VFW Demands Removal of VA Supervisor

vfw_logo_high_res_gubsWASHINGTON (March 10, 2015) — The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is demanding that a Department of Veterans Affairs program manager at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis be replaced.

Last December, Ms. Robin Paul sent an e-mail to her staff with photos of a toy elf in different poses and captions, two of which made light of mental health issues. Paul oversees a staff of more than 30 health care professionals in the Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic, which is responsible for assisting new veterans with their VA benefits, services and programs, to include mental health.

“There is nothing amusing about 22 veterans committing suicide every day,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, “and it is absolutely inexcusable that a VA supervisor would make light of any issue that veterans face. Ms. Paul might be the most caring and dedicated employee the VA has, but this senseless attempt at gallows humor has caused her to lose the respect and trust of veterans. It is for that reason that the VFW demands she be replaced as program manager. Trust within the military means everything; it should mean no less inside the VA.”

As of this morning, Paul was still listed as the STICC program manager on the Indianapolis VA’s website.


ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation’s largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans organization. With nearly 1.9 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in more than 6,800 Posts worldwide, “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.” The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.

Contact: Joe Davis, Director of Public Affairs, VFW Washington Office, jdavis@vfw.org.


New Law Change Increases Insurance Coverage for Veterans

WASHINGTON (Jan. 10, 2012) – Some Veterans covered under the Veterans Group Life Insurance program (VGLI) now have the opportunity to increase their coverage to the current maximum coverage under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. 

“Currently, 70 percent of the Veterans covered under VGLI are under age 60, have less than $400,000 of coverage, and will greatly benefit from this law change,” said Allison A. Hickey, Department of Veterans Affairs under secretary for benefits.  

Under the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, enacted on Oct. 13, 2010, Veterans can increase their coverage by $25,000 at each five-year anniversary date of their policy to the current legislated maximum SGLI coverage, presently, $400,000. 

To date, approximately 21 percent of eligible Veterans have taken advantage of this opportunity, resulting in nearly $113 million of new coverage being issued.

The VGLI program allows newly discharged Veterans to convert their SGLI coverage they had while in the service to a civilian program.  Before enactment of this law, Veterans could not have more VGLI than the amount of SGLI they had at the time of separation from service. 

For example, those who got out of the service prior to Sept. 1, 2005, when the maximum SGLI coverage was $250,000, were limited to $250,000 in VGLI coverage. 

Now on their first five-year anniversary, these Veterans can elect to increase their coverage to $275,000.  On their next five-year anniversary, they can increase the coverage to $300,000, and so forth. 

The additional coverage can be issued regardless of the Veteran’s health.  To be eligible to purchase this additional coverage, the Veteran must:

  • Have active VGLI coverage,
  • Have less than the current legislated maximum coverage of $400,000,
  • Request the additional coverage during the 120-day period prior to each five-year anniversary date, and
  • Be less than 60 years of age on the five-year anniversary date of his or her coverage.

Eligible Veterans are notified of this opportunity a week before the start of the 120-day period prior to their anniversary date, and twice more before the actual anniversary date.

For more information about VA’s Insurance Program or other VA benefits, go to www.va.gov or call 1-800-827-1000.   Veterans are also encouraged to visit VA’s web portal eBenefits – Insurance