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Medical screenings will include flu shots; cholesterol, hepatitis C and prostate screening; and general physical exams. Consultative services offered include ophthalmology, podiatry, infectious diseases, oral health and women’s health. Psychosocial referrals for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse also will be offered.

Employment support will be provided through Department of Labor employment offices, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services, the D.C. Coalition for the Homeless and many others agencies. Staff from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and veterans service organizations will be on hand to assist with VA benefits claims. Chaplain service will be present for pastoral care and counseling. Hot meals, haircuts, clothing tokens and comfort items will be available.

The medical center will provide shuttle buses from both Union Station and the Brookland/CUA Metro station. For more information, contact the office of public affairs at 202/745-4037 or visit www.washingtondc.va.gov.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced immediate actions to quickly identify and pay surviving spouses who are eligible to receive a one-time compensation or pension payment for the month of the veteran’s death.

“This benefit payment is long overdue to many of our beneficiaries,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake. “In these difficult economic times, it is imperative that we take aggressive action to fix this situation for the families of our veterans.”

Problems in VA’s implementation of a change in law that was effective in 1997 resulted in some surviving spouses not receiving the veteran’s compensation or pension payment for the month of death. Surviving spouses most likely to be affected by this processing problem are those who never applied to VA for survivor’s benefits following the death of a veteran.

Surviving spouses are encouraged to contact the survivors’ call center at 800/749-8387. Call center agents will assist surviving spouses in providing VA with the information needed to determine their eligibility.

• Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.