Congressman Hank Johnson

Representing the 4th District of Georgia

Veterans

To everyone reading this page, please know that it is an honor to serve you – you have served us so well – and now it’s our time to serve you. There’s not much in Congress we do that’s more important than serving our veterans.

As a former member of the House Armed Services Committee, every day I’m inspired to work on behalf of all our military personnel and veterans.
 
Ensuring that quality services are being delivered to each of you is one of my greatest missions as a public servant. I am happy to assist veterans with obtaining their military records and medals, with questions they have concerning eligibility for benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or who may be experiencing difficulties with the VA Health Care System or the VA claims and appeals process.

I thank each of you for your service and can assure you that as long as I am in The Congress, your needs will remain a priority for me and my staff.

A Privacy Act Release form will need to be completed and sent with a detailed explanation of your request for assistance to one of my district offices.

Thank you, Rep. Hank Johnson.

 

Combat-Injured Veterans Refund Claims – Time is Running Short

Who it affects: Veterans who received disability severance payments after 1991 and claimed it as income

Please share the attached IRS news release with veterans and veteran’s groups in your district and state as soon as possible. The release is posted to the IRS.gov website at IRS.gov/newsroom.

Key points: 

The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 provides that most veterans who received a one-time, lump-sum, disability severance payment when they separated from military service are entitled to a refund if that payment was claimed as income. The payment must have been received after Jan. 17, 1991, and before Jan. 1, 2017.

Eligible veterans should have received a mailed notice from the Department of Defense in July of 2018 explaining how to claim their tax refunds.

Deadlines are approaching, the time available for claiming these tax refunds is limited to:

  • One year from the date of the Department of Defense notice, or
  • Three years after the due date for filing the original return for the year the disability severance payment was made, or
  • Two years after tax was paid for the year the disability severance payment was made.

Eligible veterans who have not already filed their refund claim need to act soon. More information, including how to file the refund claim, is in the attached IRS news release.

Here is what these veterans should know:

  • Veterans who included their disability severance payments as income should file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
  • The veterans will file Form 1040X to claim a credit or refund of the overpayment attributable to the disability severance payment.  A sample Form 1040X is attached showing how it is to be completed.
  • These veterans received a one-time, lump-sum disability severance payment when they separated from their military service.
  • Most of these veterans will have recently received a letter from the Department of Defense with information explaining how they should claim the related tax refunds.
  • Veterans can submit a claim based on the actual amount of their disability severance payment. However, there is a simplified method where veterans can instead choose to claim a standard refund amount. This amount is based on the calendar year in which they received the severance payment:
    • $1,750 for tax years 1991 – 2005
    • $2,400 for tax years 2006 – 2010
    • $3,200 for tax years 2011 – 2016
  • Claiming the standard refund amount is the easiest way for veterans to claim a refund, because they do not need to access the original tax return from the year of their lump-sum disability severance payment.
  • The veteran must mail the claim generally by the later of these dates:
    • One year from the date of the Department of Defense notice
    • Three years after the due date for filing the original return for the year the disability severance payment was made
    • Two years after tax was paid for the year the disability severance payment was made.

Still more information is available on the IRS.gov website at the following Pages:

Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act Claim Information

Filing Amended Returns for Combat-Injured Disabled Veterans – Frequently asked questions regarding filing amended returns for combat-injured disabled veterans

Social Media Resources:

To get and share this and other timely tax information via social media, follow IRS on Twitter and check us out on Instagram and Facebook.

To get IRS news releases in real time via email, subscribe to IRS Newswire. While on our e-news subscriptions page you may also want got IRS Tax Tips. A sample tax tip on the subject of this message is below.

IRS Tax Tip 2018-146, September 19, 2018 - Combat-injured disabled veterans may be due a refund

The IRS is alerting certain veterans that they may be due a credit or refund. This is a result of the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act passed in 2016. It affects veterans who received disability severance payments after January 17, 1991, and included that payment as income.

More Information:

 

Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

You served your country. You shouldn’t have to live your life suffering from haunting memories, sleepless nights, panic attacks or similar symptoms — challenges that threaten to ruin your life and destroy your most valued relationships. If you or someone you love is suffering from the invisible wounds of military service, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program (EHVP) is ready to help.

EHVP, free to qualified post-9/11 military servicemembers and Veterans, is designed to treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), anxiety, and depression related to past military service. For more information, please call 1-888-514-5345 or click here.

 

 

MAZON #FreedomFromHunger Video Campaign

 

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger believes that those who have fought for our freedom should not have to struggle with hunger. I am happy to present to you the video they have created. The #FreedomFromHunger video campaign was created to raise awareness about the issue of veteran hunger in America, and to engage viewers to take action.

Veteran hunger is an under-addressed and often overlooked issue in this country. Nearly 1.4 million veterans rely on SNAP and too many other veterans struggle with hunger but don’t get the assistance they need.

 

 

VA to implement appeals modernization in February

Act will simplify process for how Veterans make appeals

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on Jan. 18 regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process.  

After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision.  

Implementation will occur 30 days after the Secretary certifies, as required by law. Accordingly, the AMA will become effective Feb 19.  

“VA has been preparing for full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act over the past 18 months,” Wilkie said. “Our staff has worked diligently, particularly in the last few weeks, to ensure the new, streamlined process is available to Veterans in February.  

The AMA was signed into law Aug. 23, 2017. Under the act, Veterans will now have three options for claims and appeals: (1) supplemental claim; (2) higher-level review; or (3) direct appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. All decision reviews submitted after February 2019 will fall under the new system.  

Once the Appeals Modernization Act is fully implemented, VA’s goal is to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews averaging 125 days. Decisions appealed to the Board under its direct docket will average 365 days. Under the legacy process, appeal resolutions averaged three to seven years.

For more information about VA appeals modernization, visit https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp and https://www.bva.va.gov/.

 

New Regulation Decreases Cost of Outpatient Medication

Copay for Most Veterans

Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulation on copayments for Veterans’ outpatient medications for non-service connected conditions. VA currently charges non-exempt Veterans either $8 or $9 for each 30-day or less supply of outpatient medication, and under current regulations, a calculation based on the medication of the Medical Consumer Price Index (CPI-P) would be used to determine the copayment amount in future years.

 “Switching to a tiered system continues to keep outpatient medication costs low for Veterans,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. David J. Shulkin. “Reducing their out-of-pocket costs encourages greater adherence to prescribed outpatient medications and reduces the risk of fragmented care that results when multiple pharmacies are used; another way that VA is providing better service to Veterans

This new regulation eliminates the formula used to calculate future rate increases and establishes three classes of outpatient medications identified as Tier 1, Preferred Generics; Tier 2, Non-Preferred Generics including over-the-counter medications; and Tier 3, Brand Name. Copayment amounts for each tier would be fixed and vary depending upon the class of outpatient medication in the tier.

These copayment amounts will be effective February 27, 2017:

$5 for a 30-day or less supply - Tier 1 outpatient medication

$8 for a 30-day or less supply - Tier 2 outpatient medication

$11 for a 30-day or less supply - Tier 3 outpatient medication

These changes apply to Veterans without a service-connected condition, or Veterans with a disability rated less than 50 percent who are receiving outpatient treatment for a non-service connected condition, and whose annual income exceeds the limit set by law. Medication copayments do not apply to former Prisoners of War, catastrophically disabled Veterans, or those covered by other exceptions as set by law.

Copayments stop each calendar year for Veterans in Priority Groups 2-8 once a $700 cap is reached.

More information on the new tiered medication copayment can be found here.

 

Claims

What is a Fully Developed Claim?

What is eBenefits?

How long will it take to receive a decision on my compensation claim?

Can I have my claim reconsidered even though denied in the past?

How can I get a copy of my military records?

How can I apply for a medal, award, or decoration that I earned while in the service?

Health

How do I find out if I am eligible for any medical care or drug benefits?

How do I sign up for MyHealthyVet?

What is a Veteran Identification Card (VIC) and how do I get one?

How can I get information on suicide prevention?

Homeless Veterans Assistance Hotline

Vocational Rehabilitation & Education

What are the VOW and VRAP programs?

How do I set up Direct Deposit of my education benefits?

VetJobs: America's Premier Job Board for Veterans

Home Loans

What is a VA Guaranteed Home Loan?

How do I obtain a VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility or a duplicate of a certificate? 

 

CHOICE Program Information

 

Office Locations

Recent Votes

Date Roll Call Bill Vote
9/27/2019 555 H.RES.603 Aye
9/27/2019 554 H.R.3722 Yea
9/27/2019 553 S.J.RES.54 Yea
9/26/2019 552 H.R.3525 Yea
9/26/2019 551 H.R.3525 Nay