As seen in original PDF
(from email link)


Disabled American Veterans

Department of Florida

Newsletter
By Al Linden
Executive Director


As of February 28, 2014 our membership was 60,105.
The goal for life membership has been met. Keep working.




Commander Guy Diffenbaugh’s Message

Greetings and a quick note before I join many of our leaders from DAV Florida and those from all the States as we storm Washington DC. We go annually to remind Congress of your service to the Nation and their responsibility to never forget that service, as well as the Nations promise to take care of its Veterans. Our National Commander will address a joint session of the Committee on Veterans Affairs and we will make individual visits to Senators and Representatives from Florida. Our main focus will be a push for complete advance funding of all Veterans programs. DAV led the way in acquiring advance funding of Healthcare and we want to do the same for all veterans programs. Keep the pressure on your Congressional representatives and keep doing what you best – serving Veterans.



Operation: Keep the Promise

In keeping with DAV’s top legislative priority, thousands of our members and friends in the veterans’ community draw their focus on the nation’s capital at this year’s Mid-Winter Conference to urge Congress to put veterans first. We have called on veterans and supporters to lend their voices to promote the Putting Veterans Funding First Act, both in person and through a virtual effort, on February 25. Now is the time to take action and to tell Congress to pass advance appropriations to protect VA’s programs, benefits and services. For those who are able, we encourage you to take part in our gathering at the House Triangle, where a show of support will let our lawmakers see the many faces affected when political budget battles interfere with veterans’ earned benefits.
Operation: Keep the Promise also calls on those unable to attend in person to reach out virtually and by phone and social media, to reach out to their Congressional representatives and let them know that veterans deserve better. Tools are available at Operation: Keep the Promise, where you can make a pledge to call your Congressional representatives and help spread the word through social media.
National Commander Joe Johnston delivered the top three DAV legislative programs to the joint session of the Veterans affairs committees. They are Advanced funding for all veteran benefits, Caregivers legislation for all injured and ill veterans needing that serive and increasing the VA construction budget.



Also be reminded that Chapter Annual Financial Reports are due by September 30 each year.

Last year two chapters are in suspension for not having the report in on time and still have not submitted an acceptable report yet.

Chapter Officers Reports are due within 10 days after installation each year or when changes are made.

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BALANCE SHEET
As of February 28, 2014
TOTAL ASSETS $1,508,908
TOTAL LIABILITIES $61,724


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TOTAL LIABILITIES and FUND BALANCES $1,508,908
FUND BALANCES
Bay Pines VAVS $900
Gainesville VAVS 0
Tampa VAVS $0
Lake City VAVS $1951
WPB VAVS $0
MiamiVAVS $0
Orlando VAVS $2500
Eglin CBOC $0




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or

The new DAV emblem which you will see on all DAV publications and ads.

BRAND STYLEBOOK in PDF




BOOKS: VERY FEW CHAPTERS ARE TAKING ADVANTANGE OF THE LEE GREENWOOD GIFT BOOK "GOD BLESS THE USA".
WHAT AN EASY WAY FOR YOUR CHAPTER TO MAKE MONEY.
YOU MUST HAVE BOOKS ON HAND AT YOUR CHAPTER, AND USE THEM EVERY TIME YOU HAVE A FUNCTION AT YOUR CHAPTER OR COMMUNITY.
THE BOOKS WILL SELL IF YOU PRESENT. BOOKS COST YOUR CHAPTER $1.50 AND CAN EASILY BE SOLD FOR $5.00.
100 BOOKS SOLD WILL NEW YOUR CHAPTER $350.00. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET APPROVAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OR PAY 10%.
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME AT davl50jack@gail.com, or 352-250-4743. I ALSO HAVE ABOUT 600 OF HIS BIOGRAPHY, SAME DEAL.

MEMBERSHIP


THE MEMBERSHIP DRIVE CONTINUES, EVEN IF YOU HAVE MET YOUR QUOTA. OUR MEMBERS ARE PASSING DAILY, SO WE MUST CONTINUE TO REPLACE THEM. TELL A POTENTIAL MEMBER THAT BECAUSE OF THEIR SACRIFICE THEY HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO JOIN THE DAV. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO JOIN YOU DESERVE TO BELONG. REMEMBER THE 3 WAYS YOU CAN SIGN UP A MEMBER. OUR MEMBERS ARE ALL LIFE MEMBERS, SO THE EASIEST WAY TO JOIN IS TO PAY THE FULL MEMBERSHIP WITH THE CONVENIENCE OF YOUR CREDIT CARD AND NEVER PAY ANOTHER PREMIUM. THE SECOND WAY IS PAY $40.OO NOW AND THE BALANCE TO BE PAID QUARTERLY OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD UNTIL THE FULL PREMIUM IS PAID. THE THRID METHOD IS GO TO THE DAV WEBSITE AND MAKE A $10.OO REOCCURANT PAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD UNTIL IT IS PAID LETS MAKE FLORIDA THE NUMBER ONE STATE IN THE NATION. THE POTENTIAL IS HERE, SNOWBIRDS WILL BE COMING DOWN IN GROVES AFTER THE HARSH WINTER THEY HAVE HAD. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE MEMBERSHIP.
CSO'S CAN EARN GIFT CERTIFICATES TO THE OUTBACK STEAK HOUSE. DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS EMAIL ME AT dav150jack@gmail.com or CALL 352-250-4743.



FROM: Anthony L. Baskerville, National Membership Director

SUBJECT: MEMBERSHIP DUES

In November 2012, the National Membership Department began testing a new online billing product that allows prospective members to apply for Membership by establishing reoccurring monthly electronic payments, with as little as $10 minimum installments paid via credit card.

Due to the positive response to this payment method and the great potential to convert more part-life members to full-life members, the National Executive Committee has approved continuation of this temporary exception to Sections 11.4 and 11.9 - Membership Dues-- of the National Constitution and Bylaws through the 2014 National Convention. In doing so they’ve allowed us to expand testing to allow all DAV recruiters and National Service Officers to use this recruiting tool.

This expansion will allow for a greater test market and additional time to determine if this method of recruitment will result in a higher rate of new members becoming full paid life members.

The process of establishing reoccurring monthly electronic payments is administered through a third party and is strictly for online use ONLY!
ALL PAYMENTS REFERRED TO THE MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT THROUGH THE US POSTAL SERVICE STILL REQUIRE A MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT OF $40.00.

To take advantage of this opportunity, you and prospective members can access our website at http://www.dav.org and click http://www.dav.org/join apply online now.
Be sure to provide not only your name as sponsor but please include your membership code number.

DAV is concerned about the security of its members’ personal information and is Payment Card industry (PCI) Data Security Compliant.
As such, you are urged to strictly adhere to the above instructions.

Should you have have any questings. feel free to call me toll free. 888-986-8313.



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Florida Membersip
February 28, 2014






Florida Legislation
February 28, 2014

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Chapter Fund Raiser

The book "GOD BLESS THE USA" by Lee Greenwood is available to all chapters. Do not be left out of this easy fundraiser. Keep books on hand at your chapter, as you can sell them all year long. The books cost your chapter $1.50 and can be sold for any amount. It’s a steal at $5.00 which means the minimum your chapter will make is $3.50 for each book sold. Veterans Day is just around the corner and most of you will have various events that you participate in, where you could sell books. How about the Golden Corral? I think you can triple the amount you made last year if you make these books available. For more information email me at dav150jack@gmail.com or call 352-250-4743.



Gibson New VA Deputy Secretary

Gibson comes to VA after spending the last five-plus years as the president and CEO of the nonprofit USO.
During his confirmation hearing in November, he told Senate Veterans Affairs Committee members his priorities would include the ongoing effort to reduce and eliminate the longstanding backlog of disability claims. He said he also will work to find common ground with the Defense Department on a new strategy for a joint electronic-health records system.
Gibson also spent 20 years in the banking industry, retiring from AmSouth Bancorporation in 2004.
He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned both Airborne and Ranger qualifications, and served in the infantry in the Army.
Gibson earned a Masters in Economics from the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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DAV TRANSPORTATION NETWORK VOLUNTEERS


DAV mileage awards are provided to recognize the total miles driven by a DAV Transportation Network volunteer.

Recognition gifts for mileage driven by a DAV Transportation Network volunteer will be awarded at each of the following mileage levels:
Welcome Kit (sign-up); 2,500; 5,000; 7,500; 10,000; 15,000; 25,000; 35,000; 50,000; 75,000; l00,000; 150,000; l75,000; and 200,000.

All new DAV Transportation Network volunteers will receive a DAV volunteer Welcome Kit signifying their initial efforts as a DAV volunteer.




DAV VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) and Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) VOLUNTEERS


All new DAV VAVS and LVAP volunteers will receive a DAV volunteer Welcome Kit signifying their initial efforts as a DAV volunteer.

Hour gifts are awarded for recognizing the total time donated by a volunteer. These gifts are awarded when a DAV VAVS or LVAP volunteer reaches the following hour levels:
Welcome Kit sign-up; 50; lO0; l50; 200; 250; 500; 750; 1,000; 2,000; 3,000; 5,000; 7,500; 10,000.




Hearings


All DAV testimony can be read in full on our website, at: http://www.dav.org/voters/Testimony.aspx.

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House gives Secretary Authority to Fire or demote Senior Officials based on performance

The House and Senate have proposed legislation that would give the secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to fire or demote senior officials based on performance.
The move is a reaction to the ongoing failure of the VA to clear the backlog of disability claims from veterans, something that has drawn criticism from both parties.
House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) proposed the bill in the House, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate in response to reams of evidence indicating a widespread lack of accountability toward the department's disability benefits backlog, and what the committee says are preventable veteran deaths.
Miller said several reports from VA's inspector general show the department continues to mismanage these claims, and the Government Accountability Office has found the VA is awarding bonuses without any clear link to performance. "VA's widespread and systemic lack of accountability is exacerbating all of its most pressing problems, including the department's stubborn disability benefits backlog and a mounting toll of at least 31 recent, preventable veteran deaths at VA medical centers across the country," Miller said Tuesday.
"With all the problems VA hospitals and regional offices have recently had and new issues continually arising, we need to give the VA secretary the authority he needs to fix things," he added. "That's what my bill would do." Miller said the VA suffers from a "well-documented reluctance to ensure its leaders are held accountable for mistakes" that are ruining the reputation of the department.

Rubio said that, while current law does allow Senior Executive Service (SES) workers to be fired or disciplined, these efforts can get bogged down in red tape that can drag out the process for months. Their bill is aimed at eliminating some of these hurdles to make it easier for the VA to shed workers.

"Giving the VA secretary complete authority to manage executives based on their performance discourages career employees from evading appropriate punishments and helps restore the public's faith in the organization," he said. The legislation would give the VA complete discretion to fire or demote SES employees at the department. SES workers are those who are just below presidential appointees and are charged with overseeing dozens of federal agencies. According to Miller's office, most VA hospital and regional offices are run by SES employees or SES equivalents. Miller's committee has tracked the awarding of thousands of dollars in bonuses in VA offices around the country, despite ongoing performance problems and more backlogged disability claims.

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FDVA Executive Director Updates Governor and Cabinet on
Recommendation to Build More State Veterans’ Nursing Homes


TAMPA, Fla. – Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Mike Prendergast briefed the Governor and Cabinet on the results of an independent study recommending the construction of additional veterans’ homes in Florida.

The presentation during the Feb. 6 Cabinet Meeting at the Florida State Fairgrounds discussed the formal process necessary to build additional veterans’ nursing homes in Florida and a rank order of multi-county areas with the greatest need for a veterans’ home.

“The recently completed report shows there is a high need for a state veterans’ nursing home in three different areas of the state,” said Prendergast. “We are sending letters to the counties mentioned in the study seeking their recommendations for a potential site.”

In rank order, the study recommended the area of Collier and Lee Counties as having the greatest need for a skilled nursing facility, followed by the counties of Polk, Manatee and Hillsborough, followed by the area of Marion, Putnam and Sumter Counties. St. Lucie County was listed fourth with Palm Beach County ranked fifth. All ten counties listed in the report will receive letters requesting information on potential sites.

Governor Rick Scott’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” recommendation for FDVA includes a more than $1.5 million investment toward laying the groundwork for the construction of two new veterans’ nursing homes. With the recommendation of initial funding for site surveys and early architectural costs, FDVA will be able to meet the requirements to receive federal grant funds. The overall planning and construction of new veterans’ homes is a multi-year process dependent upon both federal and state matching funds.

The budget recommendation announced Jan. 29, 2014 expands FDVA’s ability to provide skilled nursing care in a state with more than 1.5 million veterans. The state’s network of existing veterans’ nursing homes has an occupancy rate averaging 99 percent. Florida currently has state veterans’ nursing homes in Daytona Beach, Land O’ Lakes, Panama City, Pembroke Pines, Port Charlotte and St. Augustine. The department also operates a veterans’ assisted living facility in Lake City.

The need for a formal site selection study, conducted by Health Strategies, Inc., was approved during the 2013 Florida Legislative Session and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott.

The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, serving the nation’s third largest veterans’ population, celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2014

For more information on FDVA, visit www.FloridaVets.org.



VA Fact Checks Record Management Allegation


You may have seen recent news coverage alleging the mishandling of patient records by a VA medical facility in 2008. Some media reports on this issue have been inaccurate. VA did not destroy patients’ personal medical records in VA’s electronic health record system, which has been in place since the 1990s. The Department of Veterans Affairs cares deeply for every Veteran we are privileged to serve. Our goal is to provide the best quality, safe and effective health care our Veterans have earned and deserve. VA has established a record of safe, exceptional health care that is consistently recognized by independent reviews and organizations. Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel addressed questions from members of the House of Representatives today on this topic saying, “There was no attempt to eliminate records.” and that several hundred records were properly closed only after a thorough administrative review. The Greater Los Angeles VA Medical did identify that there were large numbers of very old imaging requests in the system. As part of appropriate patient care processes and in accordance with nationally established VA guidelines, the medical center performed a carefully planned project of administratively clearing old imaging requests after an extensive review of each individual request. At no time were “group” close-outs of imaging studies completed.If patients do not show for their appointment or do not respond to scheduling attempts, orders are eventually discontinued after 12 calendar months. This is in accordance with VA guidance. Any study older than a year would no longer have clinical relevance and patients would need to be reevaluated by their providers prior to performing the study. In no instance was a study not completed because of a scheduling issue

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New ID Cards for Vets Enrolled in VA Health Care


VA is introducing a new, secure identification card called the Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC). VHIC replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC), which was introduced in 2004. VA is committed to providing the high quality, safe and effective health care Veterans have earned and deserve, and part of this effort includes ensuring the personal security of Veterans. As part of a phased rollout, on February 21, 2014, VA began issuing the newly designed, more secure VHIC to newly enrolled and other Veterans who were not issued a VIC. Starting in April VA will begin a replacement effort to automatically mail the more secure VHIC to Veterans who have the old VIC. All Veterans who are enrolled and have the old card should have their new replacement card by July. VA expects to complete mailings of the replacement VHICs by July. To ensure receipt of the new VHIC, enrolled Veterans should make sure that VA has their correct mailing address. The new VHIC is distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. The Social Security number and date of birth were removed from the barcode and magnetic strip. Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the Veteran’s Member ID and branch of service emblem, a new unique identifier, as well as a Plan ID which reflects the Veteran’s enrollment in VA health care. The VHIC is for use in VA medical facilities and does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA medical facilities. Detail view of the front of the - See more at:
http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/February/New-ID-Cards-for-Vets-Enrolled-in-VA-Health-Care.asp#sthash.nR4qfhjx.dpuf

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VA Mail-Order Pharmacy Receives Highest Score in Mail Order Segment of J.D. Power Study

VA Employee wins award for idea to allow Veterans to track prescriptions online


WASHINGTON -- For the fourth consecutive year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy receives the highest customer satisfaction score among the nation’s public and private mail-order pharmacies, according to a respected, independent study.

“Our Nation’s Veterans deserve a first-class pharmacy as a part of the exceptional health care available,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It is an honor to hear from Veterans that we are delivering on that commitment.”

The 2013 independent study was conducted by J.D. Power. Veterans were asked to rate VA on cost competitiveness, delivery, ordering process and customer service experience. Out of 1,000 possible points, VA scored 871. This was the highest score among participating mail-order pharmacies.

The score matched the same industry-high score received by the Department in 2012. VA also led the industry nationwide in 2010 and 2011. “The fact that we are rated higher than our private sector counterparts is due in part to our unique partnership with our patients and medical centers,” said Dr. Robert A. Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “In addition to the convenience of mail-order service, Veterans also have a pharmacist available to meet with them face to face.”

VA participates in this annual survey as a way to compare itself against industry leaders and to ensure VA health care meets the highest standards.

On February 13, an employee who works in the VA Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy received the 2013 Securing Americans Value Efficiency (SAVE) Award from President Obama. Kenneth Siehr from Milwaukee, Wisconsin met with the President to discuss his proposal.

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Disabled veterans group rallies for full VA advance funding


Feb. 25, 2014 - 03:34PM
Flanked by veterans advocates, Disabled American Veterans national commander Joseph Johnston spoke about the need for advance appropriations for all Department of Veterans Affairs accounts on Tuesday at a Capitol Hill rally. (Leo Shane III / Staff writer-Military Times)

Despite a budget detente on Capitol Hill, veterans advocates are worried about what another government shutdown could do to Veterans Affairs Department benefits checks and assistance programs. So this week, as they lobby lawmakers on Capitol Hill, members of the Disabled American Veterans have made advanced appropriations for all VA accounts their top legislative priority.

They argue the “Putting Veterans Funding First” Act is needed to ensure veterans’ assistance efforts aren’t disrupted by future political squabbles.

“The federal budget and appropriations process is broken,” Joseph Johnston, DAV national commander, told lawmakers Tuesday. “We shouldn’t let our disabled veterans be affected by that.” Already, about 85 percent of VA funding is provided a year in advance. Congress approved that plan in 2009, when advocates argued the VA health system needed more stability in funding for staffing, services and research programs even when lawmakers failed to pass a timely budget.

After the October government shutdown — when VA officials reported they were just a few days away from halting a number of veterans’ benefits checks — advocacy groups pushed for a full advance budget, giving every section of the department a year’s worth of cushion to protect against political fights.

Since then, the plan has gained bipartisan support from lawmakers. On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, senior Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee member Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., both spoke at the DAV rally in favor of the idea, promising to push legislation in their respective chambers.

VA officials, however, have not been quite so supportive.

The department has refused to back the idea of fully funding operations a year in advance, stating that the best option for fiscal stability would be for lawmakers to pass their annual federal budgets on time.

Michaud, who sponsored the legislation with House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said he is unconcerned with that opposition.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined a Pentagon budget plan Monday that would cut the growth of pay and retirement benefits for service members and veterans while shrinking the Army to pre-World War II levels.

"There are difficult decisions ahead, that is a reality we're living with," Hagel said in unveiling a $496 billion 2015 Defense Department budget plan that included long-term proposals sure to draw fire from Congress and veterans groups.

"As we end our combat mission in Afghanistan, this will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition DoD is making after 13 years of war -- the longest conflict in our nation's history," Hagel said. The defense budget will be formally submitted, along with President Obama's overall proposal for federal spending, on March 4.

Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox and budget defense specialists have scheduled a series of follow up budget briefings this week to focus on the details that will have to pass muster with lawmakers who have shown little appetite for taking on pay and benefits issues in an election year.

Under Hagel's proposals, the Air Force' A-10 Thunderbolt attack plane would be retired along with the U-2 spy plane fleet after Air Force leaders have been saying the service can no longer afford to fly aircraft that serve niche missions. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he agreed with the proposals to "shed systems we no longer need and simply can't afford," such as the A-10 attack aircraft and and the U-2. The Army would have to cancel designs for a new Combat Ground Vehicle and the Marine Corps would lose the proposed new Amphibious Combat Vehicle.

The Navy would keep 11 carriers for at least another year, but reduce the projected size of the Littoral Combat Ship fleet from 52 to 32. The Navy would also be tasked with improving the survivability of the LCS in combat, one of the main arguments of LCS critics.

"We need to closely examine whether the LCS has the protection and firepower to survive against a more advanced military adversary and emerging new technologies, especially in the Asia Pacific," Hagel said. Half of the Navy's cruiser fleet -- or 11 ships -- will be placed in reduced operating status while they are modernized, and eventually returned to service with greater capability and a longer lifespan, Hagel said. Possibly the most controversial proposal offered by Hagel was the plan to draw down the Army past an end strength of 490,000. Unless sequestration cuts are lifted, the Army may have to shrink down to 420,000 soldiers.

"Since we are no longer sizing the force for prolonged stability operations, an Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defense strategy," Hagel said.

"We have decided to further reduce active-duty Army end-strength to a range of 440,000 to 450,000," Hagel said.

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VA Names Two New National Cemeteries in Florida


WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (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.

“These two new cemeteries are a priority for the growing Veterans’ community in Florida,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As VA moves forward with these new cemeteries, Veterans, their spouses and families can have peace of mind knowing that they have a final resting place in a nearby national shrine.” The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is planned for a 318-acre parcel located in close proximity to U. S. Route 1 in northern Brevard County in Scottsmoor, approximately two miles from Interstate 95 and 12 miles north of Titusville. The cemetery will serve more than 163,000 Veterans, spouses and their eligible dependents living in the central eastern Florida area.

The initial phase of construction will provide more than 17,000 gravesites. VA purchased the central eastern Florida property, formerly known as Acosta Groves, for $2.1 million on July 31, 2012. The Tallahassee National Cemetery is planned for a 250-acre parcel in Leon County, with frontage along U.S. Highway 27 (Apalachee Parkway) and Old St. Augustine Road near March Road east of Tallahassee. The cemetery will serve 83,000 Veterans and their eligible dependents in the Tallahassee area, as well as southwestern Georgia and southeastern Alabama. The initial phase of construction will provide more than 6,000 gravesites and an earlyturnover area so that the cemetery can begin burial operations soon after construction begins. VA purchased the Tallahassee property for $6.8 million on Aug. 14, 2012, from the St. Joe Company.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty. Other burial benefits available for eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites. More than 3.8 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. In 2013, NCA achieved a customer satisfaction index of 96, the highest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score in either the private or public sector in the history of the ACSI. The score is nearly 28 points above the 68 point average for federal government agencies.

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.

To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117




Social Security Announces New Expedited Disability Process for Veterans


Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, along with Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) today unveiled a new initiative to expedite disability claims by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T). Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors.

“Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and it is only right that we ensure they have timely access to the disability benefits they may be eligible for and deserve,” said Acting Commissioner Colvin. “Social Security worked with Veterans Affairs to identify those veterans with disabilities who have a high probability of also meeting our definition of disability. I am proud of our collaboration and happy to announce this new service for America’s vets.”

In order to receive the expedited service, veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% P&T and show proof of their disability rating with their VA Notification Letter.



End of News Letter


January 2014 News Letter