Fall 2009 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340


Program features business training and low interest loans

TRENTON - Governor Jon S. Corzine lauded the announcement by Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman of DCA's new collaborative initiative with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs' New Jersey Commission on the Status of Women Veterans that will provide assistance to New Jersey's women veterans.

The partnership will afford women veterans the opportunity to receive business training and apply for a loan of up to $5,000 through DCA's New Jersey Women's Micro-Business Credit Program. Loans will carry an amended interest rate of a half of a percent versus the current three percent rate.

"I am proud to honor all New Jersey military veterans by focusing on their unique needs and priorities. It is the least we can do for those among us who step up to serve their country," said Governor Corzine. "With the addition of the microbusiness initiative for women veterans, we continue to move forward and ensure that New Jersey's servicemen and women receive the kinds of services and programs that will facilitate their needs and the needs of their families, too."

The Program is a collaborative economic development program implemented by DCA's Division on Women (DOW) and New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, a DCA affi liate. The program helps women with minimal business experience become successful entrepreneurs. Participants learn how to start, market or expand their small business, as well as increase their business skills through training and mentoring opportunities.

"New Jersey's women veterans now have an added incentive for choosing entrepreneurship as an alternate career," said DCA Acting Commissioner Richman. "This unique initiative will provide them with innovative training and loan opportunities for re-entering the marketplace."

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' website, the population of women veterans in New Jersey as of September 2008 was 28,739.

"During these challenging economic times, the micro- business credit program is a critical strategy designed to help women veterans build fi nancial momentum," said DOW Director Janice L. Kovach. "I am pleased that this initiative will provide our military she-roes with the tools and opportunities they may need to learn, grow and expand their fi nancial resources."

For more information on DCA's micro-business initiative, contact NJAWBO, the statewide agency for the New Jersey Women's Micro-Business Credit Program, at 973- 507-9700 and/or visit DCA's website at www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dow/programs/njwmbcp.html.


New Judges Will Speed Veterans’ Appeals

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of four new Veterans Law Judges to the Board of Veterans' Appeals, which will enable the board to increase the number of cases being decided.

"Veterans have earned the right to prompt, exhaustive and professional review of their claims for benefi ts,” Secretary Shinseki said. “This expansion of BVA will enable veterans to receive more expeditious decisions on their appeals.”

BVA is an appeals body to which veterans, their dependents or their survivors can go when they are not satisfi ed with decisions about claims for benefi ts administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). BVA reviews decisions on benefi t claims made by local VA offi ces and issues decisions on appeals. The board currently has 60 Veterans Law Judges.

These law judges are attorneys experienced in Veterans law and in reviewing benefi t claims. They are the only ones who can issue BVA decisions. Staff attorneys, also trained in veterans law, review the facts of each appeal and assist the board members.

In fiscal year 2008, the board decided 43,757 appeals and handled 48,804 cases in fi scal year 2009. Most of the cases involve claims for disability compensation and pensions.

“We must foster a responsive approach when we consider veterans,” Shinseki said. “Reducing the backlog of benefi ts decisions and waiting times are essential to providing our Veterans and their families with the service they deserve.”

The VA provides a pamphlet entitled, How Do I Appeal. The pamphlet explains the steps involved in fi ling an appeal. For more information about BVA or to download a copy of the pamphlet, visit www.va.gov/vbs/bva. Veterans can enlist the free expert assistance of a New Jersey Veteran Service Offi cer (see page 19 for list) with any questions, claims, or appeals.