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From Chuck Weber, your Veteran Service Officer...

VA Cancer Treatment

  Tele-oncology Care Program Announced


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on 3 JUN announced it is teaming with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (Foundation) to build new programs to enable VA oncology specialists to provide Veterans access to precision cancer care regardless of where they live. The Foundation has committed to providing VA $4.5 million in grant funds over three years to help establish a national tele-oncology center to more effectively reach Veterans living in rural communities.

Veterans interested in VA’s participating in tele-oncology services should consult with their VA health care team. For more information about VA telehealth, visit https://connectedcare.va.gov

[Source:  VA News Release | June 3, 2020]


VA Veterans Pension

Eligibility & Applying


The Veterans Pension program provides monthly payments to wartime Veterans who meet certain age or disability requirements, and who have income and net worth within certain limits. If you meet the VA pension eligibility requirements listed below, you may be eligible for the Veterans Pension program:

Both of these must be true:

         You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
Your yearly family income and net worth meet certain limits set by Congress. Your net worth includes all personal property you own (except your house, your car, and most home furnishings), minus any debt you owe. Your net worth includes the net worth of your spouse.

And at least one of these must be true about your service. You:

        Started on active duty before September 8, 1980, and you served at least 90 days on active duty with at least 1 day during wartime, or

         Started on active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least 1 day during wartime, or

       Were an officer and started on active duty after October 16, 1981, and you hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months

And at least one of these must be true. You:

       Are at least 65 years old, or
Have a permanent and total disability, or
   Are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability, or

       Are getting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income


        To apply you need to submit a Form 21P-527EZ (Application for Pension).  You can complete and submit his form online at https://www.va.gov/pension/application/527EZ/introduction.   If you’d like to submit an intent to file to set the earliest possible date that you can start getting benefits, you’ll need to complete an Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension, and/or DIC (VA Form 21-0966). Starting your pension application doesn’t show your intent to file. Download VA Form 21-0966 at  https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0966-ARE.pdf.  Note: Your date of Pension claim is the date that VA receives your completed application.  An accredited representative, like a Veterans Service Officer (VSO), can help you fill out your Pension claim

        VA process claims in the order they receive them and will  let you know by mail if they need more information. After VA processes your claim, you’ll get a notice in the mail about the decision.  To view the pension rates go to https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates.

[Source:  https://www.va.gov/pension/#get-va-pension-benefits | June 4, 2020]



Senior’s Overlooked Health Risk


Most of us worry about illness as we grow older. Cancer, diabetes and heart disease all become concerns in our senior years. But one relatively common and potentially fatal condition — dehydration — often flies under the radar. The human body is, after all, comprised of 60% water, so water is clearly critical to a healthy and productive lifestyle.  Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it is taking in. The lack of fluid can prevent the body from functioning normally. When this happens, you may experience symptoms such as lack of urination, fainting and confusion. Rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing also may occur. In severe dehydration, the body can go into shock. For some people, dehydration is fatal.


   Dehydration can occur at any age. But seniors are particularly susceptible. Most people’s sense of thirst diminishes with aging, so older adults may not drink enough fluids. The danger increases for seniors who have medical conditions — such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis or kidney problems — that cause them to urinate more often or sweat more profusely. Older adults also have less fluid in their bodies than younger people. Fortunately, the solution to dehydration is a simple one: Drink more fluids. This is especially important when you exercise or spend time outdoors in hot weather. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends taking the following steps to prevent dehydration:

   Drink more water every day. Aim to drink 64 oz. of water a day on days without heavy exercise or sun/heat exposure. According to Harvard Medical School, most healthy people should drink between four to six cups of water daily, however, this amount may vary based on the individual. Fluid needs differ from person to person, so ask your physician how much water you should drink daily.
Drink extra fluids after exercising or spending time outside on a hot day. The NIH says sports drinks can help restore minerals you may lose through sweating. Drinking additional fluids also makes sense when you are sick.
Skip drinks with sugar and caffeine. Sugary drinks are especially bad for people with diabetes, and caffeinated drinks have a slight diuretic effect, meaning they lead to more frequent urination.
Many foods — including celery, cucumbers, watermelon and strawberries — also have a hydrating effect when you eat them.


It’s important to stay hydrated on a regular basis and not to wait until you are thirsty. By the time a senior is becoming thirsty, he or she already is becoming dehydrated, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Dehydration is a common source of hospitalization among seniors. The Mayo Clinic suggests seeing a doctor if you or a loved one experience the following:


      Diarrhea for 24 hours or more

      Irritability or disorientation

      Sleepiness and a lower level of activity than normal

      An inability to keep down fluids

  Bloody or black stool

  Infrequent urination and dark colored urine


Following are a few ways to enhance your fluid intake:

   o   Drink from a refillable and reusable water bottle so you can keep track of the amount you are drinking when at work, traveling, or even at home. Brita offers a variety of reusable filter water bottles that are not only designed to help you hydrate throughout your busy day, but also filter out the impurities found in household tap water.

   o   When water tastes good you’ll drink more of it. Check out some fun recipes to enhance the taste of your water.

   o   Eat your water! Apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, oranges, celery and carrots all help you stay hydrated.

   o   Start each day with a glass of water (no ice). Drink it before you have coffee, tea or juice. It will help replace fluids lost overnight and get your hydration efforts off to a good start.

   o   Establish regular water breaks during your work day (e.g., before or after each meeting).

o   Cook with high-quality sea salt. Unrefined sea salt is rich in trace minerals which aid cell health and hydration.

   o   Don’t overdo it! Although unusual, it is possible to become ill by drinking too much water or other fluids.

[Source:  MoneyTalksNews & https://www.brita.com | Chris Kissell | June 8, 2020]

 Credit Card Overpayment
Looks Like Credit Card Help

At first glance, this scam looks so helpful. It’s a call or text message wanting to help you resolve an overpayment on your credit card. However, this sneaky con is actually a phishing scheme. And it’s only likely to get more popular, as COVID causes many shoppers to buy online and businesses to only accept credit cards.


How the Scam Works 

      You get a text message or a phone call from someone claiming to represent your credit card company. There’s a problem with a recent transaction, it says. You’ve been overcharged, and the company wants to help you get your reimbursement. This scam is especially convincing because scammers often have targets’ names. 

        Sounds harmless, right? The problem is that this is really a phishing con. You need to answer a few questions in order to get your money back. Of course, these questions are asking for Personally Identifiable Information (PII).


Tips to spot this scam:

          Consider how the company normally contacts you. If it’s by phone, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving emails or texts. Banks and credit card issuers have secure communications channels that require you to log into your account before you can read the message. Be especially cautious of generic emails that include little or no specific information.

      Check directly with the bank or credit card issuer before sharing information. Use the customer service phone number on the back of your card, on your statement, or on the company's website. Don’t click on any links in the message.


For More Information

Learn more about credit card scams at BBB.org/CreditCardScam. For more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips (BBB.org/ScamTips). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker).

[Source:  BBB Scam Alerts | June 12, 2020 ++]


Notes of Interest


       VA Cemetery. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Cheyenne National Cemetery for the name of the new VA national cemetery in Cheyenne, WY.

      VA Trustworthiness.  The trust that veterans have in the health care they receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs is at an all-time high. They recently released survey results showing veteran trust in VA health care outpatient services has increased more than 5 percent since 2017, reaching 90.1 percent as of 12 APR. Around 3.5 million of the veterans who have responded to the survey over the past three years said they “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they had trust in their health care.

       Honor Flights.   The Honor Flight Network, which sends veterans to tour the war memorials in Washington, said 11 JUN it would cancel all trips to the nation’s capital through the end of 2020. Under normal circumstances, the network would have transported about 20,000 to Washington this year, the group estimated. It was on track to reach the milestone of providing 250,000 trips to veterans in the 15 years since Honor Flight was founded.

 Thought for the Week

“This quarantine made me realize I have no real hobbies beside going out to eat and spending money”                     --- Anonymous


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