Saturday: May 22, 2010
9:15AM: Tousha West, Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Atlanta VA Medical Center
- Every VA has a suicide prevention coordinator. If you or someone you know, please contact the local VA Medical Center and talk to yours!
(The Tuscaloosa VA Medical center number is 205-554-2000)
- The VA treats veterans with limited services for family members. However, if you have issues that involve your family or your family member (spouse/dependents), then the Vet Centers of America will provide you services. There is a Vet Center in Birmingham, AL that will give expanded services that the VA may not provide to entire families. But don't stop using the VA's services because we do have a great VA in Tuscaloosa and they provide services that the Vet Center may not offer as well.
- National Suicide Hotline and the National Homless Veteran Hotline have been combined. If you are thinking of harming yourself or someone else OR you are on the verge of being homeless, call 1-800-273-8255(TALK).
- My Healthy Vet: http://www.myhealth.va.gov/
My HealtheVet is VA’s award–winning e–health Website, which offers Veterans, active duty service members, their dependents and caregivers anywhere, anytime Internet access to VA health care information and services. My HealtheVet is a free, online Personal Health Record that empowers Veterans to become informed partners in their health care.
- VA's OEF/OIF Transitional Teams. DON'T WAIT TO GET TAKEN CARE OF AT THE VA ANYMORE!
The VA Has launched OEF/OIF Teams. Their sole priority is to serve OEF/OIF vets. They will not let you wait to be seen. That is their goal. This is a result of complaints from young veterans who have been frustrated with the wait times of the VA. The VA DOES care and they are working every day to serve veterans better. This proves that they do care and they do listen. So take advantage of it.
They specialize in PTSD, suicide and other post combat deployment issues.
The VA Suicide Prevention coordinator falls under this special team!
- Finally, make sure you fill out your Vet's Customer Service Survey! It does matter and they do listen!
10:00AM: Maurice Jackson, Field Service Coordinator, Wounded Warrior Project
- It's not just for wounded vets, it's for all vets deployed to combat zones.
- Programs offered:
Backpacks at Bedside: this was Wounded Warrior's first program. They provide an essential kit for service members and vets in the hospital. If you've ever been in the hospital, you know they don't give you much and these guys make sure that doesn't happen to our brothers and sisters in need. If you know a vet in the hospital, get in touch with WWP.
Warriors to Work: WWP uses its connections in the business world to set up a job referral service for veterans only. They don't just find you entry level jobs; they find you real managment level jobs that will help set you up to get promoted and be successful. It's not like monster.com of some other random job board. This is a real service that will help you longterm.
Alumni Services: This is a free service open to all veterans (alumni). This is an all encompassing program that every vet needs to take advantage of. And why not? It is FREE!
Project Odyssey: Is an online PTSD Forum. Find friends. Find people you might have served with. Find comfort among your brothers and sisters.
*** President Obama has recently signed into law the Veterans Caregiver Act
The new law expands healthcare coverage as well as other services to caregivers that have sacrificed in order to take care of wounded and disabled service members. For more details, check out: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/content/view/1085/921/
1:00PM: Keynote Speaker: James F. Mingey, The Veterans Corporation
The National Veterans Business Development Corporation (also now known as The Veterans Corporation and “TVC”) was established by Congress under Public Law 106-50 to expand the provision of and improve access to technical assistance regarding entrepreneurship for veterans. TVC works with and organizes public and private resources and the business development staffs of each Federal department and assists veterans and service-disabled veterans with the formation and expansion of small businesses.
PTSD Online Assessment: www.vetsprevail.com
Entrepreneurial help: www.psdconsulting.com
Small Business: www.changecorp.us
U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Dallas, TX: http://www.usvcc.com/dallas/
3:00PM: VA Compensation and Benefits Briefing
Get service connected NOW! Even if you don’t need help now, you may need help later. The sooner you get an issue service connected the better. For example, you may have hurt your back in the military, but you won’t need surgery for 10 years; get it documented now so there won’t be an issue later and the VA can pay for your surgery.
You can be rated at 0% for now. However, you are in the system as service connected and will be eligible for an increased compensation rate as your problems progress. You can be regularly reevaluated.
VA Compensation is tax free.
Compensation related benefits:
- VA Health Care for all related service connected conditions.
- Vocational rehab and employment services
- $10,000.00 life insurance
- Federal employment preference
- VAL loan funding fee waived
- Possible state and local benefits
- Annual clothing allowance of $716 (for certain types of disability)
- Specially adapted homes (for certain types of disability)
§ Up to $60,000.00 grant to remodel, buy or pay indebtedness on home that was already retrofitted.
§ Grant for actual cost, up to $12,000.00 for adaptation to residence determined by VA to be necessary.