Veteran Services- What's New

St Cloud VA Appoints New Director

The Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Brent A. Thelen as the new director of the St. Cloud VA Health Care System. Dr. Thelen has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 16 years. He is coming from Washington D.C. as the Director of Quality Management Systems/ ISO Consultant Division.
 St Cloud VA Director-Dr. Brent A. Thelen
News Release - More information on Dr. Thelen

Veterans Policy Passed in MN Budget Bills

During a one-day special session that took place on Friday, May 24th, the State Government and Veterans Finance bill was passed, which funds the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA). It include veteran related policy changes. The bill funded all of MDVA's requested funding increase including operations adjustments for the Programs & Services division, the state cemeteries and an increase in the Case Management, Outreach, Referral, and Education (C.O.R.E.) program.

Other changes for veterans that were passed during this legislative session include:

**Elimination of the 8-year limit for surviving spouses to use the disabled Veteran Homestead Market Exclusion

**The application date for the disabled Veteran Homestead Market Exclusion
will change from July 1st to December 15th

**Funds appropriated for the Armed Forces Services Center at the
Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport for new beds and furniture

**The investment threshold for Veteran-owned small businesses to earn
the angel investor credit is lowered to $7,500

**Funding is provided to the Minnesota Military Museum to document the service of
post-9/11 veterans and to also catalog and display the collection of General John Vessey

**Funding is provided to the Association of Minnesota Public Radio Stations for the
Veterans' Voices program to document the stories of Korean War Veterans

**Grant to the Construction Careers Foundation for the Helmets to Hard Hats initiative which
helps Veterans participate in apprenticeship programs in the building and construction industry.

**One time grant to a domestic abuse prevention program for
Veterans and current service members, and their families


In June 2018, President Trump signed landmark legislation, known as the VA MISSION Act of 2018. This law makes dramatic improvements to how veterans receive community care - health care provided outside of the VA. VA's goal is to give veterans greater choice over their health care, allowing VA to deliver world-class, seamless customer service through a VA facility, virtually through telehealth, or through community providers. This means veterans get the care and services they need, where and when they need them.

Beginning June 6, 2019, under the MISSION Act, veterans will have more ways to access health care. To receive care from the VA or a community provider, a veteran must be enrolled in VA health care. In order to obtain community care, veterans must receive prior approval from the VA. Veterans will also be able to receive urgent care from an urgent care provider that is part of the VA's contracted network of community providers, without prior authorization from the VA.

For more information visit:
Or view these fact sheets:
Fact Sheet - Community Care - General Information
Fact Sheet - Community Care - Eligibility
Fact Sheet - Community Care - Urgent Care