War veterans eligible for care from VA
I understand that combat veterans who separate from the armed forces are eligible for two years of Department of Veterans Affairs health care. Do they have to pay co-payments, and what happens after the two-year period has ended?
Answer: During the two-year period following their separation from active-duty service, Operation Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans have no co-payments for any medical service related to conditions that were made worse by or during service, did not exist before joining the service, started before leaving the service or are clearly related to service, based on the VA clinician's judgment. After the two-year period is up, the veteran will be moved to the appropriate enrollment priority group and co-payment category based upon their income and other eligibility factors. If their income places them into priority group 8 -- co-payment required -- their VA enrollment will continue regardless of the date of their original VA application.
Q: I found out that the VA has a Native American Direct Loan Program for purchasing a house. Does that program exist in Hawaii for native Hawaiians?
A: In 1992, Congress established the Native American Veteran Direct Loan Pilot Program. American Indian veterans can purchase, construct or improve a home on American Indian trust land. Hawaiian veterans wishing to apply for the VA Native American Direct Loan Program must first comply with the legal requirements set by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. For more information or to request an application, go to www.state.hi.us/dhhl or call (808) 586-3830. The Honolulu Loan Guaranty Division can assist eligible Hawaiian veterans with a VA-guaranteed loan. To contact the VA regarding all VA home loans, call (808) 433-0481 or visit the VA Web site at www.homeloans.va.gov.
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.