1611 Virginia Ave., Ste 212, Box 406, North Bend , Oregon 97459 Hours: 10am-2pm Monday-Friday desk@sovoservesvets.org 541-756-8718 (Office) 541-756-8758 (Fax)

The PACT Act and VA Benefits – File Intent Now for 12 Months Backdated

Claims received by August 10 will be eligible for 12 months of backdated compensation

Thanks to the PACT Act, <https://tinyurl.com/jcbmx6bf> millions of Veterans who were exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances are now eligible for VA health care and benefits.

While there is no deadline to apply for PACT Act-related benefits, there is urgency. Most Veterans and survivors who apply <https://tinyurl.com/mry2skt>for benefits or submit an “Intent to File” <https://tinyurl.com/yc6m8fj6> by August 9, if granted, will have their benefits backdated to August 10th of last year – the day that President Biden signed the PACT Act into law.

If a Veteran files a PACT Act-related claim or ITF after August 10, 2023, they are still entitled to the 12-month retroactive payment. So, for example, if a Veteran files a PACT Act-related claim on 9/10/23, and it is granted, the award would be retroactive to 9/10/22. [This assumes there is evidence of the condition on 9/10/22]. [The citation for this is 38 CFR 3.114(a)(3)].

VA.gov/PACT  <https://tinyurl.com/4p6s33tv>is a one-stop shop to learn about and apply for PACT Act-related care and benefits. They can also apply by calling 1-800-MYVA411.

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Resources About Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The growing number of aging veterans, many of whom have multiple chronic conditions, make it necessary for the VA to increase the available information on geriatrics.

Care for Veterans with Alzheimer’s or dementia is provided throughout a full range of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services.

Based on the Veterans’ needs, services may include Home Based Primary Care <https://tinyurl.com/y3na5nhu>, Homemaker and Home Health Aide <https://tinyurl.com/y3byb95m>, Respite Care <https://tinyurl.com/bdf6hz3a>, Adult Day Health Care <https://tinyurl.com/bdh6xsjp>, outpatient clinic, inpatient hospital, Nursing Home <https://tinyurl.com/2bynhm5x>, Palliative Care <https://tinyurl.com/j4ffnakx>, or Hospice Care <https://tinyurl.com/5fpjdam8>.

Caregiver Support <https://tinyurl.com/2s4df5uy> is also an essential part of these services. If you’ve been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or are caring for someone who has, become familiar with the types <https://tinyurl.com/bzs3sje8>, stages, symptoms, and treatments.

Over 50 video and print resources have recently been added to the sections on:

Dementia Care including Alzheimer’s <https://tinyurl.com/mv4fpfr7>
Veteran Caregiver Family Resources <https://tinyurl.com/mwnhncmc>
Topics include daily plans, communication, behavior changes, next steps, and more. The Veterans Health Library has helpful resources about Coping with a Dementia Diagnosis <https://tinyurl.com/54xhvedv>.

Need more help or information? Find a VA social worker in your area <https://tinyurl.com/4tj9fcrp> or visit www.va.gov/Geriatrics.

Check out these resources for Veteran-Owned Businesses

Have you started a business? Thinking about starting one? There are national and state resources to help you begin, maintain, and grow your business. The following is a list to get you started.

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June 2 Legislative Bill Digest Released

You can download or read the latest Veteran Bill Digest (June 2) from the ODVA’s legislative webpage <https://tinyurl.com/yc46d5dv>. The 7-page digest contains roughly 40 bills relating to Veterans.

The 2023 Oregon Legislative Session began January 17, 2023.  Each Friday during Session, ODVA emails the Veteran Bill Digest to subscribers which contains information and links to new and existing bills impacting the veteran community.

Sign up for updates from ODVA on Veteran Legislation at <https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORDVA/subscriber/new?topic_id=ORDVA_30>

Track bills, receive committee agendas, submit or read hearing testimony and more at <Oregon State Legislature (oregonlegislature.gov)>

Suicidal? You can now go to any VA or non-VA healthcare facility for free emergency healthcare

Veterans in acute suicidal crisis can now go to any VA or non-VA healthcare facility for emergency health care at no cost — including inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days.

Veterans do not need to be enrolled in VA health care to use this benefit. This expansion will increase access to acute suicide care for up to 9 million veterans who are not currently enrolled in the VA system.

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Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Veterans and Low-Income Families from Housing Discrimination

(Press release)
Office of Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator for Oregon

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is reintroducing legislation that would protect veterans and low-income families from housing discrimination on the basis of their income source. “No one should be denied housing based on how they pay rent,” said Wyden, who last month also re-introduced legislation that aims to end homelessness in America and build up our nation’s housing supply. “Our nation’s veterans and families without means should have access to safe, affordable housing, without strings attached-whether their rent is paid by check or voucher.”

VA delays electronic health record deployments to June 2023 to address technical and other system performance issues

Press Release
Roseburg, OR

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that future deployments of the new Electronic Health Record (EHR) will be halted while we prioritize improvements at the five sites that currently use the new EHR, as part of a larger program reset.

During this reset, VA will fix the issues with the EHR that were identified during the recent “assess and address” period, continue to listen to Veterans and clinicians about their experience with the EHR, and redirect resources to focus on optimizing the EHR at the sites where it is currently in use: Spokane VA Health Care System, VA Walla Walla Health Care, Roseburg VA Health Care System, VA Southern Oregon Health Care, and VA Central Ohio Health Care System.

Additional deployments will not be scheduled until VA is confident that the new EHR is highly functioning at current sites and ready to deliver for Veterans and VA clinicians at future sites. This readiness will be demonstrated by clear improvements in the clinician and Veteran experience; sustained high performance and high reliability of the system itself; improved levels of productivity at the sites where the EHR is in use; and more. When these criteria have been met and the reset period concludes, VA will release a new deployment schedule and re-start deployment activities.

This new, modernized EHR will meaningfully improve Veterans’ health outcomes and benefits decisions, and VA remains committed to successfully implementing it across America.

“We’ve heard from Veterans and VA clinicians that the new electronic health record is not meeting expectations – and we’re holding Oracle Cerner and ourselves accountable to get this right,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “This reset period will allow us to focus on fixing what’s wrong, listening to those we serve, and laying the foundation for a modern electronic health record that delivers for Veterans and clinicians.”

“For the past few years, we’ve tried to fix this plane while flying it – and that hasn’t delivered the results that Veterans or our staff deserve,” said Dr. Neil Evans, Acting Program Executive Director, Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office. “This reset changes that. We are going to take the time necessary to get this right for Veterans and VA clinicians alike, and that means focusing our resources solely on improving the EHR at the sites where it is currently in use, and improving its fit for VA more broadly. In doing so, we will enhance the EHR for both current and future users, paving the way for successful future deployments.”


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Coos Bay/North Bend Veterans Stand Down Date Set for August 18, 2023

The Coos Bay/North Bend Stand Down will be held on Friday, August 18, 2023 from 9am to 3pm at Pony Village Mall in North Bend.  This annual event provides a one-stop shop providing resources and services to veterans and their families.

This annual event takes both money and people to be successful. Some donations have already been received.  Many thanks to Bandon By the Sea Rotary Foundation, Pacific Coast Corvette Club and Sause Brothers Ocean Towing for their early donations towards this year’s Veterans Stand Down.

It takes many volunteers to make this annual event happen. Volunteers and Providers can register at Coos Bay North Bend Stand Down Registration. <https://forms.gle/KBUheacHvZ2vw8oCA>

Questions can be sent by email to coosbaynorthbendstanddown@gmail.com. Or you can find more email on the Facebook coosbaynorthbendstanddown page <(20+) Coos Bay North Bend Veterans Stand Down | Facebook>  or the Facebook event page <https://fb.me/e/5LlodpH7C>