Certain benefits restricted when outside U.S. borders
I'm planning a vacation overseas this summer. Can the Department of Veterans Affairs take care of medical problems and provide other benefits outside the United States?
Answer: The VA will pay for medical services for the treatment of service-connected disabilities and related conditions or for medical services needed as part of a vocational rehabilitation program for veterans traveling or living outside the United States. Veterans traveling or living in Germany, Panama, Australia, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan and Spain can call toll-free (877) 345-8179. Veterans in Mexico or Costa Rico can use the same number but must first dial the U.S. country code.
VA monetary benefits, including compensation, pension, educational assistance and burial allowances, generally are payable overseas. Some programs in foreign jurisdictions are restricted. Home loan guaranties are available only in the United States and selected U.S. territories and possessions. Educational benefits are limited to approved degree-granting programs in institutions of higher learning. Beneficiaries residing in foreign countries should contact the nearest American embassy or consulate for information and claims assistance. In Canada, veterans should contact the office of Veterans Affairs Canada. For more information, call the VA Medical Center at 433-0600 or the VA office at 827-1000.
Q: Can I donate my husband's burial flag to Punchbowl National Cemetery?
A: The National Cemetery of the Pacific would be happy to receive your husband's burial flag. Punchbowl displays donated burial flags on the Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and other special events throughout the year. A certificate of appreciation is presented to the donor. For information, contact the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 532-3720.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.