Are you deploying?  Help yourself and your buddies with future VA claims by taking pictures of each other with your weapons and near signs.  For example, if you're stationed near a chemical plant, take a photo with the sign.  If something unusual or traumatic happens, make notes for each other as "buddy statements."  Keep notes or a diary while deployed.  It can take years for symptoms to show, including PTSD. Keep a copy of these photos, notes, and your Orders together.  This documentation will make your claim process easier.

A "Buddy  Statement" should include the following information:

  • Your name
  • How you know the veteran
  • What you noticed of the condition before and/or during military service
  • What you noticed soon after the event or upon getting out of the military.

 

Note: Dates are the date we published the information to our Facebook page, not the date of the information.


Medical Care Information

  • 16 March 2020: There are several Urgent Care facilities in the St Joseph, MO area who can provide free service for veterans enrolled in VA Health Care. You just need to show your VA medical ID card. This web page will help you locate an Urgent Care near you.
  • 26 February 2020: New challenges appear with age. Those challenges can make the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) more noticeable, cause them to come back after many years or even to occur for the first time.
  • 19 February 2020:  Pentagon officials on Wednesday released a list of military treatment facilities and clinics that will no longer provide care to military retirees and active-duty families as part of a shift in focus to supporting active-duty readiness. Both Ft Leavenworth and Ft Riley made the list for some changes.
  • 19 December 2019: The Senate overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 86-8 on Tuesday. This will allow service members who have been victims of negligent medical care to finally be allowed to hold the government accountable. The measure allocates $400 million to the Dept. of Defense to investigate and pay out military medical malpractice claims internally. It will provide a measure of justice to service members and their families that has previously been denied.
  • 4 November 2019: Although any retired or honorably discharged veteran can file for service connected disabilities, only those with disabilities or a lower income qualify for health care. Check this site to see if you qualify financially.


Compensation (Disability) Information

  • 11 September 2020: VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits provide monthly payments added to the amount of a monthly VA pension for qualified Veterans and survivors. If you need help with daily activities, or you’re housebound, find out if you qualify.
  • 7 September 2020: If you are working on a VA claim, or are interested in veterans supporting veterans please consider joining this Facebook group. It includes great information as well as a safe place for veterans to talk. The administrator is a Veteran Service Officer who monitors comments to keep it a safe place.
  • 2 September 2020:  The VA is bringing virtual hearings to Veterans who have disagreed with the decision VA made on a compensation claim and who have appealed the decision to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA, “the Board”).
    If you have a cell phone, computer or tablet with Wi-Fi, you can have a virtual BVA hearing anywhere with a Veterans Law Judge (VLJ)!
  • 2 September 2020:  To support those who support our Veterans, the VA's Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is expanding in October 2020 to include: eligible WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans, eligible Veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 70% or higher, and access to financial planning and legal services. And all Caregivers have access to many supportive resources, such as workshops, a Support Line, and Peer Support Mentoring. Apply after the official launch of the expanded Program. Stay tuned for a VA announcement in mid-September.
  • 6 August 2020: Here is a great short video if you have a Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exam coming up:  Common Mistakes Attending the C&P Exam
  • 10 May 2020: If you were deployed to Uzbekistan from October 2001 to 2005, you have probably been exposed to many toxins, including radioactive processed uranium, chemical weapons remnants and underground pools of fuel and solvents that broke through the soil in a "black goo."  Read this article for additional information, and contact a Veteran Service Officer to begin your claim.
  • 26 March 2020: If your claim is at the Board of Veteran's Appeals, they are still working and allowing video hearings. The Board will Advance on Docket (AOD) appeals for Veterans who have been diagnosed with COVID-19; check this site to find out how to file for AOD and what documentation is required.
  • 18 March 2020: The VA Benefits Offices will be closed to the public as of March 19. They will continue to work on claims, but will no longer accept walk-ins or scheduled appointments for claims assistance. You can continue to check your claim status on the VA web site (www.va.gov) or call 1-800-827-1000.
  • 10 March 2020: The Keeping Our Promises Act, introduced in April 2019, adds prostate cancer, bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, stroke, early-onset peripheral neuropathy, AL amyoloidosis, ischemic heart disease and Parkinson-like syndromes to a list of diseases presumed to be caused by Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War.  This Act should be completed by the end of this calendar year, allowing vets to file claims. This will be another win for our Vietnam veterans.
  • 26 February 2020: New challenges appear with age. Those challenges can make the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) more noticeable, cause them to come back after many years or even to occur for the first time.
  • 19 February 2020:  The FY20 NDAA completely eliminates the Widow’s Tax, but in phases. No changes will take place in calendar year 2020. In 2021, one-third of the SBP will be restored. In 2022, two-thirds will be restored. On January 1, 2023, the SBP will be completely restored and surviving spouses will receive both their SBP and DIC payments in full.
  • 12 February 2020:  Veterans who were exposed to radiation in the military between 1945 and 1992 are eligible to apply for the newly created Atomic Veterans Service Certificate signed by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Application for the certificate is open to retired and former service members, or next of kin in cases of deceased veterans, Defense Department officials said.
  • 12 February 2020: Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie acknowledged publicly Wednesday that service members who deployed to a Uzbekistan base used after the 9/11 attacks may have been exposed to toxic substances, asking for them to come forward to get help. “Several years ago our soldiers, sailors, airmen in particular started seeing ‘black goo’ come up from the ground. We are working with the Department of Defense to get to the bottom of that,” said Wilkie, who was speaking at the National Press Club and took questions from reporters.
  • 11 February 2020: a Bill to provide Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD passes the House unanimously.  It has now moved to the Senate.
  • 24 January 2020: A recent ruling by the Defense Department has granted veteran status to a group of civilians who served in Vietnam. The group consists of "Department of the Navy civilian special agents who served in direct support and under control of the Department of the Navy within the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975."
  • 19 December 2019: If you are a veteran with a low income and have a discharge that is NOT Dishonorable, you may qualify for a VA Pension. Check out this site to see the rest of the criteria. The net worth limit to qualify for a Veterans Pension as of December 1, 2019, is $129,094.
  • 12 December 2019: Veterans who apply for disability benefits currently receive a response in an average of 107 days. This includes first-time claims from recently-discharged Veterans and older Veterans who file claims for additional benefits. Some claims take longer due to complex evidence requirements and medical examination scheduling necessary to decide the claim.
  • 19 November 2019: The VA "presumes" that any condition on the VA Presumptive List was caused by military service even though there may be no medical reasoning that definitively proves this connection. The VA Presumptive List basically states that if veterans who served in X location/circumstances during certain years developed Y or Z conditions, then those conditions will be automatically considered service-connected. No proof is needed beyond documents showing that the vet was indeed in that location/circumstance at that time. All veterans are required to have served at least 90 days of active, continuous service for their conditions to qualify unless it is specifically noted otherwise below.
  • 11 November 2019: The VA offers two broad categories of Pension benefit programs.  Veterans and survivors who are eligible for Pension benefits and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible to receive additional monetary amounts. For additional information, visit this site.
    • Veterans Pension: Tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.
    • Survivors Pension: Tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.


Other Veteran Benefits & Information

  • To qualify for Disabled Veteran specialty license plates, you must be a Missouri resident who has served in and was honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces and have a 10% or higher disability rating.
  • 23 January 2020:  Veterans are twice as likely to lose money to fraud because of identity theft, phishing, impostor scams, and investment, loan, or donation deceptions. Many scammers target Veterans to alter or access their government-provided aid, swindling them out of the money or benefits they have earned.
  • 15 January 2020: 100% service connected disabled Veterans are now eligible for Space Available Travel.  To be eligible for Space-A flights, Veterans must have a permanent and total service-connected disability rating. These Vets must also obtain a DD Form 2765, “Department of Defense/Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card (TAN)." (https://militarybenefits.info/military-id-cards/). A popular perk among retirees, now eligible Veterans can take advantage of the program and fly for free.
  • 30 December 2019:  Everyone knows about the federal benefits available to veterans, but did you know many states also offer great benefits to their veterans? This site has compiled a handy summary of the benefits each state and territory offers. Each summary page also has a link directly to the specific State Department of Veterans Affairs, be sure to check it out. There may be a benefit available to you or your family that you didn't know about!
  • 5 December 2019: The United States Postal Service has just issued a "Healing PTSD" postal stamp that will raise money to be distributed to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for the National Center for PTSD.
  • 5 December 2019: Veteran's with the Veterans Health Identification Card now have access to the Commissary, BX/PX, and MWR services.
  • 31 October 2019: The VA has a variety of apps to help you get the help or information you need.


Beneficial Links


Veterans Administration Service Officers

  • ​525 Jules Street Suite 320, St. Joseph Missouri 64501 - Phone: (816) 387-2841  (2nd, 4th & 5th Monday of the Month 8:00 - 4:00)
  • 1402 North College Drive Maryville, Missouri 64468 - Phone (660) 562-1701 (1st & 3rd Monday of the Month 9:00 - 4:00)
  • Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC): 3302 South Belt Highway Suite "P"  St. Joseph, Missouri 64506 - Phone: 800-952-8387
  • Find a Service Officer


Scholarship:


Cemeteries & Memorials:

A Veteran who passes away is eligible for military funeral honors. In Missouri this normally includes a Three-Volley Rifle Salute, sounding of Taps, Flag Folding and Presentation of the Flag to the family. Let the Funeral Director know and they will make the arrangements at no cost to the family.


Post/Veteran Service Officer Information