888.851.7996

The Independence Fund knows how important it is to get resources out about programs within the VA and how to navigate the complex system.

That’s why we are offering a comprehensive resource guide for our Veterans and their Caregivers.

We will update this page regularly with important updates, tips, resources and information on the VA as we continue our efforts to advocate for the best possible VA experience for our incredible Veterans.

If you are ever experiencing an immediate need or a have a roadblock in navigating the system, please reach out to our advocacy department’s casework team by calling The Independence Fund at 888-851-7996 or emailing us at info at independencefund.org (or using the direct contact form at the bottom of this page.

Together, we will ensure that we can be a hero for our heroes, especially when it comes to understanding the VA.

DOD Delays Child Care Overhaul but Bumps Coast Guard Families up on Priority List

DOD Delays Child Care Overhaul but Bumps Coast Guard Families up on Priority List Posted on May 28, 2020 Child care policy changes that were set to go into effect next week will be delayed until Sept. 1, DOD announced, according to Military Times. The delay is in response to the coronavirus, which has impacted […]

Senate NDAA Markup to Begin June 8

Senate NDAA Markup to Begin June 8 Posted on May 27, 2020 The Senate Armed Services Committee announced that markup for the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will begin on June 8 and end by/before June 11, CQ reports. “The pandemic just makes it all the more important that we care for our service members and their families, maintain peak readiness and […]

Paving Access for Veterans Employment (PAVE)

Paving Access for Veterans Employment (PAVE) Paralyzed Veterans of America’s employment program, Paving Access for Veterans Employment (PAVE), has helped more than 4,100 Veterans, military spouses and caregivers find meaningful work. PAVE provides free employment support and vocational counseling assistance to ALL Veterans, transitioning service members, spouses and caregivers. In February, PAVE started a new virtual […]

Western PA Virtual Job Fair

Western PA Virtual Job Fair The Erie Times-News is hosting a virtual career fair for anyone currently seeking or just curious about new employment opportunities. You will get the chance to explore top companies, browse jobs they are hiring for, chat with recruiters, and learn more about working in different industries. This event is free […]

Virtual Military-Friendly Job Fair

Virtual Military-Friendly Job Fair Meet dozens of employers  online at the Corporate Gray VIRTUAL Military-Friendly Job Fair. Registered companies and government agencies include Lockheed Martin, Leidos, BAE Systems, Central Intelligence Agency, HII Newport News Shipbuilding, HII Technical Solutions, U.S. Postal Service, and many others. Especially for transitioning and former military and family members seeking employment. […]

Links for Job Seekers to Bookmark!

Links for Job Seekers to Bookmark! Please be sure to regularly review the following sites, as new jobs are posted daily: USA Jobs FEDSHireVets MetroPittsburghJobs PACareer Link PA Serves Vibrant Pittsburgh GI Jobs Feds Hire Vets Military.Com Veteran Jobs Vet Jobs militaryhire.com Hire Purpose

Online Tools for Veteran Job Seekers

Online Tools for Veteran Job Seekers Jobs for Disabled Veterans offers free courses and certification, resume advice, scholarships, as well as job openings throughout the country, with featured employers including: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Pacific Gas & Electric Company AT&T Veterans may also search Jobs from Veteran Friendly Employers at: Veterans.dejobs.org/

VA Welcome Kit

VA Welcome Kit Whether you’re just getting out of the service or you’ve been a civilian for years now, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide you to the benefits and services you’ve earned. Based on where you are in life, your VA benefits and services can support you in different ways. Keep your welcome […]

Veteran Service Officers Abroad

Veteran Service Officers Abroad In recent issues of the OCONUS Connection, we provided information pertaining to Veteran Service Officers (VSO) representatives located in various countries.  Following those publications, we received notification of additional VSO contacts abroad and prepared an updated list below: Country Name OMSC E-mail Phone Germany (VFW) Mark Kistner (DSO) Attn: Dpt of Eur Service Officer        CMR 28810 […]

FAQ: How do I get medical care now that a disability has been found related to my service?

FAQ: How do I get medical care now that a disability has been found related to my service? After you receive an award of service connection, you should enroll in Foreign Medical Program so that medical treatment for your service-connected disabilities can be reimbursed.  For more information, watch this video To find a healthcare provider, […]

S.A.V.E. Online Suicide Prevention Training

S.A.V.E. Online Suicide Prevention Training VA recently launched the S.A.V.E. online suicide prevention training video in collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, a national nonprofit providing online education and support to those who work with, live with, or care for Service members, Veterans, and military and Veteran families. S.A.V.E. — which stands for “Signs,” “Ask,” “Validate,” and […]

Veteran Suicide Prevention

Veteran Suicide Prevention If you’re a Veteran in a mental health crisis and you’re thinking about hurting yourself—or you know a Veteran who’s considering this—act now. You’re not alone, and you can get help. Where can I turn for ongoing support? You can also find information and support on our websites: Get information about suicide […]

“Transition Talk” video series: Military to Civilian support during COVID-19

“Transition Talk” video series: Military to Civilian support during COVID-19 The Veterans Benefits Administration knows that the transition from military to civilian life can be stressful and complex. To combat the transition challenge that “You don’t know that you don’t know,” especially now during a global pandemic, VBA has launched a new video series, Transition Talk, […]

Status of Operations: BDD Offices

Status of Operations: BDD Offices Our offices are temporarily closed for in-person assistance.  We’re still open for business to help you by email. Contact information is provided below for your location. Benefits and services, like payments, will continue to be delivered. Exams may be delayed significantly as a result of current COVID-19 related restrictions. The […]

IMPACT OF COVID 19

IMPACT OF COVID 19 The worldwide COVID 19 pandemic continues to impact disability claims processing.  VA is performing many compensation examinations by phone or videoconference.  We are also doing some by records review.  If your claim requires an in-person examination, we will schedule one at a later date when we can ensure your safety.   We […]

Secretary Wilkie Memorial Day 2020 message

Secretary Wilkie Memorial Day 2020 message WASHINGTON – Today, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie released the following video message in honor of Memorial Day 2020. Our country has been blessed with men and women whose sacrifices allowed us to flourish as individuals, as a society and as a nation. On Memorial Day, we pause […]

New VA coronavirus chatbot available

New VA coronavirus chatbot available The just released VA coronavirus chatbot is available 24/7 to quickly triage COVID-19 symptoms and answer your questions on testing options, stimulus payments and telehealth, and  even how to reschedule VA appointments. “At VA, our number one priority is delivering excellent customer service to our Veterans,” said Charles Worthington, VA’s chief technology […]

VA employee empowers her women Veteran peers

VA employee empowers her women Veteran peers VA’s Center for Women Veterans is advancing a cultural transformation throughout VA and aims to serve as a portal – monitoring and coordinating VA’s benefit services, outreach and programs – for women Veterans. One advocate is Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado, a VBA employee and Army National Guard Veteran, who empowers other women […]

Student Veteran Virtual Graduation

Student Veteran Virtual Graduation Student Veterans of America (SVA) will be streaming a graduation ceremony for the hundred thousand Veterans graduating this year, as well as their families and friends on June 12, 2020 at 6 p.m. ET. Sign up to RSVP. Student Veterans – sign up to be recognized! Share your stories. SIGN UP

Support a Veteran This Mental Health Month

Support a Veteran This Mental Health Month Let the Veterans in your life know you care about their well-being. Whether you’re looking for ways to start the conversation about getting support or seeking advice to keep a loved one encouraged during their mental health journey, learn how you can help. GET STARTED

Questions on VA Burial Benefits?

Questions on VA Burial Benefits? The VA Burial and Memorial Products Quick Start Guide (QSG) provides clear and concise information on VA burial benefits for Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors. Download the guide here: https://www.va.gov/burials-and-memorials-guide.pdf

Create an online memorial for a loved one on the Veterans Legacy Memorial Website

Create an online memorial for a loved one on the Veterans Legacy Memorial Website No Veteran Ever Dies 30 Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 8:00 pm Posted in #VetResources, Memorial Affairs, Veterans Legacy Program by VAntage Point Contributor 30 comments 15k views In time for Memorial Day 2020, VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) has […]

Memorial Day 2020 National Cemeteries Virtual Ceremonies

Memorial Day 2020 National Cemeteries Virtual Ceremonies Each VA national cemetery will conduct a brief wreath laying ceremony, accompanied by a moment of silence and the playing of Taps. In keeping with CDC guidelines to limit large gatherings, the ceremonies will not be open to the public. VA invites you to participate in these ceremonies virtually. Live stream links […]

VA lead facilities reintroduce health care services while ensuring safe environment

VA lead facilities reintroduce health care services while ensuring safe environment WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie announced the department will begin to reintroduce health care services in select VA facilities May 18, as states reopen from COVID-19 shutdowns. Each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) has selected Lead Sites to […]

Congressmen Urge Lawmakers Prohibit Downsizing of Military Hospitals and Clinics

Congressmen Urge Lawmakers Prohibit Downsizing of Military Hospitals and Clinics Posted on May 21, 2020 In a recent letter by Representatives Bill Posey and Kathy Castor, the lawmakers advised including language in the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to stop planned cuts to military medical capacity. The letter was sent to House Armed […]

VA Safe Firearm Storage Toolkit

VA Safe Firearm Storage Toolkit VA has released the Safe Firearm Storage Toolkit, which was developed in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry. The toolkit guides communities through the process of building coalitions to raise awareness about safe […]

Survey of Defense Communities and States Reveal Concerns about DCIP Implementation

Survey of Defense Communities and States Reveal Concerns about DCIP Implementation Posted on May 21, 2020 An Association of Defense Communities (ADC) survey of nearly 100 communities and states has provided a glimpse into potential participation in the inaugural grant cycle for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP). The tight schedule and specialized match criteria are […]

Guardsmen ‘Hard Stop’ May Deny Servicemembers Education and Retirement Benefits

Guardsmen ‘Hard Stop’ May Deny Servicemembers Education and Retirement Benefits Posted on May 20, 2020 Over 40,000 National Guard may see their deployment end on June 24, one day before servicemembers would be eligible for federal benefits, according to a report by Politico. In an interagency call on May 12, an official recognized that by […]

VA Caregiver Support: Building Better Caregivers

VA Caregiver Support: Building Better Caregivers In honor and support of caregivers and their loved ones, VA offers supports to caregivers from the comfort of their home through Building Better Caregivers. Building Better Caregivers (BBC) is a free 6-week online workshop developed by Stanford University to support caregivers of Veterans of all eras. Caregivers can […]

VA and Parkinson’s Foundation partner to help Veterans living with Parkinson’s disease

VA and Parkinson’s Foundation partner to help Veterans living with Parkinson’s disease WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Parkinson’s Foundation announced today they are teaming up to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of Veterans living with Parkinson’s disease. “This collaboration ensures Veterans diagnosed with Parkinson’s have access […]

VA kicks off online campaign emphasizing mental health support

VA kicks off online campaign emphasizing mental health support Goal is to build awareness of resources available to Veterans WASHINGTON — In recognition of Mental Health Month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the launch of the “Now Is the Time” campaign. The focus is on getting Veterans the support they need […]

VA national cemeteries to commemorate Memorial Day

VA national cemeteries to commemorate Memorial Day They will be open for public visitation WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced today it will commemorate Memorial Day this year with solemn wreath laying ceremonies. Another offering is a new online memorial feature allowing the public to pay tribute […]

Your Benefits Explained on Borne the Battle

Your Benefits Explained on Borne the Battle   Keeping Veterans informed of their benefits and resources is one of the core missions of Borne the Battle. Along with sharing personal stories of service and sacrifice, host Tanner Iskra and his guests give Veterans accurate and up-to-date information about all things VA. Recent episodes have included […]

Vets, Providers Adapting to Telehealth for Mental Health Care

Vets, Providers Adapting to Telehealth for Mental Health Care Posted on May 06, 2020 07:11 pm Veterans across the country who participate in mental health care have adapted to receiving service through telehealth, such as video and phone sessions. The Department of Veterans Affairs reported a 280% jump in mental health care phone consultations in […]

TED Can Help Your Transition

TED Can Help Your Transition Transitioning from military to civilian life can be overwhelming. That’s why VA’s Office of Transition and Economic Development (TED) is here to help you navigate benefit services and get the support you need. Find out how TED can support you! Post courtesy of the Veterans Benefits Administration

Learn the Latest From VBA

Learn the Latest From VBA Stay up to date on all things benefits by checking out the new webcast from the Under Secretary for Benefits, Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D. Learn how VBA has been working to improve benefit services for Veterans and their families. Post courtesy of the Veterans Benefits Administration

Join the Veteran Benefits Administration’s Live Tele-Townhalls

Join Our Live Tele-Townhalls Throughout May, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will be hosting live tele-townhall events. Veterans and beneficiaries can call in to hear the latest information about VBA’s COVID-19 response, Solid Start, Blue Water Navy, and more. Mark your calendar because the upcoming tele-townhall dates are now available! LEARN MORE! Post courtesy of […]

Explore a Career With VBA

Explore a Career With VBA Are you or someone you know looking for a new career path? VBA offers many professional opportunities to both Veterans and civilians with competitive salaries, retirement plans, and paid leave. Apply online today. Post courtesy of the Veterans Benefits Administration

VA enhances National COVID-19 Reporting Summary tool

VA enhances National COVID-19 Reporting Summary tool WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it enhanced its National COVID-19 Report Summary website that provides a real-time look at the status of COVID-19 patients who have been tested or treated at VA facilities. “The accelerating pace of VA’s response to the […]

VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry reaches major milestone

VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry reaches major milestone WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) today announced the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry now exceeds 200,000 registrants. The registry, which began in June 2014, allows Veterans and service members to self-report their exposures and health concerns in an […]

Senators Call for Full Telehealth TRICARE Coverage for Service Members, Families

Senators Call for Full Telehealth TRICARE Coverage for Service Members, Families Posted on May 05, 2020 07:02 pm As social distancing has increased the necessity for virtual health visits, many military families are finding certain telehealth visits are not reimbursed by TRICARE. U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) recently sent a letter […]

VA health app now available to Veterans across all mobile and web platforms

VA health app now available to Veterans across all mobile and web platforms WASHINGTON — Through public-private partnerships with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), since early April, all Veterans have been able to securely connect to their health care data online. Online Veteran health care records first only available on iOS operating systems, […]

VA expands access to virtual hearings: Virtual hearings provide Veterans a new option to have their appeal heard

VA expands access to virtual hearings Virtual hearings provide Veterans a new option to have their appeal heard WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) today announced it is expanding access to virtual hearings to all Veterans awaiting their Board hearing after successfully testing the capabilities during the […]

Caregivers Proposed Rule

Caregivers Proposed Rule VA is seeking public comments for the proposed rule – Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Improvements and Amendments under the VA MISSION Act of 2018. This rule can be found on the Federal Register. The below Frequently Asked Questions were developed to provide additional information and answer some of your […]

VA’s Caregiver Support Line

VA’s Caregiver Support Line VA’s Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you’re in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed social workers who answer the support line can: Provide you with information about assistance available from VA. Help you access services. […]

Virtual and Mobile Help Desk Support

Virtual and Mobile Help Desk Support Help desk information is available on associated intranet and VA App Store pages and under “Help” within each app. VA Mobile Help Desk: For issues accessing VA Mobile apps or creating a video visit, contact the Help Desk. Veterans: 877-470-5947 Monday to Saturday | 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. […]

Prescription Refills

Prescription Refills Request prescription refills online – and order and ship medications to your home – using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app. You can: •Request multiple refills. •Access your VA prescription histories and additional medical data through the My HealtheVet site. •Stay updated on the approximate delivery times of your VA prescriptions […]

VA’s Loaned Tablet Program

VA’s Loaned Tablet Program The VA can loan tablets to home-quarantined Veterans needing monitoring with peripherals (e.g. pulse oximeter, thermometer) and a tablet. Tablets are available for inpatient wards to COVID-isolated or “PUI” Veterans to reduce foot traffic, for Tele-ICU and for CLC, SVH. Learn more: https://youtu.be/hIU8xgreOCM

VA Video Connect

VA Video Connect VA Video Connect is compatible with any smartphone, tablet, or computer.* Learn more at mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect. You can automatically launch your video appointment in a web browser through a link sent to your email. *Apple/iOS users need to download the free VA Video Connect app from the Apple App Store. Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Tracfone […]

VA Mobile App

VA Mobile App •While VA technologies are developed with Veterans in mind, many tools are available to the general public as well. •Non-Veteran patients may access a number of free apps from the VA App Store. •You can find tools to manage stress, receive parenting advice, quit smoking, and more. •Apps without the “lock” icon […]

Remote Patient Monitoring – Home Telehealth (HT)

Remote Patient Monitoring – Home Telehealth (HT) Home Telehealth is the program that oversees in-home and mobile monitoring technologies. Care Coordinators work with Veterans and their families to ensure continued support. •For Veterans recommended for home isolation or quarantine, your provider may use remote monitoring devices to assess your condition while you’re at home. •Remote Patient Monitoring – Home Telehealth […]

Annie App

Annie App Annie is an automated text message reminder service that promotes self-care for Veterans and allows clinicians to create care protocols for patients to submit their health readings. Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol can advise you about COVID-19. Annie can: •Send you automated text messages with information about COVID-19. •Help you monitor for symptoms. •Assist you if […]

Rx Refill

Rx Refill Through Rx Refill, Veterans can request refills of their refillable VA-issued prescriptions, track VA prescription deliveries and view VA prescription history from the convenience of their mobile device. Learn more: https://mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill

My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet My HealtheVet is VA’s private and secure online patient portal, which allows Veterans to send non-urgent Secure Messages to VA providers, including to ask non-urgent health questions, schedule and manage VA appointments, and refill prescriptions. You can also request video and phone appointments. or register at myhealth.va.gov During COVID-19, virtual visits are the safest way […]

Video or Telephone Appointments

Video or Telephone Appointments VA Video Connect enables Veterans and providers to conduct secure, real-time video visits in a virtual medical room using the camera on a phone, computer, or tablet.  Learn more: •https://mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect

Telehealth Explained

Ever wonder where you could get telehealth services? The VA’s Office of Connected Care provides Veterans access to health care through virtual technologies. The doctor can see you now – from wherever is easiest for you! Attend video appointments with your VA health care provider from the convenience and comfort of home.  Learn more: https://www.telehealth.va.gov/

VA Caregiver Support Program Information for Caregivers During COVID-19

The VA has provided a support program information sheet for Caregivers during COVID-19. You may download the sheet here: CSP Caregiving During COVID-19 Tip Sheet – Update- 04.23.20

The MISSION Act is Here

The MISSION Act is Here The Independence Fund Supports VA’s Final Regs Expanding Healthcare Choices WASHINGTON, DC (June 6, 2019) – The Independence Fund is in full support of the final rules for both Community Care/Access Standards and Urgent Care regulations, published by The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) yesterday. Both regulations were required […]