Veterans News and Views

Veterans News and Views

Veterans News and Views

By Jerry Field

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Dear Veterans and Stakeholders:

This week is the quarterly webcast hosted by Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Benefits, on January 31 at 2 p.m. ET. During the webcast, Dr. Lawrence will discuss the Veterans Benefits Administration’s progress in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019. He will be joined by Dave McLenachen, Executive Director of the Appeals Management Office, and Charmain Bogue, Acting Executive Director of Education Service, who will share information about appeals modernization and updates to the GI Bill.
You’ll also hear Dr. Lawrence respond to questions from Disabled American Veterans and Wounded Warrior Project.

Don’t miss out!



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American Flag. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

American Flag. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

The main campus of the Jesse Brown Veterans Health Care System and surrounding Community Outpatient Clinics will remain open and fully operational during the inclement weather conditions predicted for Tuesday, January, 29 thru Friday, February 1, 2019.

Continue to watch for weather alerts prior to traveling, use precautions and please, be safe!

If you need to cancel your appointment, please call: 888-569-5282.

During cold weather, you should take the following precautions:
• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold.
• Dress in layers and keep dry.
• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance
• Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
• Bring your pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water.
• Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight – and keep the fuel tank above half full.
• If you are told to stay off the roads, stay home. If you must drive, don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and stay on main roads.
Additional information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures may found at:

IRB# 1108676 Principal Investigator: K. Luan Phan, MD VA Ad Version 2 1.19.18 Title: Neurocognitive Function and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans
Contact JBVAMC IRB at 312-569-7441 to verify information

Veterans Research Volunteers Invited

Dr. K. Luan Phan (M.D.) at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center is conducting a research study on combat veterans who have been deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (ONO). In this study, we measure cognition and brain functioning in eligible participants.

You may be eligible to participate if you are:
1. 18-55 years old
2. Post-deployment from OEF/OIF/OND
3. Veteran experienced military combat

If you are eligible and agree to participate the study will involve:
1. A health interview
2. Completing questionnaires
*We will ask you questions about your mood, traumatic experiences, and alcohol and substance abuse
3. Electroencephalography (EEG) sessions to non-invasively measure brain function
*EEG sessions will involve performing mental tasks while viewing emotional images and completing decision making tasks,
4. Activity sessions involving attention, concentration, and memory

This study involves a time commitment of approximately 11 hours over 4 visits. All information you give is confidential. Volunteers will be compensated $25/hour for their time and receive a $100 bonus for completing all 4 sessions.

For more information, please contact Chris:
Call (312) 569-7333

8th Annual HIRING EVENT Hosted by Central States SER – Jobs for Progress

Friday Feb. 1, 2019. Town of CIcero Community Center. 22500 S. 49th Ave, Cicero, Il. Free event.

Meet face-to-face with 35 PLUS employers from various industries hiring for open positions starting from entry level to professional. The Event is free to attend and open to Job Seekers from the Chicagoland area, Veterans and Ex-Offenders.

• Accessible to public transportation. Parking available.
• Bring 30-40 of copies of your Resume (NO COPIES WILL BE PROVIDED) Early arrival strongly encouraged

If your company is looking to hire, and you would like to participant in the upcoming hiring event, call 773.542.9030 ext 1253.

There is no doubt that many of our Veterans have some degree off health situations. The VA is covering all known and many to be uncovered. Here’s a rundown of some medical situations offering information and often assistance.


Free Newsletter Compensation for Asbestos Exposure Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are currently 25 million living veterans who have served in the Armed Forces; hundreds of thousands, if not millions of these living veterans were exposed to toxic asbestos-containing materials during military service. The online Mesothelioma Center offers free assistance with filing VA claims and can make the process much easier. The Veterans Assistance department offers extensive experience in filing VA claims and can help any veteran coping with mesothelioma. When Seeking Compensation As is the case in practically all asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits, a claim is filed against the manufacturers of asbestos products, not employers that used asbestos products without knowledge of the hazardous effects. Aside from filing a claim against the asbestos manufacturer responsible for exposure, ailing veterans do have the legal option to seek assistance through The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Veterans are permitted to apply for VA benefits for asbestos-related diseases, but illnesses such as mesothelioma are not always recognized by the VA as a “service-connected” medical condition, which makes it extremely difficult to claim and receive benefits. The resources at offer assistance, free of cost, to veterans applying for benefits. The Mesothelioma Center has knowledgeable veterans on staff that can make the process easier and help receive benefits from the VA system. For more information, please call 800- 615-2270. VA Benefits Established on March 15, 1989, the VA succeeded the Veterans Administration that was founded in 1930. The VA is a government-run benefit system created for U.S. military veterans, which is responsible for administering benefit programs to veterans, their families, and survivors of veterans (collectively encompassing 74.5 million potentially eligible individuals). Benefits offered to veterans include disability compensation, pension, life insurance, home loans, education, vocational rehabilitation, survivors’ benefits, and medical and burial benefits. This incredibly complex system comprises the second-largest federal department (after the Department of Defense).

Pension Insider

By David Austin 11/ 2018 Thanks to Davis Austin for the information

The following two programs are designed to help veterans save money, and time.

1. The purpose of the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act allows for veterans who suffered combat injuries and who separated from the military under Honorable conditions, tax breaks. These veterans aren’t taxed on their lump sum disability benefits, or severance payments that they may receive. For veterans who receive lump sum benefits after January 17, 1991, they’re allowed additional time to claim a credit and refund on those taxes that they may have had in the past.
2. The Post 9/11 G-I Bill is an education benefit for active duty service members and veterans, who served in active duty after September 10, 2001. Those veterans are eligible to collect, if they served 90 days on active duty after September 10, 2001, or were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-related disability and served at least 30 days continuously after September 10, 2001. The Post 9/11 G-I Bill is not taxable, and does not need to be declared as part of a veterans income.

How To Track Your Claim Online

This versatile VA portal allows access to your disability claim or appeal information by signing in with your DS Logon, MyHealtheVet, or account. When you gain access to the portal you can click on a link that will allow access to one of these accounts (i.e., DS Logon, MyHealthVet or Claims and appeals that can be tracked includes disability compensation, veteran or survivor pension benefits, special monthly compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, burial allowance, status of claims for VA health care, GI Bill or other education benefits, vocational rehabilitation and employment claims, home loan Certificate of Eligibility, Specially Adapted Housing or Special Housing Adaptation grant, life insurance and a pre-need determination of eligibility to be buried in a VA national cemetery.
If you have trouble gaining access to the VA portal contact your Veterans Service Officer (VSO) or veterans representative who can help you access the portal.


Whether you’re just getting out of the service or you’ve been a civilian for years now, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide you to the benefits and services you’ve earned.
Based on where you are in life, your VA benefits and services can support you in different ways. Keep your welcome kit handy so you can turn to it throughout your life—like when it’s time to go to school, get a job, buy a house, get health care, retire, or make plans for your care as you age.
Feel free to share this guide with friends or family members who need help with their benefits too.

Download your VA Welcome Kit in black and white.

Download your VA Welcome Kit in color.

Explore to learn about your benefits

File a claim for disability compensation for conditions related to your military service, and manage your benefits over time.

Health Care
Apply for VA health care, find out how to access services, and manage your health and benefits online.

Education and Training
Apply for and manage your GI Bill and other education benefits to help pay for college and training programs.

Send you announcements and Veterans news to


Jerry Field

Dr. Jerry Field, a Korean War Veteran and native Chicagoan has a long history of service to Veterans, most recently as advocate for Veteran and Military benefits and services. He currently serves on several Veterans committees in Chicago and the State of Illinois. He is a Commander of the Jewish War Veteran (JWV) Post 710 and serves on the JWV Illinois strategic planning committee is also a member of the American Legion.

South Korean Consul General Jong kook Lee recently presented Dr. Field with the Ambassador of PeaceGold Medal.

His nonmilitary career is varied as he was a film publicist, newspaper reporter and taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology for nearly 20 years. He was an instructor for the ROTC and currently manages the JROTC program for Leadership for JWV. As Executive Director of the Chicago Veterans Coordinating Committee, his efforts are directed toward supporting Veterans and Military members to avail themselves of the benefits provided by the Veterans Administration and other service organizations.

Dr. Field holds a doctorate in education from Loyola University Chicago, a Masters in Economics and Marketing from Roosevelt University and a Leadership certification from the U S Army.

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