Health care available during financial slump


POSTED: Sunday, February 01, 2009

Question: What assistance is available to veterans who are hurting financially because of the current economic conditions?

Answer: Veterans whose previous income was ruled too high for Department of Veterans Affairs health care may be able to enter the VA system based upon a hardship if their current year's income is projected to fall below federal income thresholds due to a job loss, separation from service or some other financial setback. Veterans determined eligible due to hardship can avoid copays applied to higher-income veterans. Qualifying veterans may be eligible for enrollment and receive health care at no cost.

Also eligible for no-cost VA care are most veterans who recently returned from a combat zone. They are entitled to five years of free VA care. The five-year “;clock”; begins with their discharge from the military, not their departure from the combat zone.

Each VA medical center has an enrollment coordinator available to provide veterans information about these programs. Veterans may contact VA's health benefits service center at (877) 222-VETS (8387), visit the VA health eligibility Web site at www.va.gov/healtheligibility, or call the VA Medical Center here at 433-0600.

Q: How do I find the grave of a veteran?

A: To search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker, go to http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1.


If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Department of Veterans Affairs at 433-0049