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The 9th National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic - Sailing



YouTube Live with Secretary Shulkin

With VA's Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you're in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed professionals who answer the support line can:

  • Tell you about the assistance available from VA.
  • Help you access services.
  • Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.
  • Just listen, if that's what you need right now.

If you're just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line is a great first step to take to learn more about the support that's available to you.


Grieving Army Widow Meets Her Husband’s Coffin on Airport Tarmac,

Leaving Plane Passengers in Tears


A touching moment between a grieving military widow and her husband’s coffin was captured on camera by a bystander, giving millions of viewers on social media a window into the heartbreaking and personal effects of war.

Lisa West Williams was waiting to exit her aircraft at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Tuesday, when she and her fellow passengers watched a flag-draped coffin being removed from the plane’s luggage compartments.

It contained the body of Green Beret Shawn Thomas — a 35-year-old father of four who, according to his obituary, died while serving on Feb. 2 in a vehicle accident in Niger, Africa.

The Oklahoma native was an Echo in the Special Forces and was on his eighth deployment when he died. He and his family — wife Tara and children Cheyenne, Taylor, Gavin, and Natylyn — were based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Filming the incident, Williams recorded the moment Tara greeted her husband’s coffin. Dressed in all black,  she placed her hand on the coffin and buried her head into its side. Appearing to cry, she was comforted by loved ones before six members of the military carry his coffin to a nearby hearse.

“It was an honor to fly home with this PATRIOT!” wrote Williams on her Facebook post of the video, which has been viewed over 8 million times. “God bless his wife and family. There was not a dry eye around me.”

Later, Williams told WNCT that Tara had given her permission to post the footage, thanking her and hoping others would see the sacrifices made by military families.

“She wanted people to realize that this goes on every day,” Williams told WNCT. “There are many men and women that come home in a casket and they’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for us.”

According to Army Times, Shawn was awarded — among other honors — two Bronze Stars and four Good Conduct Medals. His body will be buried at Arlington National Ceremony.

“Under his big beard, tattoos and giant muscles there was a small town Oklahoma boy that was grounded by his faith, strong values, and family,” his obituary read. “He will be missed by everyone that had the opportunity to meet him.”


Dear Veterans

We'd like to invite you to log in to the member portal and learn more about My HealtheVet.  With My HealtheVet, you can easily refill prescriptions, exchange messages with VA medical staff, view doctors' notes from previous visits, and much, much more. There is also a My HealtheVet quick poll for you to take.

Thank you for your participation on the Veteran Insights panel this past year.  Your opinions and input have been invaluable and the Department of Veterans Affairs is thankful for your willingness to share your thoughts with them.  Your feedback is helping the VA to learn how to better serve you in the future.








In addition veterans entitled to compensation whose disability is rated as 30 percent or more, shall be entitled to additional compensation for dependents as follows (monthly amounts):


Disability Rating: 30% - 60%
Disability Rating: 70% - 100%


Disability Rating: 30% - 60%
Disability Rating: 70% - 100%

You May Also Like: Dependency & Indemnity Compensation a VA benefit for survivors of disabled veterans.

10% - 20%

Percentage Rate
10% $133.17
20% $263.23


Dependent Status
Veteran Alone $407.75 $587.36 $836.13 $1,059.09
Veteran with Spouse Only $455.75 $651.36 $917.13 $1,156.09
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent $494.75 $703.36 $982.13 $1,234.09
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents $533.74 $755.36 $1,047.13 $1,312.09
Veteran with One Parent $446.75 $639.36 $901.13 $1,137.09
Veteran with Two Parents $485.75 $691.36 $966.13 $1,215.09
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $44.00 $59.00* $74.00 $89.00


Dependent Status
Veteran Alone $1,334.71 $1,551.48 $1,743.48 $2,906.83
Veteran with Spouse Only $1,447.71 $1,680.48 $1,888.48 $3,068.90
Veteran with Spouse and One Parent $1,538.71 $1,784.48 $2,005.48 $3,198.96
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents $1,629.71 $1,888.48 $2,122.48 $3,329.02
Veteran with One Parent $1,425.71 $1,655.48 $1,860.48 $3,036.89
Veteran with Two Parents $1,516.71 $1,759.48 $1,977.48 $3,166.95
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $104.00 $118.00 $133.00 $148.64


Dependent Status 30% 40% 50% 60%
Veteran with Spouse and Child $491.75 $699.36 $976.13 $1,227.09
Veteran with Child Only $439.75 $630.36 $890.13 $1,124.09
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child $530.75 $751.36 $1,041.13 $1,305.09
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child $569.75 $803.36 $1,106.13 $1,383.09
Veteran with One Parent and Child $478.75 $682.36 $955.13 $,1202.09
Veteran with Two Parents and Child $517.75 $734.36 $1,020.13 $1,280.09
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18 $24.00 $32.00 $40.00 $48.00
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a) $78.00 $104.00 $130.00 $156.00
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $44.00 $59.00 $74.00 $89.00

70% - 100% WITH CHILDREN

Dependent Status 70% 80% 90% 100%
Veteran with Spouse and Child $1,530.71 $1,775.48 $1,995.48 $3,187.60
Veteran with Child Only $1409.71 $1,637.48 $1,840.48 $3,015.22
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child $1,621.71 $1,879.48 $2,112.48 $3,317.66
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child $1,712.71 $1,983.48 $2,229.48 $3,447.72
Veteran with One Parent and Child $1,500.71 $1,741.48 $1,957.48 $3145.28
Veteran with Two Parents and Child $1,591.71 $1,845.48 $2,074.48 $3,275.34
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18 $56.00 $64.00 $72.00 $80.52
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a) $182.00 $208.00 $234.00 $260.13
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $104.00 $118.00 $133.00 $148.64


  • A. Rates for each school child are shown separately. They are not included with any other compensation rates. All other entries on this chart reflecting a rate for children show the rate payable for children under 18 or helpless. To find the amount payable to a 70% disabled Veteran with a spouse and four children, one of whom is over 18 and attending school, take the 70% rate for a veteran with a spouse and 3 children, $ 1,642.71, and add the rate for one school child, $182.00. The total amount payable is $1,824.71.
  • B. Where the veteran has a spouse who is determined to require A/A, add the figure shown as "additional for A/A spouse" to the amount shown for the proper dependency code. For example, veteran has A/A spouse and 2 minor children and is 70% disabled. Add $104.00, additional for A/A spouse, to the rate for a 70% veteran with dependency code 12, $1,586.71. The total amount payable is $1,690.71.

These rates were provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The original copies can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.


Reimbursement for mileage or public transportation may be paid to the following:

  1. Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated at 30% or more;
  2. Veterans traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition;
  3. Veterans receiving a VA pension;
  4. Veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations;
  5. Veterans whose income does not exceed the maximum VA pension rate;

Mileage Reimbursement is at the rate of 41.5 cents per mile. These milieage subject to a deductible of $3 for a one way trip, $6 for a round trip, with a maximum of $18 per or the amount after six one-way trips (whichever occurs first) per calendar month. However, these deductibles can be waived if they cause a financial hardship to the veteran.

The deductible is also waived for veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations.

Memorial Day is a special time for Americans to honor and remember all who have died while serving in the Armed Forces.  Join us in honoring them with thanks and appreciation at VA national cemeteries.  To view a full list of nationwide ceremonies, visit the VA Memorial Day Ceremonies page.   


The 3Rs are my must-haves ... Responsibility respectability

and reliability. No negotiating on these



disabled veterans Veteran Benefits


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New VA secretary talks to "60 Minutes"


Yes the VA is implementing Changes. Plant an Asparagus seed and tell me how many years it takes before you can cut it down
The same philosophy applies to MyVA. It takes time my friends.


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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

News Releases

Graphic saying New  VA Secretary to Announce VA-Bob Woodruff Foundation Partnership - Department of Veterans Affairs’ Secretary Robert A. McDonald this evening will announce a partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation to further advance VA’s outreach to Veterans through deeper and more innovative local and community partnerships. VA will capitalize on BWF’s strength and contacts to find unique ways to connect Veterans, transitioning Servicemembers and their families with resources right where they live. The partnership with BWF is one of many strategic alliances VA is forming and is an integral goal of the MyVA initiative, the largest reorganization in VA’s history which reorients VA around the needs of Veterans. (11/10/15)

Graphic saying New VA and PenFed Foundation Work Together to Prevent Veteran Homelessness - The Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming up with the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation) to strengthen efforts to prevent Veteran homelessness. This new partnership will expand the PenFed Foundation’s existing Military Heroes Fund Emergency Assistance Program to include all Veterans. Previously, the program was available only to Veterans of the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) conflicts. (11/9/15)

Graphic saying New VA partners with YMCA of the USA to support Veterans - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) have refreshed and expanded their partnership to promote and enhance the health and well-being of Veterans and their families.  (11/6/15)

Graphic saying New VA Convenes Commission for the Selection of Next Under Secretary for Benefits - The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today he is convening a commission, which will serve to make recommendations to the President for the appointment of VA's next Under Secretary for Benefits (USB).  (11/5/15)

Graphic saying New VA Launches Hepatitis C–Advanced Liver Disease Disparities Dashboard - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is stepping up its efforts to accelerate treatment for Veterans with hepatitis C and advanced liver disease (ALD) through the creation of a Hepatitis C–ALD dashboard. The dashboard works by using a set of criteria, including age, gender, geography, service era along with and race and ethnicity, to distinguish Veteran groups at highest risk for ALD as a result of hepatitis C.  (11/3/15)

Elks Pledge Four Million Dollars to End Veteran Homelessness - The Department of Veterans Affairs is strengthening community and non-profit partnerships to better serve Veterans. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America today announced that it has committed $4 million over a 4-year period to help end Veteran homelessness. (10/14/15)

National Creative Arts Festival in North Carolina Showcases Veterans’ Artistry - The Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina will host more than 100 Veterans from across the country for the 2015 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. The festival runs Oct. 12 through Oct. 18. (10/9/15)

VA’s Million Veteran Program hits 400K Milestone - The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Million Veteran Program (MVP) has enrolled its 400,000th Veteran volunteer, squarely putting it on track to become one of the world’s largest medical databases, linking genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military-exposure information, with the goal of learning more about the role of genes in health and disease. (10/8/15)

VA Announces Expansion of Veterans Economic Communities Initiative - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the expansion of a program aimed at increasing education and employment opportunities to America’s Veterans to an additional to 25 new communities. The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative (VECI) brings together local and national partners to coordinate services for Veterans, Servicemembers and military families. (9/30/15)

VA Announces $12.8 Million in funding to Help the Homeless - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today announced $12.8 million in renewal funding through the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program to 20 community agencies that currently provide transitional housing with supportive services for homeless Veterans under the Transition in Place (TIP) model. (9/29/15)

VA Announces $4 Million in Funding to Help the Homeless - WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced the award of $4 million in renewal funding offered through the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program to 21 community agencies that currently provide enhanced services for homeless Veterans with special needs. (9/24/15)

VA Secretary Robert McDonald to Meet With First-Ever All Female Honor Flight Participants - VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald will speak to more than 140 Veterans who are in Washington D.C. as part of the first-ever all female Honor Flight. Honor Flights transport our nation’s Veterans to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect at the memorials built to honor their service. The flight arriving on September 22 is comprised of 70 female World War II Veterans and 70 post-9/11 era female Veterans. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs will provide remarks during a short ceremony at the Women in Military Service Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to honor these Veterans. (9/21/15)

VA Awards $8 Million in Adaptive Sport Grants to Aid Disabled Veterans - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today announced the awarding of up to $8 million in grants to eligible recipients with experience managing largescale adaptive sports programs for disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers of the Armed Forces. The grant recipients may use these funds for planning, developing, managing and implementing adaptive sports programs. (9/15/15)

VA Awards Local Grants to Prevent and End Homelessness - Thousands of very low-income Veteran families around the nation, who are permanently housed or transitioning to permanent housing, will continue to have access to crucial services with the renewal of approximately $300 million in grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.  (9/14/15)

VA More Than Triples Volunteers in Facilities Nationwide through Summer of Service - The Department of Veterans Affairs today announced that the 2015 Summer of Service initiative, which launched in May, has exceeded the goals set for community volunteers serving Veterans and the development of new partnerships to reach Veterans and their family members. VA’s Summer of Service mobilized approximately 300,000 citizens across the country to honor the nation’s sacred commitment to caring for Veterans. (9/9/15)





The recently released fall 2015 issue of Post-9/11 Vet features important updates for Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. Inside you’ll find the latest information on the Burn Pit Registry, exposure to chemical warfare agents, health research, and more. Start reading at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/publications/oef-oif-ond/post-9-11-vet-fall-2015/index.asp.

Veterans! Hard of hearing? VA can help.


Update on GI Bill In-State Tuition; Section 702 of the Choice Act

Colleagues and Fellow Veterans,

We’d like to update you on the tremendous progress implementing our piece of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“the Choice Act”) – specifically, the provision affecting students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Montgomery GI Bill. 

Section 702 of the Choice Act requires VA to disapprove programs at public colleges for Post-9/11 GI Bill and MGIB benefits that don’t provide the resident-rate tuition and fee charges to covered individuals.  The disapproval applies to any terms beginning after July 1, 2015.  This change affects thousands of Post-9/11 GI Bill and MGIB – AD students.  To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to those covered by this law. 
When we last wrote about this in May, we indicated that Secretary McDonald decided to exercise his waiver authority and grant more time for states and territories to comply.

Today we’re pleased to report that 45 states and several territories comply with the law and have begun charging covered individuals up to the resident-rate for tuition and fees at public schools.

This means that nearly 5,000 public schools, covering nearly 93% of the GI Bill student population, are participating. Now, that doesn’t mean that all of their students will qualify; the school still has to verify that someone is a covered individual. But it does demonstrate the breadth and depth of the progress we’ve made thanks to your support.  

This effort took energy and support from so many people and organizations, and I’m proud of how we worked together for the greater good of the Veteran community. I especially want to thank our SAA colleagues for ensuring their respective legislative bodies or education commissions took the necessary steps to comply.

Other states have delegated the compliance decision to their respective schools …you can see which ones at the link below. 

The remaining few non-compliant states and territories have until December 31, 2015, to comply, thanks to the Secretary’s waiver. All of them have indicated they intend to comply.

Our work isn’t done yet, but we are so close. We won’t stop until every state and territory complies, and we’ll continue to update you on our progress.

You can read more about the resident-rate requirements of the Choice Act by visiting our website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/702.asp. There you can also track the latest compliance status by state, territory, and school on our map.

As always, we thank you for all you do every day to assist this deserving community.


Curtis L. Coy
Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Core Values:  Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence (“I CARE”)

Please Remember:



  • If you are seeking employment in the federal government, particularly the VA, our VA for Vets high-tech tools and resources can help. Visit online at http://vaforvets.va.gov/ or call 1-855-824-8387.

If you would like to contact us about your VA education benefits:

You can send us a secure email that will usually be answered within 48 hours. You can also search for answers to frequently asked questions and register to be notified of any updates to the information. This contact method is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can also be utilized worldwide. Click here to enter the "Ask A Question" site or here to review our frequently asked questions.

You can call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551). This line only accepts calls from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM central time Monday – Friday. 



VA Secretary Bob McDonals Summer Service