Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Joint VA/DOL Program Launches to Retrain 99,000 Unemployed Veterans

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Starting May 15, unemployed Veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 can now apply for new benefits to cover education costs for up to one year through a joint Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Labor (DOL) program that focuses on retraining 99,000 Veterans for high-demand jobs.

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Hiring Our Heroes headed to Puerto Rico

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It’s often said that when the mainland catches a cold, Puerto Rico gets the flu. This is especially true for veterans unemployment, as the island territory ranks among the highest in the nation in former servicemembers who are out of work.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The American Legion have taken notice, choosing Puerto Rico as the location for a Hiring Our Heroes job fair, which takes place June 1 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino in San Juan. Attendees can preregister for the free event until May 24. Walk-ins are also welcomed.

Around 35 employers are expected to be in attendance, fielding applications, networking with job candidates and offering other career services. As has been the case in the past with Hiring Our Heroes fairs, some employers will interview on the spot.

Companies like Wal-Mart, JC Penny and Aflac have agreed to maintain booths at the event. Government organizations like the FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency will also be on hand.

“One of the main concerns in front of our troops is employment,” said Ildefonso “Pancho” Colon, department commander. “It is my opinion that our troops deserve the first crack at the jobs that are available.”

Current estimates indicate that Puerto Rico has almost 200,000 veterans. “Soft” statistics have predicted that an unproportional amount of them are without work. This made the island a priority for The American Legion and the Chamber.

“It was decided that The American Legion needed to take action and make a statement showing that we support our fellow veterans in Puerto Rico,” said Davy Leghorn, assistant director for the Legion’s Economic Division. “Staff from The American Legion Headquarters and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have worked closely with the Department of Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands to ensure this hiring fair is successful.”

The hiring fair will coincide with The Department of Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands’ annual department convention. The department has helped coordinate the event with Legion national headquarters, the Chamber, the Department of Labor and the National Guard and Army Reserve.

Colon sees it as a crucial step in improving career prospects for veterans in his sovereign.

“The job fair is only the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “Working together with all the different employers, we can accomplish so much.”

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Revised Policy for Active Duty Health Professions/Financial Assistance Program Stipend and Annual Grant Amount

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Miller: Ensuring the Promise Remains Intact

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement after the Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4966) was favorably reported to the Full House for consideration yesterday:

“I would like to thank the Members of the House Budget Committee, in particular Chairman Ryan, for being proactive in addressing the serious concerns regarding VA’s health budget under the rules of sequestration through the Sequester Replacement Act 2012.

“This legislation should be met with bipartisan support by the House, Senate, and the President. It not only clarifies the law, but also exempts VA from administrative sequestration, on which the Administration has yet to provide a ruling.

“Veterans’ benefits are earned through service to our nation, and any breach of that contract is a breach of trust between our veterans and the American people. By removing all ambiguity in the law to ensure VA’s funding, we ensure that promise remains intact for today’s veterans and future generations.”

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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at