Pact Act Guidance with MOU Between VFW and B&M; VBA News

Comrades:

Per the attached guidance, VA must still process claims with PACT Act related conditions if the claim can be granted under current authority/regulations (Direct Service Connection, Secondary Service Connection, Aggravation, etc.).

If the claim cannot be granted under current regulations, but is a newly established presumptive condition, VBA has been instructed to begin developing the claim by retrieving and uploading Service Treatment Records (STRs), Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), and current treatment records.  Once pertinent records have been uploaded and both qualifying service and a diagnosis of a new presumptive condition have been confirmed, VSRs are instructed to order Compensation and Pension (C&P) exams to evaluate the severity of the condition.  VSRs have specifically been instructed NOT to request medical nexus opinions for newly presumptive conditions.  Once development has been completed RVSRs have been instructed to hold the claim until VBA begins processing PACT Act decisions in January 2023.

If a claim cannot be granted under current regulations and the conditions claimed are based on toxic exposure, but not one of the new presumptive conditions, VSRs must still begin to develop the claim by retrieving STRs, OMPF, and current treatment records, but they are not to order C&P exams.  The claim will then be held pending future guidance.

As a reminder, VFW has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the law firm Bergmann & Moore (B&M), LLC.  If you are contacted by a claimant that meets the eligibility to pursue a lawsuit related to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), please recommend the claimant contact B&M through their website’s landing page.  B&M is working with a national mass tort law firm and will review each proposed settlement to see if the Veteran is maximizing both VA and CLJA benefits.

VBA news:

  • We set records in claims production, rating 5% more claims than ever before (1.7M). This reduced the backlog by over 100,000 claims, with average time pending dropping to just over 20 days. All of this was done while achieving our highest quality ever nationwide.
  • Hired almost 7,000 new employees, which is four times our previous best.
  • Completed 72,000 field exams, deciding over 510,000 claims for Veterans and survivors. 

John Johnson, Command Sergeant Major, USA (Retired)
VFW Department Service Officer Columbia, South Carolina
Office: (803) 647-2442 / 2443, Fax: (803) 647-2313 6437, Email: John.Johnson34@va.gov
Garners Ferry Rd, Suite 1124 Columbia, SC 29209

Bergmann & Moore (B&M), LLC

5/14/22 VFW Patriots Courtyard Ceremony

Saturday May 14, 2022 @ 11:00 am

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3137, better known as “Post on the Coast”, will dedicate a newly renovated “Patriots’ Courtyard” that honors veterans on Saturday, May 14th at 11 AM. The event is open to the public and an opportunity for our community to collectively celebrate Military Appreciation Month.

Sidewalk / Courtyard Project Fundraiser

Purchase Your Engraved Paver Brick

Our latest Paver Brick Fundraiser to aid in safety improvements, beautification of our entrance way with both post and beach access. All patriots welcome to purchase an engraved paver.

Features include:

  • Widening the sidewalk from 4 to 8 feet
  • Remove standing water from heavy rain
  • Enhanced Courtyard area
  • Center and perimeter Seating Wall
  • New Lighting to improve night visibility
  • Memorial Garden to our Veterans

We are accepting applications for the first engraving period from present day through the end of August. Paver Bricks sponsored will be etched on-site in September. We will continue to accept applications for future engraving periods.

Visit our website today for all the details and thank you for your support!
 

2/3/21 Post 3137 Adopt-A-Unit USCGC James

On Wednesday February 3, 2021, a VFW Post 3137 contingency of Comrades and Auxiliary boarded the USCGC James in Charleston to award the James Officers and Crew the Adopt-A-Unit program certificate. At full muster of the helo deck, Commander Rex Brown addressed the crew and presented the certificate to the Commanding Office, Captain Todd Vance and OSCS, Senior Chief Michael McCandelss.

Rex Brown, Martha Brown, Al Lowry, Dennis Hamilton, Lynn Holgate and Ed Balasia boarded the USCGC James. Commander Brown presented the ship’s crew with a certificate, in accordance with the Adopt-A-Unit program of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. This certificate, along with assistance and support is given to the officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted men and women of Coast Guard Cutter James, to show concern, gratitude and admiration felt for those serving our great nation.