Veteran Benefits


San Diego Company Aims To Curb VA Wait Times

A new center opened in San Diego to help vets find care outside the VA. The opening comes a little more than a year after Congress created the Veterans Choice Program to help cut long wait times.

TriWest Healthcare Alliance made the announcement before its staff of 250 people at its operations center in Rancho Bernardo on Tuesday. TriWest is operating in 28 states. It is one of the companies ...

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San Diego County Veterans Expo Strives To Handle Volume

San Diego County on Monday sponsored a Veterans, Military and Families Benefit Expo at the War Memorial in Balboa Park.

Educating 1.2 million veterans about their benefits can be challenging, especially since the number of veterans grows so rapidly, organizers said.

"We get between 300 and 500 transitioning service members per month, coming out of the big major military bases here," said Timothy Mathues, senior human resources analyst for ...

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Veterans Affairs Officials Say Improvements Made In San Diego System

San Diego Veterans Affairs officials on Monday said they've made improvements for patients.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System has seven clinics throughout San Diego County and changes have been made since criticism arose of the health care for veterans.

In the past six months, the local agency said it has converted 100 staff parking spaces to patient parking.

"We know we have to ensure that veterans who come ...

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975 Homeless Veterans Get Help At San Diego's Stand Down

Volunteers at the 28th annual National Stand Down provided services to 975 homeless veterans, according to Veterans Village of San Diego, which organized the three-day event.

This year also saw higher numbers of women and dependent children in need of help, according to the VVSD.

"Nearly 50 percent of the active-duty military has dependent spouses or children," said VVSD President and CEO Phil Landis. "It is disappointing, but not surprising ...

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Military Commissaries Facing Budget Axe Once Again?

Military commissaries would have to shut their doors to shoppers by up to two days a week, under a draft Defense Department budget document obtained by the Military Times.

The document lists proposed cuts to the Defense Commissary Agency's budget for fiscal 2016:

[T]he Defense Commissary Agency [must]... meet a DoD mandate to come up with $322 million in annual savings — nearly one-fourth of DeCA's annual baseline ...

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Student Veterans Center Opens Monday At MiraCosta College

A grand opening is scheduled for Monday for a larger information center for student veterans at MiraCosta College.

The new center, in the T100 building, is bigger than the office that's been in use over the past five years.

The military contingent at the community college in Oceanside has grown substantially in the past decade, from around 900 to the current figure of around 1,500 active-duty and veteran ...

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University Of Phoenix Barred From Enrolling Veterans In 7 Programs On San Diego Campus

California regulators have barred the University of Phoenix from enrolling veterans in seven popular programs at its San Diego campus.

The action came after auditors found the for-profit college had violated a decades-old rule to prevent the improper targeting of veterans. The state order covers four undergraduate programs and three master’s programs, including those in management, Web development and criminology.

A copy of the state inspectors’ report, obtained by ...

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San Diego VA Says It's Taking Steps To Reduce New Patient Wait Times

Nationwide, tens of thousands of veterans have been waiting three months or more to get their first VA medical appointment.

The long delays have prompted widespread outrage, triggering audits of dozens of VA medical centers and leading Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign on May 30.

The uproar began earlier this year amid news reports of veterans dying while they waited to get medical appointments and of possible cover-ups ...

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San Diegans React To VA Chief's Resignation

Soon after embattled Department of Veterans Affairs chief Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation Friday the reaction from San Diego County military veterans and politicians was swift and mixed.

A Veterans Affairs audit cites a failure of VA leadership for widespread problems with the health care system for veterans and the apparent cover-up of scheduling delays. Shinseki presented those findings to President Barack Obama on Friday along with his resignation. Obama ...

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US Marine Vet Jailed In Mexico Fires Lawyer Before First Court Hearing (Video)

U.S. Marine veteran Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi fired his attorney prior to his first hearing before a judge in a Tijuana courthouse Wednesday, according to U-T San Diego.

That attorney, Alejandro Osuna, told reporters after the hearing he believes his former client is innocent of the charges against him:

“We had some disagreements about how information was presented...

“He shouldn't be here.”

Tahmooressi's mother, Jill, told Fox News ...

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Amid VA Scandal, Audit Finds San Diego Healthcare System In Compliance

An audit of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System found it is operating in compliance with agency standards for patient scheduling, VA officials said Thursday.

The findings came from a review conducted last week amid an uproar over allegations that as many as 40 veterans in Phoenix died while awaiting care. Representatives from other VA medical centers performed the audit, according to VA San Diego spokeswoman Cynthia Butler.

A ...

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Military Families Warned Of Scam Website

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command has a warning for military families about a website that aims to steal their personal information.

The website attempts to deceive solders and their families who are looking for information about Army benefits.

The authentic, official Army website is operated by the Army's Retirement Service office. The address for that site is

The fraudulent website is also called "My ...

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Veterans' Service Dogs To Get Free Veterinary Care

Veterans with service canines can now get free pet health insurance for their dogs through a Veterans Affairs Department program. The insurance will cover virtually all medical costs for the dogs.

The Military Times reports the VA has contracted with pet health insurance company Trupanion to cover the veterans' cost for preventative care, emergency care, and medications.

To qualify, the dogs must be certified by the VA as service dogs ...

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Military Same-Sex Spouses In Every State Now Eligible For DoD ID Cards

The same-sex spouses of U.S. service members are now eligible in every state to obtain their Department of Defense identification cards, according to an announcement made today by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel:

“All military spouses and families sacrifice on behalf of our country. They deserve our respect and the benefits they are entitled to under the law.

“I will continue to work to ensure our men and women in ...

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Defense Secretary Hagel's Statement On Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

Statement by Secretary Hagel on DOMA Ruling:

"The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court's decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act. The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses -- regardless of sexual orientation -- as ...

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