The United States of America has the world’s most active and aggressive military. As such, it needs a comprehensive program to take care of its military veterans. This program is administered through the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). The VA considers it an honor to treat and resolve your combat injuries and disabilities on an ongoing basis.
There are four general types of disability defined by the VA. There are disabilities that you already had prior to your service, disabilities that got worse during your service, new disabilities that took place during your service, and disabilities due to special circumstances, which may or may not overlap into one of the first three categories. Based on your needs and the VA’s ability to meet them, an administrator can help you to find the best solution to your problem.
Soldiers are permitted to file claims with the VA within 180 days of their discharge, and that works both ways. They may, and in fact it is advisable for them to put forth their claim before being discharged from active service so that there is no interruption in the medical treatment when transitioning from TRICARE to the VA. Combat veterans who did tours in Afghanistan or either Iraq war are eligible to apply for benefits for five years following discharge.
You may still be eligible to apply for benefits if you are a combat veteran with a qualifying disability, or if you can demonstrate financial need.
It depends. If your condition has worsened while in the service, it is likely that you qualify for benefits. If not, you may not qualify. That ultimate answer depends on your condition, your attorney, and that testimony of the doctor that is providing the care for your disability. It is best for you to have had the same doctor throughout this period, though that is not a requirement.
Generally speaking, anything that requires professional medical treatment qualifies for VA benefits, providing that it is a new disability you got while in the service. If it is not a new disability, it may still be covered to some extent. VA treatment centers also offer preventative care such as regular checkups, mental health evaluations, nutrition education, womens’ care and immunization.
If you are already enrolled with the VA, the Veterans Choice Program enables you to receive treatment in your community. For initial screening and diagnosis, it is recommended that you go to a VA primary care center.
There are several ways to apply for enrollment. You can fill out an application at a VA treatment center, by mail, by phone or online. The VA website is www.va.gov. The phone number you can use to apply is 1-877-222-VETS, Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM eastern standard time. If you are enrolled, you will receive a Veterans Health Identification card to present at VA primary care centers for check-in and identification purposes.
If a service member is or was rated permanently disabled, or if he or she died while on duty or due to a service-related disability, immediate family members may be eligible for VA benefits and may apply for enrollment.
VA treatment centers do not directly offer dental care, but enrolled veterans and their beneficiaries are eligible to purchase dental insurance at reduced cost through MetLife and Delta Dental. These insurance companies provide comprehensive diagnostic, preventative, surgical, and emergency dental treatment.
Beneficiaries with an eligible disability or who are being treated by a VA primary care provider receive all necessary medications for their treatment. If you do not have an eligible disability, your medications still my be covered with a copay. It is best to fill your prescriptions through a VA pharmacy either in person or by mail. If that is not possible, you can fill prescriptions at another pharmacy under certain conditions.