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From Chuck Weber, your Veteran Service Officer...
 
 
NDAA Brings New Vet Benefits + VA Mission Act
  100% Disabled Vets Now Authorized Space “A”When President Trump signed into law the new National Defense Authorization Act, disabled veterans were granted a huge travel perk that has virtually gone unnoticed.   Under the new Disabled Veterans Access to Space-A Travel Act, veterans with a service-connected, permanent disability rating of 100% can hop on any scheduled or unscheduled military flight within the continental United States (and scheduled overseas flights) operated by Air Mobility Command (AMC).  Clarification on whether or not required caregiver accompaniment is authorized has not yet been promulgated.        

To sign up for Space A Travel complete AMC Form 140, Space Available Travel Request (
https://www.amc.af.mil/Portals/12/documents/AFD-140926-014.pdf) form and e-mail it to your desired AMC Passenger Terminal.  Info you need to complete the form includes:
        Email address
       
Personal information (Rank/Grade, First Middle Last Name)
       
Service Branch (AF, Army, Marines, Navy, CG)
        Status (Active, Guard, Reserve, Retired, Disabled Veteran, etc.)
       
Other Travelers (dependents names)
        Total number of seats required
       
Travel status (See Travel Eligibility-Category I-VI).  The form has not yet been modified to reflect 100% disability eligibility.  In the interim suggest use Category VI until otherwise advised.
        Overseas Travel Ready Status (Have Required Passports/Visas etc.)
        5-Destinations (Sign-up for up to 5 Destinations e.g. Germany, USA, Japan, Alaska, or Hawaii)         

Note: Do Not Provide Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as Social Security Numbers (SSNs) 

The NDAA also includes provisions to allow Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients, former prisoners of war and veterans with disabilities connected to their military service to shop at the discounted on-base commissary store. It also extends that access to veteran caregivers.     

In addition, the NDAA also expands access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Post Exchange privileges to these Purple Heart recipients, service-connected disabled veterans, former POWs, and their caregivers. 
Sources:  USVCP, August 15, 2018 & Stars and Stripes, August 7, 2018 
 


VA Mission Act ► 

 A Glimpse
Inside VA’s Major Overhaul
 The VA MISSION Act is the most massive comprehensive health care reform bill and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on 6 JUN.  VA has quietly begun working on implementing these major changes but recognizes it can't do so without veterans' help.   VA wants to know what questions veterans have about the VA MISSION Act as VA moves forward in rolling out these huge health system changes. While MOAA and other veteran service organizations (VSO) have started working with VA to implement the legislation, veterans are central to making the transformation smooth and in helping the department meet the very tight deadline mandated by Congress.  One of the most significant changes veterans will see in the next few months is the elimination of the Veterans Choice Program, established in 2014, to provide temporary relief and help VA rebuild internal capacity to reduce long wait times for veterans seeking health care. A new, streamlined community care program will replace Choice and consolidate multiple community care programs currently managed by VA into a single program.   A few other major changes veterans can expect to see are:
  • The expansion of VA's comprehensive caregiver support program, opening up the program to eligible pre-9/11 veterans;
  • Veterans and their doctors will be able to decide the best option on where the veteran should get their care, whether inside VA or in the community;
  • More telehealth programs; and,
  • Walk-in health care services with local community providers.
 Congress gave VA one year from the enactment of the MISSION Act to replace the Choice Program and two years to implement the caregiver program expansion.  Last week, VA provided a little peek it is working toward to combine and implement the new community care program and walk-in care services over the next year.  
  • Phase 1, June - October 2018.  Build the operating structure, access and eligibility criteria, new veteran care contract agreements, and new competency standards for community providers; and, draft regulations.
  • Phase 2, November 2018 - February 2019.  Complete and test the operating structure and elements initiated in Phase 1; continue rollout of the new community care provider network; begin educating and training VA staff; and, finalized regulations.
  • Phase 3, March - June 2019.  Transition and begin operation of the new walk-in care and community care program; continue educating VA staff; continue rollout of new community care provider network; begin using new competency standards for community providers; publish regulations; and, end the Choice Program.
 VA needs you to send them your questions about the VA MISSION Act that you want. To help get you started, here are a couple questions we think veterans will want to know:
  • How can veterans expect VA to communicate with them as progress is made in implementing the MISSION Act and how can veterans provide feedback throughout the process?
  • What does walk-in care mean and will I be charged for getting this care outside of my VA medical center?
      Now, what questions are on your mind?  You are requested to send your questions to legis@moaa.org  and MOAA will share your questions with VA as well any communication and marketing materials as they become available. 

 

Source:  Excerpted from The MOAA Newsletter, Rene Campos, August 16, 2018

 

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