Mission of the Veterans Service Office: To provide prevention, protection, advocacy and support services to veterans and their families so they can maximize their quality of life, well-being and potential.
What does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer?
VA benefits and services are in these major categories: compensation, pension, health care, vocational rehabilitation and employment, education and training, home loans, life insurance, dependent and survivors, burial benefits and state benefits.
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a veteran; a veteran’s dependent; a surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran; an active duty military service member; or a member of the Army Reserve or National Guard who has been called to active duty in support of a war or conflict and discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
What are the time limits to apply for benefits?
A variety of time limits apply to education and training benefits. There is no time limit to claim reimbursement for burial expenses for a service related death. In other cases, claims for burial benefits must be filed within two years of the veteran’s burial. There is no time limit to apply for any of the other benefits described above.
Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care
The VA provides a robust medical benefits package of health services that are available to all enrolled veterans. The benefits provided include: preventive care services, hospital services, prescription drugs, home health-care services, long-term care benefits and nursing-home benefits.
The VA administers medical benefits through an annual patient-enrollment system. The VA’s goal is to ensure that veterans receive the finest quality of health care regardless of the treatment program and location. The VA encourages all veterans to apply, so that they may determine their eligibility. Applying helps the VA determine the number of potential veterans who may seek VA Health care services and is a very important part of VA planning efforts.
Please, watch for this column, which is published the first Sunday of every month. I will address the benefits listed above in more detail in future columns.
Happy holidays to all.
Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or schleeterrs@ co.laplata.co.us.