temporary rental property. Persons affected should immediately contact FEMA and begin the disaster application process online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling (800) 621-3362. To establish their potential eligibility for the program contact Scott Hiatt (scott.hiatt@va.gov).

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