Archives for posts with tag: veterans pension

In honor of Veterans Day, I am re-posting a memo from the Social Security Administration…

Every Veterans Day, the nation honors the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect our country and the freedoms we cherish. Social Security honors veterans and active duty members of the military every day by giving them the support they deserve. A vital part of that is administering the Social Security disability program.

For those who return home with injuries, Social Security is a resource they can turn to for disability benefits. Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website is at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

The Wounded Warriors website has answers to many commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. Benefits available through Social Security are different from those available from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application.

The expedited process is available to military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.

Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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Timely re-post from the Social Security Administration as we approach Memorial Day…

“Traditionally, on Memorial Day we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

The unexpected loss of a service member is a difficult experience for the family. Social Security helps by providing benefits to protect service members’ dependents. Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits.

It’s also important to recognize those service members who are still with us, especially those who have been wounded. Just as they served us, we have the obligation to serve them. Social Security has benefits to protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty.

Wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their disability claims. For example, Social Security will provide expedited processing of disability claims filed by veterans who have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T). Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel, including dependent children and, in some cases, spouses, may be eligible to receive benefits.

Service members can also receive Social Security in addition to military retirement benefits. The good news is that your military retirement benefit does not reduce your Social Security retirement benefit.

Service members are also eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you have health insurance from the VA or under the TRICARE or CHAMPVA programs, your health benefits may change, or end, when you become eligible for Medicare.”

You can learn more about Social Security survivors benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

Location: Hingham Council on Aging, 224 Central St., Hingham, MA 02043

Date: 11am – 2pm, Friday, November 6th, 2015.

Event: “4th Annual…Informed Aging & Your Future” seminar will feature a panel of 8 elder specialists representing industries that cater to and provide professional services for the elderly and their families. Panelists from health care, legal, financial, domestic, and life-care planning arenas will be on hand to present information on the “industry of aging”, and shed light on the myriad of decisions confronted by seniors as they age in place. Topics include: estate planning, financial resources for home assistance, legal, assisted living options, medical care/end of life, and more.

No cost for entry. Event is free and all are welcome, regardless of whether they reside in Hingham or not. Lunch will be provided free of charge.

To register, please call:
Hingham Council on Aging
224 Central St
Hingham, MA 02043-2745
(781) 741-1458

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, former Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary, Eric Shinseki, directed Veterans Health Administration (VHA) leadership to personally review their processes to ensure the VA is doing everything possible to schedule Veterans for their appointments.

Veterans Affairs has subsequently redoubled its efforts to provide quality care to Veterans and has taken steps at national and local levels to ensure timely access to care. The Veterans Health Administration has developed the Accelerating Care Initiative (ACI), a coordinated, system-wide initiative to accelerate care to Veterans. This action was promptly communicated to administrative leadership in the field on May 22, 2014. The implementation was launched the following day, on the morning of May 23rd.

The Accelerating Care Initiative allows VA providers to utilize non-VA medical care for eligible Veterans when the VA medical center cannot provide the care due to unavailability of the service because of a lack of timely capacity and/or capability. The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen access to care in the VA system, while also ensuring flexibility to use private sector care when needed in accordance with VA guidelines.

For additional information and details, see: http://www.nonvacare.va.gov/

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

Many Veterans returning from war time service suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Consider these facts:

— More than 2 million men and women have served in the military since 2001 during our nation’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
— 37,000 Massachusetts men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, including branches of National Guard and Reservists.
— Approximately half of these enlisted veterans are deployed more than once, and many more than five times.
— There are many, many more current service members with families than in our nation’s past.

Symptoms of combat stress can occur anytime after returning home, and if the symptoms don’t go away, it’s important for individual service men and women to seek help. Do you know a veteran, or family friend, with behavioral symptoms which may include: difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, fatigue, constantly feeling on alert, feeling numb, feeling irritable, avoiding people and places that are stressful? Are they showcasing signs of memory problems, lack of concentration, and general anxiety?

As our veterans return to their communities following service deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, they attempt to adjust to a new and different civilian life. For many veterans and families, there is a medical need for clinical care, counselling, and support services in order to deal with the invisible wounds of war.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

Most people return from war, and with time and support from family and friends, readjust. But everyone is different. How do you know when things are going in the wrong direction, and when you or someone you care about needs some help?

Veterans may feel overwhelmed with their inner thoughts, and have difficulty controlling their emotions. You may feel as if you are always on alert, jumpy and easily startled. You may have difficulty concentrating at school or at work. You might start to avoid crowds, public places, even family gatherings or any situation that makes you feel anxious. You may be anxious, irritable or quick tempered with family or friends. Some people get angry or very impatient with family members over little things like decision-making. After all, when you are in combat, decisions are made quickly without discussion. It’s a big adjustment to stay calm when your teenager is arguing about using the car or your six-year old is refusing to brush his teeth before school.

Intense feelings of guilt or fear are common—but so is the opposite extreme. Veterans dealing with post traumatic stress may feel numb, and find that it’s hard to trust others, or enjoy all the people and life activities previously experienced. Traumatic stress has changed the emotional balance in many Veterans.

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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

For anyone who has known a returning wartime veteran in recent years, there is an awareness and great concern over the condition known as “post traumatic stress disorder”. Veterans young and old, male and female, who are subjected to the stress of combat can experience great difficulty in the process of re-adjustment to civilian life. And many are forced to deal with an “invisible wound.”

Coming home after a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan is challenging for everyone, and most service members and veterans will experience some signs of stress. But for many people, symptoms of combat stress get worse. For some, signs of combat stress or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may not appear for several months after they come home.

    Veterans and family members are affected.

It is estimated that one in three returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are vulnerable to post combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI), which are the result of exposure to explosions in the war theater which produce blast fields and blast waves which affect the biological functions of the body.

Post traumatic stress disorder, or combat stress, are terms used to describe the conditions which affects hundreds of thousands of veterans. Many military personnel returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grapple with combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury. This is normal…it is the human body’s reaction to a traumatic event. But our veterans need professional, medical help to live a normal, healthy life.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

In the United States, people do a lot to recognize and honor the heroes who serve(d) in the Armed Forces and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. July is an appropriate month to recognize veterans and wounded warriors, as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

On July 12, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a measure to award the U.S. Medal of Honor “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.” According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, since that time a total of 3,487 medals have been awarded.

Also in July, way back in 1930, Congress signed a bill to authorize the President to issue an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration, or VA. President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order to create the Veterans Administration on July 21st of that same year.

As a friend of mine continually reminds all those within earshot…”Freedom is not Free.” It comes at a cost to military men, women, and families. When you see a veteran, say “thank you”.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

Information worthy of reflection and personal engagement…I am forwarding a portion of a note from the Veterans Administration:

Perhaps the greatest value of a life is to spend it for something that lives after it. On Memorial Day, we honor and remember more than a million Veterans who lost their lives on our behalf to defend our Nation. We also thank their families who supported them and helped make it possible to have the freedoms we enjoy today.

A little background and history: Just a few years after the Civil War ended, “Decoration Day” was established (originally celebrated on May 30th) with the purpose of decorating the graves with flowers of those who died in war. In 1868, Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), admonished: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.” In 1966, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday.

In December 2000, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” Public Law (P.L.) 106-579, was signed into law, to ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten. As a result of this law, all Americans are encouraged to give something back to our country. Additionally, we are encouraged to pause wherever we are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the Nation. We hope you will join us as we remember and honor our Veterans.

Thank you for sharing in our pursuit to accomplish the mission given us by President Abraham Lincoln “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan”. Today, due to medical advances, more of our Veterans return home, but require great care. Thanks to your support and partnership, we are able to serve the needs of more of these valiant men and women.

As we notice the flowers blooming around us this season, may we be reminded of the sacrifice our Veterans made to secure a better life for each of us.

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Author Note: Many volunteers and veterans in all our towns will be honoring veterans with gravesite flowers this weekend. If you are interested in volunteering to help, please contact your local Veteran Services Officer (usually can be reached at your local town hall.)

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

The Veterans Administration provides financial benefits in the form of tax-free compensation, and lifetime pensions, to eligible Veterans – in some cases, including surviving spouses. In previous posts, we have reviewed the characteristics, coverage components, and rating structure of disability compensation for Veterans injured while in service. Below please note the details concerning eligibility for disability consideration.

Eligibility:
To be considered eligible to receive disability compensation, the Veteran must have: 1.) Served in the uniformed services on active duty; or on active duty for training; or inactive duty training. 2.) Have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. And, 3.) The Veteran was (at minimum) 10% disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred in or aggravated during active duty or active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

Evidence Required:
The VA will require medical evidence of a current physical or mental disability. This will necessitate the involvement of a primary physician, or a VA physician. In addition, evidence is required as to the relationship between your disability and an injury, disease, or event in military service. (As previously noted, certain conditions including engagement in Vietnam have been universally approved.) Medical records or medical opinions are needed to establish this relationship.

To review benefit ratings for eligible Veterans and families, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/

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– John D. Miller is the owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com