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Washington Update for 11/8/2019

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) announced for 2020

Social security, veterans’ benefits, federal and military retiree recipients will receive a 1.6% boost in their monthly pay beginning in January 2020. The adjustment is based on the annual cost of living adjustment announced in the last week by the Federal government. The 1.6% increase also applies to those receiving survivor benefits for these programs.

TREA Supports Bipartisan Bills in House and Senate

As a follow up to September being National Suicide Prevention Month, TREA is pleased to support legislation entitled The IMPROVE Well-being for Veterans Act (H.R. 3495 and S.1906). If enacted, the legislation would expand the reach of services aimed at preventing suicide among veterans by providing grants to community entities that provide and coordinate suicide prevention services for them and their families.

As there is no single cause of suicide, the services authorized to be provided through the grant are designed to help address known risk factors and, ultimately, to get veterans on a path to a life of purpose. Those services include outreach, health assessments, treatment, therapy, medication management, peer support, and assistance in obtaining VA benefits. This bill would also require VA to coordinate with national, regional, and local public and private entities including VSOs, community partners working in mental health and suicide prevention, and local law enforcement in planning the design and implementation of the grant program.

Congress and Federal Communications Commission Considers 9-8-8

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving forward with a proposal to create a three-digit, nationwide suicide prevention and mental health hotline. The 3-digit code would be 988 would be used similar to 9-1-1. The current number for the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis line is 1-800-273-8255. (TALK)

In addition, S.2661, has been introduced in the Senate as the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2019. The bill will designate 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number as a National suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system operating through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line.

United States Marine Corps Celebrates 244th Birthday


A special TREA shout out and Happy Birthday to all Marines as the Corps celebrates its 244th birthday on Sunday, November 10. Semper Fi.

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