DAV Virtual Town Hall (Part 2)
VA Committee Chair Answers Questions
: I'd like to know what your committee is doing to equalize the gap in treatment between male and female survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). Currently the VA has four separate centers for residential treatment of women survivors. None currently exists for male survivors. That is just the most glaring example. Will your committee engage the VA on providing equal care for male survivors of MST?
: The Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs had a hearing on MST on July 18, and the Committee is aware that this is a problem for all service members, regardless of gender. We are working with VA to amend their regulations governing MST.
: Basic costs, including food, gas, heating oil and other things have gone up so high, and the COLA doesn't go that far. Can we get an automatic COLA of 3 percent or more a year?
: The COLA amount is determined by the consumer price index, which directly relates to the increase received by Social Security benefits recipients.
: What action is the VA going to take for those that were stationed at Camp Lejeune? I was stationed there four times between 1968 and 1976.
: Congress recently passed and the President signed a law providing VA health care for veterans and family members who were on board Camp Lejeune between 1958 and 1988 (for a minimum of 30 days) and who have a disease linked to the water contamination. The list of diseases tracks those studied by the National Research Council as having limited/suggestive evidence of an association with exposure to the chemicals that were in the water supply during that time.
: I am a woman veteran and user of the VA health care system. Do you plan to hold any hearings about women veterans? There are a number of problems with getting care in VA facilities, and I think there are a number of issues that need to be addressed.
: Women are the fastest growing segment of the veteran population, and I am very concerned with ensuring they are provided appropriate and specialized care and services through VA. Many hearings and forums specific to female veterans have been held in the past and will certainly be held in the future.
: Is your Committee pushing for more and better training for VA rating [specialists]?
: H.R. 1627, which was recently signed into law, contains several provisions providing for better training for VA adjudicators. In addition, VA has recently redeveloped its internal "Challenge" training for employees.
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