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VA gives vets up to a year of retroactive benefits for using FDCs to help reduce the backlog

VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs is reducing the backlog in disability claims with approaches including Fully Developed Claims, FDCs.

FDC processing is expedited, and can reduce the time and effort it takes for VA workers to get 'em done… which means they can focus on more difficult cases.The deal with an FDC is that a vet provides all supporting evidence they can find when they submit the claim. It's often easier for the vet to do that, since otherwise VA has to get it from the Department of Defense, which can take longer. (VA's working on this, more on that later.)

Vets can use eBenefits to file, simply log in and select "Apply for Benefits." Vets can also get help from Vets Service Orgs, who can do the same thing through their own online tools.

In turn, VA gives vets an incentive to file FDCs for disability compensation — by giving up to a year of awarded benefits if they use one. The incentive is part of the "Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012."

Check details: only Veterans who are submitting their very first compensation claim as an FDC are potentially eligible for up to one-year of retroactive disability benefits under the newly implemented law.

For more: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2464

WiFi to help out with HIV/AIDS on Mfangano Island

Hey, I help out The Organic Health Response on Mfangano Island, and gave them some money a few months ago to help upgrade their wifi. You'll see them on the Teching Across the Globe map. They've been using IT and environmental sustainability on Mfangano Island in Western Kenya to work against HIV/AIDS across Lake Victoria. And I've been helping them over the years.

teching across the globe

Well recently, they provided me with a 2013 update about how the money I donated has helped them out:

"The Organic Health Response on Mfangano Island has recently upgraded its record-breaking WiFi link to provide expanded Internet access for rural users on this remote island.

Thanks to support from the craigconnects and craigslist Charitable Fund, OHR worked with SF-based Inveneo to implement new noise buffering dishes that strengthen their 90-km wireless link from the mainland to OHR's wind-powered tower on Mfangano. From this unique tower, they are also now able to provide access to commercial users at sites throughout the island.Their first client is the Ministry of Health who now receives 1MBS speeds for clinicians at a rural HIV/AIDS clinic in Sena village.

Through local innovation, hard work, strong global relationships, OHR, Inveneo, craigconnects, and craigslist Charitable Fund continue to move forward towards establishing East Africa's first Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) on Lake Victoria."

wifi efforts

This is real important stuff, and can help a lot of people out. More to come. I'd like to say that the sun never sets on the Nerdish Empire…

Why Men Must "Lean In" to Support Women's Leadership

Guys, let's help get more women into public office.
Okay, this is about fairness, and getting better government everywhere.

I feel that we should treat everyone like we want to be treated, and that means everyone gets a break. That also means that all humans should have a chance to lead, in business and in government. In the US, the Declaration of Independence tells us that we're all equal under law, and I'm talking about following through with that.
craig

Me with Jane Harman, Shelly Kapoor Collins, and Rangita de Silva de Alwis at the Bryn Mawr event.

In daily life and in government, when I see women running things, things usually work really well. Sure, there are some examples which seem to be deliberate, like in politics where a woman might front for bad actors, but that's the exception.

Women's leadership might be the key to unlocking progress in both government and the business world:

Even though women make up just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, McKinsey studies show that America’s GDP is now 25% higher than it would have been without women. All because of women’s work in the marketplace.

A Goldman Sachs study also argues that eliminating the gap between male and female employment rates could boost GDP in America by a total of 9 percent, in the Eurozone by 13 percent, and in Japan by as much as 16 percent.

Recent McKinsey studies show that higher numbers of women in executive positions can result in higher rates of corporate return on equity.

Women voices bring a different perspective to the table in the public sector. Esther Duflo’s research shows that women are more likely to invest in public infrastructure projects—like safe drinking water— and are less likely to feed into corruption than their male counterparts. For example, at the local-level, women-led village councils approved 60 percent more drinking water projects than those led by men. This correlation between women’s leadership and development outcomes is clear.

Another study titled “Gender and Corruption”  finds that “(a) in hypothetical situations, women are less likely to condone corruption, (b) women managers are less involved in bribery, and (c) countries which have greater representation of women in government or in market work have lower levels of corruption."

(Adapted from Rangita de Silva de Alwis’s forthcoming article on “Why Women’s Leadership is the Cause of Our Time” to be published in UCLA Law School’s Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs)

Guys, it's time that we helped make this happen.

I've joined up with the Women in Public Service Project to play my part.

WPSP was started a few years ago by Hillary Clinton to promote female leadership across the world. It's already successful giving leaders a chance, particularly in parts of the world where leadership from a woman can get her killed.

Please check out WPSP and help out!

Interview: Full Circle Home

Hey there, as promised, I'm following up with the final interview I conducted with Vickie Durfee, Executive Director and Lisa Miller, Partner of Full Circle Home. Full Circle Home won a Bonus Challenge during the CrowdRise Veterans Charity Challenge that raised over $448,000. Full Circle Home's doing some really good work. Through donations and corporate partnerships, Full Circle Home has arranged for gift boxes to be sent on behalf of service members to the home front, since 2007.

Vickie spoke about supporting both the troops and their families at home. Hand-written loves notes, boxes, and gifts are sent to any woman at home who is a source of support; sisters, mothers, girlfriends, wives. "It's a way for the community to say thank you both to the women and to those who are deployed…We sent out 150 boxes in the first month of the idea."

You can listen to the full interview here:

After the interview, Vickie wrote to tell me a little more about Full Circle Home:

We have been able to make great headway with determination and the expectancy of reaching our goals. Our story is really the story of our troops and their heroes at home! There is SO much need, but without those protecting our freedoms, we might not have the luxury to worry about the rest.

We continue to grow and will take on new challenges as they line up with our mission. The addition of FCH's Wounded Warriors Project is one such program. I've included a photo, one of the few we actually been able to take at Walter Reed. This soldier was a delight, and I think he felt empowered that he could do something special for his mom.

fch

 

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Interview: Swords to Plowshares

Hey there, as many of you know, I gave $50k to the CrowdRise Veterans Charity Challenge earlier this month. The total money raised for Veterans and Milfams exceeded $448,000.

SwordstoPlowsharesLogo-51660c58206e4

 

In my #VetsChallenge wrap up post, I asked you to stay tuned for the interviews I'd be conducting with two great orgs, both winners of a Bonus Challenge.

The first interview was with Jordan Towers, Social Media Coordinator for Swords to Plowshares. Jordan talked about how the org has provided core services, like housing, employment, and training to vets since 1974.

Some of the things that Jordan said during the interview really stuck out to me,

"The amazing thing about Swords to Plowshares is that we help all veterans of every generation…[We help] about 2,000 veterans in the San Francisco Bay area every year….[and] really try to tackle what the veterans need, and to restore their dignity and self-sufficiency. All veterans are welcome, regardless of discharge status."

 

 

You can listen to the full interview here: