The VA will be issuing new cards for Veterans beginning in April. Called the VHIC (Veteran’s Health Identification Card), these new cards will be replacing the Veteran Identification Card (VIC) which was introduced in 2004. All Veterans who are enrolled and have the old card should have their new replacement cards by July.
The VHIC is distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. In order to promote more security, the veteran’s social security number and date of birth were removed from the barcode and magnetic strip. The VHIC is for use in VA medical facilities and does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA medical facilities.
Chairman Sanders Vows to Continue Fight
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders pledged to continue to fight for passage of a comprehensive veterans’ bill. The largest piece of veterans legislation in decades was rejected February 27th, 2014, by the Senate on a procedural issue after proponents failed to obtain the 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive. Included in that bill was a provision to extend a successful job training program due to expire at the end of March.
In a short term reprieve, the White House announced on March 5, 2014, a three month extension program so veterans that were already enrolled could complete spring semester courses.
Also on March 5, Sanders chaired a joint Senate and House hearing to take testimony from the leaders of Veterans of Foreign Wars voicing support for the bill and specifically for extending the jobs program.
Care and Benefits for Veterans strengthened by $164billion VA budget
In a continuing effort to transform the VA into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5% increase over fiscal year 2014. This budget is intended to support the VA’s goals to expand heath care and other benefits, eliminate the disability backlog, and work towards ending homelessness among Veterans. The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for health care, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs, especially disability compensation and pensions for veterans.
VA names two new National Cemeteries in Florida
The VA has announced the names of two new VA national cemeteries planned in Florida—The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor and the Tallahassee National Cemetery in Tallahassee.
Veterans receive mobile health care
A mobile health care clinic from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provided medical care for Veterans during an event held in Reading, PA ., this past weekend. The clinic helped provide basic medical services to veterans during a Military Veterans Stand Down at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on March 6-8. Other services included food, clothing, career resources and VA benefits counseling.
Jim Ninehouser, a Navy veteran, is the driver and administrator for the Mobile Health Clinic that is based out of Clarkesburg, VA. The mobile clinic is also capable of providing more advanced services like X-rays and electrocardiograms.
Veterans Go For the Gold in Sochi Paralympics
The Paralympic Games kicked off in Sochi on March 7, 2014, and the U.S. team features a higher number of military veterans and active service members than ever.
Eighteen of the 80 athletes representing the U.S. are either military veterans or active duty service members. Included are former Air Force, Army, Marine, Navy and Coast Guard members.