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Saturday, July 30, 2011

VA Expands Outreach to Women Veterans

Department of Veterans Affairs Hosts 5th National Summit in D.C.

WASHINGTON – Over 700 participants attended the Fifth National Summit on Women Veterans’ Issues July 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki gave remarks to open the summit which focused on expanding outreach to women Veterans and increasing awareness of the enhanced VA benefits and services available to them.

“With more women serving in our armed forces than ever before, this summit is an opportunity to exchange ideas and focus attention on the issues and concerns unique to women Veterans,” Shinseki said. “Today, there are over 1.8 million women Veterans of all eras and one of VA’s highest priorities is to continue to expand our services and outreach to ensure they receive the care and benefits they have earned.”

This is the first time VA will provide targeted training, education, and collaborative cross training for its staff responsible for providing services and benefits specifically to women Veterans and their families. Participants include: women Veterans, women Veteran advocates from across the nation, active duty women service members (to include those in the Reserves and National Guard) VA employees who provide care to women Veterans, and representatives from a multitude of Veterans service organizations and nonprofit agencies. VA Medical Centers employ women Veterans program managers; community-based outpatient clinics employ a women’s liaison; and VA regional offices employ a women Veterans coordinator.

"The number of women Veterans using VA health care has doubled in the last decade,” said Patricia Hayes, chief consultant of VA’s Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group. “This training, coupled with direct feedback from women Veterans, will enable VA to continue to enhance health care and services to meet their needs.”

Today, over 200,000 women are serving in the armed forces. About 11 percent of the U.S. forces currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are women. Recognizing the valor, service and sacrifice of America’s 1.7 million women Veterans, VA has stepped up its outreach efforts to women Veterans to increase their awareness of the comprehensive array of VA benefits and programs. Women Veterans are entitled to the same benefits and medical care as their male counterparts, including health care, disability compensation, education assistance, work-study allowance, vocational rehabilitation, employment and counseling services, insurance, home loan benefits, nursing home care, survivor benefits and various burial benefits.

In addition, VA also has a multitude of gender specific services and programs that respond to the unique needs of women Veterans, including pap smears, mammography, general reproductive health care, counseling for substance abuse, sexual trauma, depression, and evaluation and treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For more information about VA visit the website at and its Center for Women Veterans at

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For assistance with your Veterans Disability compensation or pension claim, call Florida VA Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What is a Life Insurance Waiver of Premium Based on Disability?

If you have a life insurance plan through your employer and you become disabled, you may be able to keep your life insurance without paying premiums. How? Something called a premium waiver due to disability.

Some group life insurance plans - including many covered by the federal ERISA law that governs employee benefits - have a provision that allows disabled employees to keep their life insurance coverage. Some refer to these provisions as Life Insurance Waiver of Premium (shorthand: LIWOP). Many people know about their Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance coverage. However, you may also have a waiver of premium provision in your life insurance policy that kicks in based on your disability. Even if you do not have LTD coverage, you may be able to file an application with your life insurance benefits plan administrator asking that your coverage be continued. If you have have LTD coverage, you probably still have to file a separate application with the life plan administrator. Sometimes that will be the insurer, but you can ask your employer or the sponsor of your group life plan for the application for benefits.

Why is a Life Insurance Premium Waiver valuable coverage? Because it means you get free life insurance if you can prove that you are disabled under the plan's definition of disability. There is no standard definition. You have to read the life insurance policy to determine what you have to prove to show that you are disabled. If you have LTD coverage, the definition of disability in your LTD plan may be different than the definition of disability in your Life Insurance policy.

It is strongly recommended that you hire an ERISA Disability Attorney if you think you may hav a Life Insurance Waiver of Premium claim. Hiring an attorney before you file your claim may save you time and let you keep thousands of dollars of life insurance coverage....for free.

Copyright (c) 2011 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Long Term Disability claim, ERISA Disability benefit claim, Florida ERISA claim, or Life Insurance Disability Premium Waiver claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

Legal Guides From John Tucker on Selected Disability Topics