VA enacts awareness campaign for new vets
What is the Department of Veterans Affairs doing to get their message out to our returning veterans about what they can offer them?
Answer: On May 1, the VA began contacting nearly 570,000 recent combat veterans to ensure they know about VA's medical services and other benefits. A contractor-operated "Combat Veteran Call Center" will telephone two distinct populations of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the first phase, calls will go to an estimated 17,000 veterans who were sick or injured while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. VA will offer to appoint a care manager to work with them if they don't have one already. Care managers ensure veterans receive appropriate care and know about their VA benefits. For five years after their discharge from the military, these combat veterans have special access to VA health care. The VA screens combat veterans for signs of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. For the new call center, the second phase will target 550,000 OIF-OEF veterans who have been discharged from active duty but have not contacted VA for services.
Q: What is the difference between VA compensation and severance disability?
A: Disability severance pay from the military is granted for a disability received or acquired while in the military and is usually paid in a lump sum. VA compensation is unlike severance pay because it is not paid in a single lump sum, but is paid out over time. If the VA were to pay you compensation and severance pay for the same disability, you would be getting paid twice for the same disability. According to law, this is not allowed. If you filed for other disabilities that were not related to your disability severance, the VA could possibly pay you for those disabilities. Call the VA at (800) 827-1000 for more information.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Department of Veterans Affairs at 433-0049.
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.