Paralyzed Veterans of America Blog

Update on the Status of VA Appeals Reform

Posted by Steven Henry, associate legislative director for PVA on Jan 3, 2019 11:45:16 AM

The appeals process for Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) benefits claims has been under scrutiny for lengthy wait times and inaccurate decisions. In hopes of streamlining and improving the process, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 was introduced and subsequently signed into law in August 2017 (Public Law 115-55). The requirements in the law are scheduled to take effect in February 2019.

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Topics: veterans, PVA Members, benefits, For Veterans, VSO, appeals, Capitol Hill, VA

Choosing to Take Part in Clinical Research

Posted by Cheryl Vines, director of research and education for PVA on Dec 10, 2018 2:55:31 PM

Have you ever been asked to take part in a clinical trial or research study? Occasionally, Paralyzed Veterans of America will send out an email blast to its members and others about a new study. That does not mean we are conducting a study or are affiliated with one, often just that a researcher to help him or her has asked we ‘get the word out’. After we have verified that the study has been approved and meets clinical guidelines, we agree to send the word out. This helps the researcher and participant move research forward.

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Topics: Uncategorized, veterans, accessibility, disability, paralyzed veterans, paralyzed veterans of america, PVA Members, For Veterans, People With Disabilities

Improvements in Air Travel are on the Horizon for People with Disabilities

Changes to the air travel experience of people with disabilities are on the horizon following the signing of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 in October. The FAA Reauthorization included several provisions explicitly targeted at improving the air travel process, including security screening, for passengers with disabilities. PVA worked with many stakeholders to ensure that the needs of passengers with disabilities were included in the final bill.

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Topics: wheelchair, accessibility, accesssibleairtravel, disability, DOT, paralyzed veterans, paralyzed veterans of america, PVA Members, accessible, ACAAA, air travel, Capitol Hill, FAA Reauthorization, People With Disabilities

PVA Awards College Students with Scholarships

As the 2018-2019 academic school year gets underway, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is recognizing the 11 exceptional college students who will receive financial assistance through our Educational Scholarship Program. The program provides a $500 scholarship to each qualified part-time student, and a $1,000 scholarship to each qualified full-time student, with a total amount of $10,000 in funding.

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Topics: Uncategorized, Educational Scholarship Program, Scholarship, For Veterans, Students, People With Disabilities

How to Prepare and Respond When Natural Disasters Strike

Posted by Susan Prokop, senior associate advocacy director for PVA on Sep 13, 2018 2:43:44 PM

As powerful Hurricane Florence barrels toward the east coast of the US, and as much of the west coast deals with devastating forest fires, this is an opportune time to remind people with disabilities of the available resources and contacts available in their communities during emergencies like these.

Seek help from your local/state disability coalition

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Topics: For Veterans, Hurricane Florence, Safety, Disaster Preparedness, FEMA, Hurricane, People With Disabilities

August is a Great Time to Connect with Your Members of Congress

Traditionally, August signals a long recess work period for members of Congress. It is during this time that Senators and Representatives devote extra time and attention to meeting with their constituents, touring important facilities in their states and districts, and otherwise reconnecting with the citizens and communities they serve. Both members of the House and Senate typically leave Washington at the beginning of August and do not return until after Labor Day. This year, however, the Senate is taking a shorter recess and will return in the middle of the month.

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Topics: Department of Veterans Affairs, Air Carrier Access Amendment Act, VA caregiver program, Capitol Hill, Congress, Department of Transportation

In Vitro Fertilization Offered to Eligible Veterans

Posted by Tony Timmons, SNSO, Senior National Service Officer on Jul 20, 2018 10:08:05 AM

The inability for some service-connected veterans to create a family of their own has long been a subject of frustration, helplessness, domestic tension and possibly even shame, among other feelings, for many of our members and other service-connected veterans. Until recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provided few infertility services other than in vitro fertilization (IVF) to veterans as part of the medical benefits package.

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Topics: Department of Veterans Affairs, PVA Members, benefits, For Veterans, In Vitro Fertilization, IVF, VA

Protecting the ADA Remains a Top Focus for PVA

Posted by PVA Staff on Jul 19, 2018 11:32:56 AM

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. It is the most comprehensive disability rights legislation ever enacted. The ADA prohibits discrimination against a person with a disability in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

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Topics: Tammy Duckworth, ADA, Advocacy, Americans with Disabilities Act, Capitol Hill, Congress, People With Disabilities

Shooting Sports: Getting Involved at the Local and Chapter Level

I was all geared-up and in the ready, with tactical belt and triple magazine pouch all loaded with a 9mm, competition Gen 3 Glock 34 in my holster waiting on the Pact timer to go off so I could engage my targets quickly and accurately. This was a Thursday night local IDPA-style match and it happened to be the first I was competing in, so I had nothing to lose and only to gain. Before I took the line, however, I thought about a few things like “this shouldn’t be too hard”, or “I was a dumb grunt for six years, and I know target acquisition like the back of my hand”, or “I’m the shooting sports director for the largest shooting program of any veterans’ organization. How hard can this be?” Well….I got smoked.

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Topics: For Veterans

Are You Eligible for VA Educational Assistance, Chapter 35?

Posted by PVA Staff on Jun 15, 2018 11:31:11 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several educational programs.  The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) Program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents and survivors.

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Topics: For Veterans

About PVA

For 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation. We assist all veterans and specialize in supporting paralyzed veterans through monitoring their care in VA spinal cord injury units, funding research and education in the search for a cure and improving care overall.

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