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VA Redesigns Benefits Delivery
October 5, 2017

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is making imminent updates to the redesign of the VA Pre-Discharge Programs, which currently include the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) and Quick Start (QS) programs.  The redesign will combine two separate programs (BDD & QS) into one Pre-Discharge Program, and will be identified solely as BDD.  The QS program will be terminated immediately.  The BDD Program requires active duty servicemembers to submit a claim 180-90 days prior to discharge from active duty, and be available for an examination 45 days from the date of the disability claim submission.  The goal of the redesign is to ensure each servicemember receives an in-service VA examination and a rating decision prior to discharge, as well as being awarded VA benefits the day after their military discharge from active duty.
   
Active duty servicemembers who do not meet the qualifications for BDD (i.e., less than 90 days prior to discharge, or require a character of discharge determination) may still file a claim prior to discharge: however, the disability claim will not receive priority processing and will not be processed until post-separation.  The Pre-Discharge redesign is currently being briefed during all Transition Assistance Program (TAP) VA Benefits Briefings, with a worldwide rollout date of October 5, 2017.

    

2018 COLA Increase
October 12, 2017

Disabled veterans, military retirees and Social Security recipients will see a 2% pay raise in 2018.  The pay raise represents that largest increase in Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) since 2012.  The first increased payment will show up in the December 2017 pay check.

The average VA disability check will increase about $3 per month for those with a 10% rating, and $58 for those veterans rated at 100%.  The survivors who draw Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), will also see an increase in monthly benefits.

    

VA Secretary Supports IU Program
October 12, 2017

President Donald Trump’s administration has temporarily backed off a proposal to slash benefits for the country’s most disabled veterans.  Veterans organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars were still receiving calls and emails from panicked veterans around the world.  Veterans are terrified and angry about the proposal they believed would render them homeless.

That’s why the organizations were relieved Thursday, October 12, 2017, when VA Secretary David Shulkin put the promise in writing that VA is not in support of President Trump’s proposal to cut Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits for disabled veterans. VA Secretary sent a letter to veterans groups stating the VA “does not support a termination” of the Individual Unemployability (IU) benefit program, which is available to veterans who are unable to secure a job because of a disability.

 

VA Secretary Letter to Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) 


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