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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
VA Expands Agent Orange Claim Eligibility

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Tricare Panel Votes to End Coverage of Brand Name Viagra, Cialis

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Can You Really Be Recalled to Active Duty at Any Time?

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Benefits Program

Date Posted:01/14/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Fisher House celebrates second anniversary

Date Posted:01/04/20
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
From golf courses to commissaries: More details about access to new military benefits for 4.1 million extra people

Date Posted:01/01/20
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
New for 2020: Commissary, exchanges opening up to 4 million more people

Date Posted:12/24/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
The Space Force is officially the sixth military branch. Here’s what that means.

Date Posted:12/24/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Congress Overrides Pentagon on GI Bill Transfer Rules

Date Posted:12/24/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Video: Meet the MH 139A Grey Wolf

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Military spouses will get reimbursed up to $1,000 for professional relicensing costs

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Defense bill requires local JROTC programs to admit homeschooled students

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
10 Military Discounts for Spouses

Date Posted:12/19/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Scholarship Application for Military Children Program Now Open

Date Posted:12/16/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Eligible Commissary and Exchange Shoppers

Date Posted:12/16/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
VA nursing homes, assisted living, and home health care

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
9 Great Freebies for Military and Their Families

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
National Desert Storm War Memorial approved concept unveiled

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Air Force Guard and Reserve Members Can Now Check Retirement Status Online

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Veterans with Base Access Still Face Delays on New Commissary Benefit

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Military families in line for tens of thousands in benefits under plan to dump the ‘widows tax’

Date Posted:12/12/19
This Story Expires on: 04/30/20
More retirees, family members to be booted from military hospitals under Pentagon reform plans

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
2020 Military Pay Dates

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Air Force to drop below the zone promotions for officers

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 04/16/20
Here’s when your military 2019 tax statement will be ready

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 04/30/20
Military Members, DoD Civilians Are Eligible for Free TSA Precheck

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 04/30/20
These States Will Be the Most Popular for Veterans in the Next 25 Years

Date Posted:12/09/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
TRICARE Open Season

Date Posted:11/26/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Veteran & Survivor Pension Rates Increase For 2020

Date Posted:11/26/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Disabled Veterans Can Now Fly Space A

Date Posted:11/26/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Veterans Can Now Learn About Their Toxic Exposure Risks with New VA App

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
January’s new military shopping benefit delayed for tens of thousands of veterans

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 03/31/20
Everything You Need to Know About Vets' and Caregivers' New Base Access

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Here’s how veterans stack up financially, compared to their non veteran peers

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
How to use your GI Bill benefits at a foreign university

Date Posted:11/16/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Military Exchange Extends Return Policy for Holiday Shopping

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Veterans more likely to be targeted by sophisticated financial scams

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Companies that Recruit Veterans Often Fail to Hire Them, Data Shows

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Here's a New, Fast Way for Veterans to See Their Health Records

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
VA Plans to Resolve all 'Legacy Appeals' by the End of 2022

Date Posted:11/07/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
New Study Supports Using Shot to Treat PTSD

Date Posted:11/06/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
7 tips for veterans to land a federal job

Date Posted:11/06/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Prescription drug costs, some Tricare fees to rise in 2020

Date Posted:11/01/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Veterans database launching to link veterans with entertainment industry employers

Date Posted:10/22/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
More questions answered as installations get ready for the potential 3 million extra shoppers

Date Posted:10/11/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/20
WARNING Hackers target job hunting service members, veterans with sham employment website

Date Posted:10/09/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Latest Update Tricare Drug Costs to Increase More Than 40% in 2020

Date Posted:10/05/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Disney Renews Armed Forces Salute for Another Year

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/20
VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 02/29/20
Free flu shots for Veterans at your local Walgreens

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Retirees, family members to see increases in dental and vision premiums next year

Date Posted:10/03/19
This Story Expires on: 01/31/20
Four College Degrees Veterans Need to Consider

7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages

March 22 Luncheon Meeting

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

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90,000 ‘blue water’ Vietnam veterans in line for disability benefits after Justice officials drop appeal
Posted on: 06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/19


Troops from the First Cavalry Air Mobile Division watch the carrier USS Boxer after arrival at Qui Nhon, Vietnam, on Sept. 12, 1965. On Tuesday, Department of Justice officials announced they will not appeal a court ruling that will award presumptive disability benefits to thousands of so-called "blue water" Vietnam veterans. (AP filehoto)


 The Department of Justice will drop its appeal of a federal court decision awarding disability benefits to tens of thousands of veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants while serving in the seas near Vietnam, handing advocates what appears to be a final legal victory.

In a filing with the Supreme Court Tuesday, Justice Department officials said they will not argue for overturning the Procopio vs. Wilkie decision from January which undid years of Veterans Affairs policy denying benefits to about 90,000 “blue water” Navy veterans.

Congressional Budget Office officials had estimated that awarding the benefits to the blue water veterans could total about $1.1 billion over 10 years, but VA officials in the past have estimated the total could rise to more than $5.5 billion.

Justice lawyers had twice asked for deadline extensions to file an appeal, even as VA officials publicly said they believed the lower court decision should stand. Congressional leaders and outside advocates had also argued against an appeal.

  In a statement, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., and ranking member Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said they were “encouraged by DOJ’s decision not to appeal Procopio and further delay benefits to our Blue Water Navy veterans.”

At issue is a VA decision in the past to treat the sailors’ disability benefit claims differently from other troops who served in Vietnam. 

Under current rules, the blue water veterans can receive medical care for their illnesses through VA. But to receive disability benefits — worth up to several thousand dollars a month — they must prove that their ailments are directly connected to toxic exposure while on duty.

  That’s not the case for other Vietnam veterans, who are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliants known to cause serious and rare cancers.

So while a veteran who served on the shoreline could receive disability payouts after contracting Parkinson’s Disease or prostate cancer, another vet who served on a ship a few miles away would have to provide evidence of direct contact with hazardous chemicals.

Advocates have argued that is impossible, given the time that has elapsed since the exposure and the poor toxic exposure monitoring at the time.

In a 9-2 decision in January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed, stating that that Congress never intended to exclude servicemembers in the seas around Vietnam when they awarded presumptive benefits for illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure.

John Wells, retired Navy commander and the executive director of Military-Veterans Advocacy (which helped file the Procopio lawsuit), said the Department of Justice decision means their fight is effectively over.

Last month, House lawmakers unanimously passed legislation echoing the court decision in an effort to ensure any future appeal or legal challenge would not overturn the benefits.

Roe and Takano on Tuesday urged their Senate counterparts to pass the measure anyway, noting that it also includes expansion of certain presumptive benefits to troops who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone and to children of herbicide-exposed Thailand veterans born with spina bifida.

  But Wells argued that the legislation actually pulled back parts of the court ruling, more narrowly defining the territorial waters where ships had to travel for veterans to be located.

“Now we don’t need the bill at all,” he said.

VA officials had already begun to process some blue water veterans benefits since the January decision, and are expecting that caseload to rise now that the court decision is final.



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