VA assists with disabilities
I have a service-connected disability and would like information about the Department of Veterans Affairs' vocational rehabilitation and employment program.
Answer: The program assists veterans who have service-connected disabilities with obtaining and maintaining suitable employment. Independent living services are also available for severely disabled veterans who are not currently ready to seek employment. A veteran must have a VA service-connected disability rated at least 20 percent with an employment handicap, or rated 10 percent with a serious employment handicap, and be discharged or released from military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Service members pending medical separation from active duty may also apply if their disabilities are reasonably expected to be rated at least 20 percent following their discharge. Generally, veterans must complete a program within 12 years from their separation from military service or within 12 years from the date VA notifies them that they have a compensable service-connected disability. Depending on the length of program needed, veterans may be provided up to 48 months of full-time services or their part-time equivalent. These limitations may be extended in certain circumstances.
VA pays the cost of all approved training programs. Subsistence allowance may also be provided. Depending on an individual's needs, services provided by VA may include an evaluation of the veteran's interests and abilities, assistance with writing a resume and other job-seeking skills, vocational counseling, on-the-job training, counseling and more.
For additional information call the VA at (800) 827-1000 or go to the VA's Web site at www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre.
Q: What type of visits to the VA do not require a co-pay?
A: Co-pays do not apply to publicly announced VA health fairs or outpatient visits solely for preventive screening and/or immunizations, such as immunizations for influenza and pneumococcal, or screening for hypertension, hepatitis C, tobacco, alcohol, hyperlipidemia, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer by fecal occult blood testing, education about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening, and smoking cessation counseling (individual and group). Laboratory, flat film radiology and electrocardiograms are also exempt from co-pays. If you have any questions on co-pays, 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.