Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) has announced expansion of its Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) to the Los Angeles and San Diego areas to support California veterans.
RRRP is a new approach to supporting post-9-11 veterans by directly connecting them and their families to local resources and to one-on-one support with IAVA’s Veteran Transition Managers. It helps cut through red tape and proves vets and their families access to services ranging across employment, education, housing, mental health care and more.
California veterans face a number of critical challenges. More than 400,000 veterans are stuck in the VA backlog, including about 10,000 each in the Los Angeles and San Diego Regional Offices and more than 12,000 in the Oakland Regional Office. Suicide remains a top concern for new veterans: at least 22 veterans commit suicide every day, and a new study has found that the suicide rate among young male veterans rose by 44 percent in the past three years. New veterans are also now facing a cut to their retirement as a result of a bipartisan budget deal.
Veterans can contact a RRRP case manager by calling 855-91-RAPID (855-917-2743), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting www.IAVA.org/RRRP.
Stateside Tricare service centers closing April 1
All stateside Tricare in-person service centers will be closing April 1, Tricare officials recently confirmed.
The closure of the 189 facilities is expected to save the Defense Department about $50 million a year, officials said. The Tricare Service Centers, which handle about 137,000 visitors a month, are staffed by contractors and handle issues ranging from processing provider changes to billing problems.
“The change will not — let me repeat that — will not affect any Tricare medical benefit or health care service,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a DoD spokesman said in a statement. “What it will do is allow the department to save $250 million over the next five years, allowing Tricare to invest in more important services.”
All of the services currently dealt with by service center staff can be currently handled exclusively over the phone, they said.