Community Bulletin Board Announcements
For anyone that has any questions about being eligible for assistance with benefits, please logon to www.govbenefits.gov for information. This is the official benefits website of the U. S. Government. It is free, easy and confidential.
SERVICE OFFICER DUTIES:
Veterans needing assistance with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) can come to me for help. I can help submit forms to the State Service Officer who will then see that the forms go to the right office at the VA Regional Office in Lincoln. Our State Service Officer is a professional whose full time job is working with the VA and he is an expert in veteran laws and benefits.
I maintain office hours at the Post on Mondays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., or, if that is not possible, I will see you at a time that will fit your schedule.
Call Bob Ruff at 402-391-6764
VETERAN PHONE SCAM ALERT
Returning veterans should be aware of a phone scam in the Midwest (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Minnesota). The scam begins with a phone solicitation asking about deployment and post-deployment related questions, then a second caller on the line asks for their social security number.
Last year in October, another similar Midwest scam involved callers identifying themselves as working for the "Patient Care Group", and added that the Department of Veterans Affairs recently changed protocols for dispensing prescriptions and asked for the veterans's credit card number.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs added, "VA does not call veterans and ask them to disclose personal or financial information over the phone and warned veterans not to give their social security numbers or credit card numbers over the phone."
The following alert has been forwarded by our National Information Technology (IT) Division.
Below is a message from a reliable VA source. We don't generally pass along scam "scares" as they come in nearly daily. "Phishing" is a term that means the website the scam directs you to looks very much like (if not identical) to a legitimate, official website. But since the VA is concerned about this one and has informed us about it, we will pass it along:I have received an e-mail that indicates there is a phishing scam, in an attempt to gain personal information. There haave been increasing reports of users receiving e-mail from the address firstname.lastname@example.org, asking them to check an account by clicking on a link.
This e-mail is not a VA address and is fake and the link in the e-mail is to a web site in Asia, so I have been informed.
Please notify all users of this phishing scam and instruct them to delete this e-mail if they receive it. DO NOT OPEN the e-mail.
Veterans Service Organizations Liaison
Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
It has been brought to our attention that private attorneys, seeking to represent appellants before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) on a fee basis, have been contacting some accredited American Legion representatives looking for referrals. There is no need for an accredited American Legion Representative to refer an appellant to a fee basis attorney. Staff attorneys from the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), consultant to the American Legion, review every American Legion (represented) appeal denied at the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). When NVLSP determines that there is a meritorius appeal of a BVA denial, NVLSP will offer to represent the appellant before the CAVC at no cost to the appellant, or NVLSP and the Legion will refer the case to the Veterans Pro Bono Consortium.
NVLSP will represent the veteran/appellant only at the CAVC. If the case is remanded by the CAVC, The American Legion will resume its representation. NVLSP will be available to provide advice and guidance to the Legion representative after the CAVC remand. This process protects the appellant's right to receive all of his or her retroactive benefits. The appellant would not have to pay 20 percent of the retroactive benefits to an attorney.
As you know, it is against Legion policy, and it is unlawful for an accredited Legion representative to accept money or any other form of compensation as part of their service to veterans and other claimants seeking VA benefits. Accredited American Legion representatives are encouraged to contact Ron Abrams of NVLSP at (202) 265-8305, Ext. 111, or Steve Smithson, Deputy Director for Claims Service, VA & R at (202) 263-2985 or email@example.com if someone you represent asks you about a potential appeal to the CAVC or if you wish to discuss various CAVC representation options.