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American Veterans Make Good Entrepreneurs

Starting your own business is no easy task.  It takes guts, determination, hard work and perseverance.  All skills you will find in someone who has served in the military. So it is puzzling that we have so many unemployed vets.  Many of them have realized that they don’t have to wait  for someone to give them a job, they can start their own business.  American Veterans make good entrepreneurs.

Nearly half of all WWII vets came back and started their own business.  That number s down to only 5% of veterans now taking the plunge.  But they do have the skills. Vets are also innovative and inventive and they are able to build upon the ideas and technology they used while in the military.

American Veteran Startups:

  • Rhumbix is a construction technology start-up that adapted the concept of a system developed and used by the military to track a soldier’s location.  Now it’s used for time sheets and location on a construction site and it helps to improve efficiency.
  • Starling is a wearable technology app that tracks language development in young children.
  • GuideOn helps vets translate their military skills and experience into language that corporate hiring staff can understand and value.

There is still a 5.8% unemployment rate for veterans who served after September 2001. When you say 5 or 6% is doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s almost 150,000 vets out of work.  The Small Business Administration has programs that can help veterans start a business.

We need the skills these American veterans learned on the battlefield being applied in our small businesses and in the Boardroom.

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Guide to American Veterans Aid for Seniors

 

 

There are 22 million veterans in America who are eligible for aid and care. Almost 10 million of them are over the age of 65. (census.gov) and may quality for the American Veterans Senior care benefits.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 697,806 American veterans from WWII are still alive, as of 2016.  These veterans would be well into their 70s or 80s now and probably in need of aid and attendance with daily activities.

Here are of the VA benefits that American veterans over the age of 65 may be eligible for:

Senior American Veterans Benefits

  1. VA Pension: The VA pays a pension to veterans over the age of 65 who have little or no income, or are permanently disabled and can’t work. The pensions are available to American veterans and the widowed spouses of veterans.  To qualify for a military pension your “countable” annual income must be less than the amount set  by Congress.
  2. Aid & Attendance: Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and who require the aid and attendance of another person (or are housebound), may be eligible for additional monthly payments above the normal pension amount. When applying for Aid & Attendance, you must also submit a basic pension application if you’re not currently receiving a pension.

It’s important to note that the financial qualifications for Aid & Attendance are different than financial qualifications for the basic pension alone. So  some veterans and their surviving spouses qualify for Aid & Attendance, even though they would not have qualified solely for the basic pension.

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
  • You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
  • Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

3. Housebound Benefits: This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your basic monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability.

American Veterans Aid has helped thousand of families with the application process so that they get the benefits they deserve as quickly as possible.

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American Veterans Groups Fight Federal Hiring Cuts

American Veterans Groups are not pleased with the Senate’s attempt to cut Federal hiring advantages for vets.

Back in 2014 President Obama’s push to hire more veterans in government positions was not popular with everyone. The fact that American Veterans were getting preference led to resentment between civil employees and vets.

Now Congress has stepped in to this sensitive issue.  The Senate version of the military policy bill  would knock out some of their advantages. This bill still gives them the initial advantage of getting hired, but if they want to be considered for another federal post they would no longer go to the head of the line.  It would  apply across government and affect thousands of veterans and their close relatives, who also are able to jump the line over non-veterans.

The American Legion, the largest of the American Veterans Groups, said Defense Department officials have “turned their backs” on veterans who served the Pentagon and the country.  They have planned a campaign that will kick off on Monday June 20  to protest this change.  The first action of the campaign will be a letter to members of the House that accuses the Pentagon of a “morally-bankrupt tactic” to circumvent veterans’ preference.

American Veterans aid should be a given.  These men and women served and sacrificed for  America and our freedoms and they deserve our thanks and support.

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99 year-old American Veteran Still Seeking Benefits

One Filipino World War II veteran is still seeking recognition and equity pay for his service to the U.S. during the war.  Celestino Almeda, who will turn 99 years old this June, still has the determination he had back when he was a member of the Philippine Commonwealth Army under control of the U.S. Army. he regards himself as an American Veteran.

His service and documentation earned him U.S. citizenship and even VA health benefits, but he is yet to see the $15,000 lump sum payment due to Filipino WWII veterans — compensation granted to Filipino veterans after President Barack Obama signed the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Act of 2009.

For the last two years, Almeda has been appealing for his equity pay at the congressional level. In May, he had a chance to bring his question to the nation’s capitol. Still no decision has been made.

Read the full story on NBC News

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Older American Veterans Benefits Bill

The Veterans First package that the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unveiled recently is a multi billion-dollar American Veterans Aid initiative to phase in robust caregiver benefits for older generations of severely injured veterans.  These benefits were first enacted in 2010 and were only for the post-9/11 generation.

The pool of pre-9/11-era caregivers likely to be eligible for benefits, if the program is expanded, could be as high as 80,000 the VA reported last year.  For these in-home caregivers of thousands of vets with severe physical or mental injuries it would mean:

  • cash stipends for their time and effort
  • health insurance for caregivers
  • guaranteed periods of paid respite to avoid caregiver burnout
  • training to enhance patient safety

There are problems that have to addressed in the current program and some want these fixed before it is expanded to older American Veterans. But it has its supporters too — Adrian Atizado, deputy legislative director for Disabled American Veteran whose national service officers field caregiver complaints, says the VA is not solely to blame as Congress underfunded the program.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., prime architect of the caregiver expansion plan, pointed out that this program is about putting veterans’ needs first and supporting the men and women who put their own lives on hold to take care of veterans.

We agree with her that providing American veterans aid should be a priority and should never be a partisan issue.

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