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.
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.
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.
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.
Vocational Rehabilitation & Education