I would like to pass along some information from our friends at the Brunswick County VSO. A big thank you to Anita Hartsell and all of the others that serve veterans there.
Veterans Experience Action Center Event
This event is to promote veterans benefits. Veterans having questions or issues on disability claims can speak to representatives from the Winston Salem VA Regional Office.
Where: Elks Lodge Wilmington, 5102 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC
When: Thursday, April 25th and Friday, April 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Services will include:
* VA benefits compensation and pension
* VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Information
* VA health care benefits enrollment and information
* Mental health counseling, Homeless, low-income housing & vocational support services
- Vocational rehabilitation, loan guarantee, and education services
- VA Mobile Vet Center
- Services from community partners
- Information and referrals
Veterans need to make sure they bring all supporting documentation with them to give to the VA at the event.
If you have an eBenefits account and wish to get the upgraded "Premium Access" account, you may apply for this at the event. You will need to bring a government-issued photo ID card (Driver's license, ID card, Passport), a secondary form of ID, such as your Social Security card, birth certificate, or other form of photo ID, and your DD-214 military discharge document (they ask to see the original or a certified copy of your DD-214).
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans
At the end of January, a federal court ruled that the VA cannot deny disability benefits to Navy Veterans who served in the waters offshore of Vietnam. These Veterans are referred to as the "Blue Water" Navy because they served in the waters offshore and did not set foot on land in Vietnam. Under current department rules, the blue water Veterans must prove their ailments are directly connected to chemical exposure in service. While exposure is automatically presumed for any Veteran who had boots on the ground, or who served in the inland waterways of Vietnam. In its decision, the court stated that "their statutes cast no doubt on our conclusion that, by using the formal term, 'Republic of Vietnam', Congress unambiguously referred, consistent with uniform international law, to both its landmass and its 12-nautical-mile territorial sea".
They have 90-days to appeal to the Supreme Court.
At the end of March, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that he would recommend the Justice Department not fight the federal court decision granting Agent Orange disability benefits to Navy Veterans who served within the 12-nautical miles of Vietnam. It does not appear that the court decision will be appealed, but they still have until the end of April to decide.
Kohl's Department store has announced that they will be offering members of the military and their family a 15% discount on Mondays (Military Mondays) as a way to thank active, former military personnel, veterans, and their families for their service and sacrifice to our country. You must show a valid Military ID, Military Dependent ID, or a Veterans ID card at the time of purchase (Monday's only).
Here is a link to WECT News coverage about the discount: http://www.wect.com/…/kohls-starts-military-monday-discou…/…
As always, if you have any VA related questions or would like to file for VA benefits, please call their office at 910-253-2233 to schedule an appointment.