Helping veteran and other service members find ways to connect to benefits is one of the services provided by the reference staff. Thanks to Executive Order 13426 (issued in March 2007) this previously somewhat confusing and laborious task got a whole lot easier. Order 13426 established the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, which recommended the creation of a web portal that would provide service members, veterans, their families and authorized caregivers with a single sign-on, central access point to clinical and benefit data. This portal, now known as eBenefits, has arrived and is a great resource to research, find, access, and, in time, manage their benefits and personal information. It utilizes the National Resource Directory (NRD), a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. Information contained within the NRD is from federal, state and local government agencies; veteran and military service organizations; non-profit and community-based organizations; academic institutions and professional associations that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their families. In addition it partners with and uses information from a variety of sources including Benefits.gov, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), Defense.gov, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Military Health System, MilitaryHOMEFRONT, My HealtheVet (MHV), Social Security Online, and TRICARE. Vets et al. can create an account and access their current benefits status, download their DD-214, search by location and topic for employment and education opportunities designed specifically for veterans and service members, and more. The site offers detailed tutorials on how best to use it, broken down by the type of user (e.g. veteran, current service member, related family). It even shows you how to connect with other vets via Facebook and Twitter! Without a doubt, if you or someone in your family is a veteran or active service member, it’s well worth taking a look at eBenefits, either on your own or at the library with a reference librarian—make an appointment today and let us help you navigate this comprehensive resource!
News from the Reference Desk
Choosing Wisely is a composite of U.S. specialty societies which represent more than 500,000 physicians.
They worked to develop lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in recognition of the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures. Here are practical treatment guidelines, and suggested patient/advocate questions to ask in easy to understand language.
CEDA Northwest in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will be enrolling Illinois residents in new coverage options and affordability programs made available through the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning October 1, 2013.
Residents served will be those without health insurance and/or expected to benefit from the ACA’s expansion of the Medicaid program and provision of financial assistance for the purchase of Qualified Health Plans on the newly created Health Insurance Marketplace.
For more information or to setup an appointment, please contact Jessica Salgado at CEDA Northwest Self-Help Center, 1300 W. Northwest Highway, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847-392-2332).
The Illinois Department of Insurance has provided a wealth of materials to help individuals and businesses prepare for the 10/1/13 opening of insurance options under the ACA. State-prepared General Fact Sheets can be helpful to ready ourselves for the changes coming this fall.
Healthcare.gov, sponsored by the federal government, also has suggested tips to gather information ahead of time.
MPPL and other area public libraries will be offering programs to better inform communities about how the ACA will affect their choices and how to navigate the tools so individuals can make their own insurance selections.
The Illinois Department of Insurance site provides information on the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). SHIP is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. A Medicare Supplement Premium Comparison Guide is available, as is Medicaid Related and Long Term Care Information
The U.S. Department of the Treasury moved in late 2010 to make all federal benefit payments electronic by March 2013, a change that will impact everyone nearing retirement and the more than 10 million Americans are already receiving benefits by paper check. Please click here for more information to ensure benefits continue without interruption.
Marking caregiving decisions is difficult. Deciding if a relative is ready for additional help, evaluating health issues, checking finances, and finding the right facility take time and patience.
The National Caregivers Library was created by FamilyCare America, Inc. and is one of the largest single sources of information and tools for caregivers and seniors in the country.
The site provides guidelines for housing, health, and legal issues as well as ways for caregives to pay attention to their emotional needs and well being.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has a site for Nursing Homes in Illinois and shares criteria to select a nursing home, level of care expected, patient resident rights, and a Health Care Worker Registry.
The Rita and John Canning Women's Program at Harper College supports the education and employment goals of people in economic need. These may be single parents, displaced homemakers, women who have experienced domestic violence, non-traditional career seekers or those with limited English proficiency. The program gives the opportunity to build computer skills, career development, and job searching assistance.