Visitors since 1 January 2011
UPDATED TUE 15 JUL 2014
NEWS and INFORMATION
Be sure to visit the Events Calendar to stay informed!!
- 15 July: Post/Dept Revalidation Due at National
- 31 July: Last day for First Half Programs Reports
- 31 August: Deadline for Freedoms Foundations Student Appointments
- NEWS OF INTERST:
- New Regulations Automate Burial Payments
- VA to Restructure Office of Medical Inspector
- Initiatives that Give Vets an Edge
Operation Black Hills Cabin
Operation Black Hills Cabin is a way to say Thank You to Combat Injured OEF, OIF, or OND veterans. It is an opportunity for a week-long respite for them and their immediate family, to not only visit the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and stay in a gorgeous new 3 bedroom, fully furnished, handicapped accessible cabin, but to visit amazing sites such as Mt. Rushmore National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, Jewel Cave National Monument, take a Buffalo Safari Jeep Ride, and approximately 30 other opportunities, including all dining. This is all at little or no expense to the family. There is financial assistance in travel, as well.
For more information, and to apply, visit our website.
Nat'l, Dept & Post
AMVETS National Membership Director
AMVETS National Membership Director
The free student veterans attachment is designed to be emailed to a Student Veteran Leader. Some student veterans groups forward it to their members and other student veterans groups have posted it on their university web site. It has a link to a special area in our database for Veterans using their GI Bill. They get our magazine and the AMVETS insider email that goes out twice a month. Please pass this on to local student veterans groups in your state. Most university student veterans groups are listed on the schools web site.
AMVETS started in these groups. This is our opportunity to begin the engagement process with these young future leaders. If they see a benefit in AMVETS they might eventually join. The GI Bill has lifted generations of military veterans.FREE Student Membership
30 May 2014
AMVETS National Website Hacked
27 May 2014
The National Website was hacked over the weekend and Headquarters is working on the fix. It is being worked on as you are reading this email! However, it may take days or a week or so before the site is totally back, all pages offering total functionality.
Please share with others within your Posts/Departments, particularly those who have come to resource the site regularly.
We genuinely appreciate your patience. Thank you,
Beryl W. Love, CNP
AMVETS National Programs Director
AMVETS Partners with
Frontlines of Freedom
24 May 2014
AMVETS has partnered with the talk radio program Frontlines of Freedom, hosted by Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.). In the weeks and months to come, AMVETS will frequently participate and contribute to the program. The first appearance will be AMVETS National Executive Director Stewart Hickey on the May 31/June 1 show. We are excited at the prospects for bringing AMVETS / your voice into the dialogue of issues across our nation. Below is Denny’s bi-weekly newsletter which includes the program’s market (stations and air times). Please visit their website at Front Lines of Freedom. The program is adding stations weekly so keep an ear open and tune in to Frontlines of Freedom.
David Gai, National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
AMVETS Spirit of America Youth Leadership Conference Attendees Evaluations
ALERT! *** EXTREMELY URGENT! ***
All Posts that have M1 Garand rifles on loan from the Dept. of the Army. (All of our AMVETS Posts conducting Military Funeral Honors). Please note the following SAFETY MESSAGE from US Army Joint Munitions Command, read carefully and disseminate in your respective Departments. There are two PDF's attached: 1) The full safety message 2) Operation & Maintenance Guide.
At least two Veterans performing Firing Detail honors have been seriously hurt by M1 Garands blowing up due to incorrect ammunition being fired.
Dan Saito, US Army Joint Munitions Command
Quality Engineering Division
1 Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island, IL 61299
DEPARTMENT OF NEBRASKA NEWSLETTER
News to Use
Earlier This Year
US Census Bureau Webinar for AMVETS
The US Census Bureau will present a webinar for AMVETS on Veterans Statistics and how to access them this Wednesday, 21 May, at 12 noon (East) for 2 hours. You are invited and encouraged to attend. As you look to recruit new members census statistics will help you zero in on who they are and where they live. Remember if you see 10 people in the mall only one will be a veteran. Only one in ten signed on the dotted line and wrote the ultimate check "up to and including our lives".
To access the audio portion of the webinar dial:
"Skill Touch" Game Briefing
AMVETS NE Post Officers
AMVETS Post Officers are invited to attend the introduction of SKILL TOUCH GAMES. Post officers interested in having income to help support post operations and programs are welcome to attend. Don't miss this opportunity!!
VFW HQ, Lincoln NE, SAT 29 MAR 2014, 9:30am Coffee & Rolls, 10:30am Presentation.
IRS Requiring DD-214s
Harry Neal, AMVETS
National Membership Director
This is the link to the complete IRS Examining Process for Veterans Organizations.
The excerpt below gives inspectors the option of reviewing DD214s.
220.127.116.11 (01-27-2011) Field Examination Guidelines
1. Review the following to determine the composition of membership of the organization:
- A. Articles of incorporation, charter, bylaws, and meeting minutes,
- B. Membership applications, DD Forms 214, or other discharge documents,
- C. Membership cards and master member lists if they designate status as veteran, non-veteran, auxiliary, or other membership class, and
- D. The dues structure for the classes of membership.
NOTE: The organization must maintain members' military service dates to establish that contributions to the organization are deductible, if a war veterans' organization under IRC §170(c)(3).
American Legion Post 447 in Round Rock, Texas, was fined $12,000 for lack of compliance before rounding up the necessary official documents (DD 214’s) to satisfy inspectors.
As we look into where and when the IRS mandate was created we suggest you hedge you bets and come into compliance. If an inspector came to your post and wanted to see your members DD 214’s how long it would take to produce them? It took the legion 12 days at $1,000 dollars a day.
The Committee on Veterans' Affairs asked Daniel Werfel, Acting IRS Commissioner for clarification in writing "regarding this serious and troubling change in IRS policy" on 29 August 2013. September 3 was the deadline for the IRS to respond with "complete written justification for requiring veterans organizations' to provide these materials." The IRS missed the deadline.
With that said ask your members to find their DD 214s. If it blows over, shred the documents if it doesn't, you will be ready for the knock at your door. If a member cant find his DD 214 he can request one at this site.
News from National
1. eKnowledge is giving Military families $250 SAT and ACT test prep programs for just the cost/shipping of the programs (under $20)...the fee covers everything, including: materials, shipping, student support, and streaming. You may request your programs at: www.eKnowledge.com/AMVETS (A great opportunity for Vets and/or children and grandchildren.) [ PDF Flyer ]
2. VAVS – That stands for Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service!
- Many of our AMVETS family are very familiar with this acronym because it is the largest single volunteer program that our membership supports, but we need many more. I have included a couple of VAVS bits of info; a copy of The Eagle, the VACO Newsletter that highlights Laura Balun's retirement because many of you have got to know her over the years and the URL to the VA Voluntary Service landing page. This website/pages have a lot of great info for our Reps and Deps, as well as baseline info for those of you wanting to know more about the Program. [ Eagle PDF ]
- http://www.volunteer.va.gov/index.asp (Make sure to check out the locations of the nine scheduled Welcome Home events and engage in the one near you.)
Hiring Our Heroes - Omaha
WED 19 FEB 2014
The DC Centre
11830 Stonegate Drive
Omaha NE 68184
Empl. Wrkshp.: 9:00am
Hiring Fair: 10:00am - 2:00pm
NE Veterans Affairs
Veterans Identifier for
Drivers License/State ID
If you want to be identified as a veteran on your NE Drivers License or State ID, you must apply to the NE Dept of Veterans' Affairs. Use THIS FORM to apply!!
On March 17, the Social Security Administration began expediting disability claims for veterans who have a disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The Acting Commissioner of Social Security designated expediting disability claims for these veterans as one of the agency's priorities. This is an interagency collaboration between the VA and Social Security to help veterans gain timely access to the benefits they may be eligible for and deserve.
This process differs from the "Wounded Warrior" expedited claims process, which is designed only for military service members who became disabled while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001 no matter where the disability occurred. The new expedited claims process is designed for all veterans, regardless of when they served as long as they have a VA compensation rating of 100 percent P&T.
We ask that you view our website for more information by clicking here.
for External Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 20, 2014
VA Announces Rollout of Secure Veteran Health Identification Cards
WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel.
In addition to being more secure, the card has been transformed into a Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the Veteran's Member ID, a new unique identifier, as well as a Plan ID, reflecting the Veteran's enrollment in VA health care.
"VA is committed to providing high quality health care while ensuring the personal security of Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "These new identification cards are an important step forward in protecting our nation's heroes from identity theft and other personal crimes."
The VHIC is personalized to display the emblem of the Veteran's branch of service. It also provides features that make it easier to use, such as the addition of "VA" in Braille to help visually impaired Veterans, and the printing of VA phone numbers and emergency care instructions on the cards.
The card replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC), which was introduced in 2004. As part of a phased rollout, starting this month, the card will only be offered to newly enrolled and other Veterans who have not been issued a VIC. Then, in early April, VA will begin a three month effort to automatically issue the more secure VHIC to current VIC cardholders. VA recommends Veterans safeguard their VIC as they would a credit card, and cut up or shred the card once it is replaced. While not required to receive VA health care, all enrolled Veterans are encouraged to get a VHIC.
Enrolled Veterans can get more information about the VHIC by visiting their VA medical facility enrollment coordinator or the website www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic, calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility.
Veterans who are not enrolled in the VA health care system can apply for enrollment at any time by visiting www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, Calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility.
Smokey Rickerd, Executive Director
Department of California
The Impact of IRR on SGLI-Know the Facts
Are you a service member who has been recently assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR)? Then there's important insurance information you need to know. Your Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage will end 120 days after the date you were assigned to the IRR.
The good news is you can get similar coverage through Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI). But you must apply within 1 year and 120 days from the date you were assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR). If you apply for VGLI within the first 240 days of your assignment to the IRR, then you can get VGLI without providing proof of good health - even if you have a serious injury or medical condition. To apply for VGLI, visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/apply-for-VGLI.asp.
Forwarded by the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs
CFPB, State Authorities Order Ocwen to Provide $2 Billion in Relief to Homeowners for Servicing Wrongs
I am sending this to you on behalf of Pension and Fiduciary Services. In partnership with the Office of Corporate Communication (OCC), P&F Service developed the attached postcard regarding "pension poaching". This product was created in response to several VSO requests for a concise, easy-to-read document that could be easily distributed to Veterans and their family members.Postcard: "BE AWARE"
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
FRAUD ALERT: Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Call Center or GI Bill Call Center. A marketing company has established two fraudulent numbers that differ from the two official VA call center numbers by one digit. If the fraudulent number is dialed by mistake, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain personal and financial information, including credit card information, from the caller. The answering party may even transfer the caller to the VA after the caller’s information is obtained.
The VA will never ask you for a credit card number or banking information over the phone.
In all cases, before giving personal sensitive information over the phone make sure you know who you are taking to.
- The numbers to be avoided are:
- 800-872-1000 (the VA National Call Center number is 800-827-1000)
- 888-442-4511 (the VA GI Bill Call Center number is 888-442-4551)
VA has notified law enforcement authorities to address this situation, and will provide additional information and guidance as necessary. You can verify VA's customer service numbers online at http://bit.ly/1ekM369
Donations Secure Honor Flight
Generous donations have secured the next Honor Flight for Korean War veterans 25 March 2014.
Heroes with Hearing Loss Program
Through the Heroes with Hearing Loss Program, any veteran with a qualified hearing loss can receive a Hamilton CapTel® captioned telephone at no cost.
[ Forms & Info ]
MS & Parkinson's
Letter from Shawn Wilbur
Excellence Award for Eastern NE Vets Home, 12 FEB 2014, RELEASE
VA Speeds Claims at NE's Expense, 10 FEB 2014, ARTICLE
News Release: 2012-04-15 - Norfolk Veterans' Home Receives Perfect Score
News Release: 2012-03-22 - VA Expands Medical Forms Program to Support Faster Claims Processing [DOC NR]
News Release: 2011-12-09 - Gulf War Illnesses [ PDF Flyer ]
USVA Dental Benefits Fact Sheet Forwarded by the Nebraska Department of
Veterans Affairs [FS 164-3 2010-09]
[ PDF Flyer/Summary ]
Earlier This Year
VA Public Scoping Meeting
Omaha National Cemetery Site Specific Environmental Assessment (SEA). This SEA will analyze the proposed construction and operation of a new National Cemetery on 235 acres located at the Intersection of Highway 50 and Schram Road in Sarpy County. The Public Scoping Meeting will be held on February 18th from 7:00-9:00pm at the LaVista Embassy Suites & Conference Center located at 12520 Westport Pkwy, La Vista, NE 68128.
FRI 07 FEB 2014
VA Offers up to $600 million in Funding to Support Services for Homeless Veteran Families
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the availability of up to approximately $600 million in grants through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. Non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives are eligible to apply. The application deadline is March 14, 2014 at 4:00pm Eastern time.
The SSVF program is designed to assist very low-income Veteran families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. The program employs a housing first model, an approach which centers on providing homeless Veterans with permanent housing quickly and then providing VA health care, benefits and services as needed.
SSVF grantees provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in
obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include:
-- Health care services
-- Daily living services
-- Personal financial planning services
-- Transportation services
-- Fiduciary and payee services
-- Legal services
-- Child care services
-- Housing counseling services
In addition, grantees may also provide time-limited payments to third parties (e.g., landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed child care providers) if these payments help Veteran families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.
For more information regarding the SSVF program, please visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp or contact John Kuhn, Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans at (877) 737-0111 (this is a toll-free number) or SSVF@va.gov.
VA Benefits Webinar:
Home Loan Guarantee Program
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
9:30 - 11:30 AM EDT
& 1:30 - 3:30 PM EDT