VA appeal expected on recent Agent Orange ruling
I served in the Navy during Vietnam and have some health issues. I heard where the Department of Veterans Affairs is changing its policy on approving claims related to Agent Orange exposure for navy personnel who did not set foot on land. Can you clarify?
Answer: The VA is reviewing a U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals decision which ruled that anyone who received a Vietnam Service Medal and who contracted one of the diseases linked to Agent Orange could expect VA coverage. The claim was initially denied because VA regulations limited potential service connection only to veterans who actually set foot in Vietnam. The veteran had claimed service connection for diabetes due to exposure to Agent Orange while serving aboard a Navy vessel during the Vietnam War. The VA is expected to appeal the ruling.
Q: How many co-payment charges may be assessed during a single day?
A: Generally, only one co-payment on a single day, regardless of the number of health care providers seen. The amount of the outpatient co-payment will be based on the highest level of service received that day. The number of medication co-payments, charged as a result of outpatient visit, depends on the number of each 30-day supply of medication filled. Inpatient co-payments are based on both a standard charge for each 90 days of care within a 365-day period as well as a per diem (daily) charge. Together, the inpatient co-pay charges cover all services including medications. For further information on co-payments, contact the VA Medical Center at 433-0600.
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.