VA assists veterans with health care costs
April 2, 2009
For veterans struggling financially due to a job loss or decreased income, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers programs that can relieve the costs of health care or provide care at no cost.
Veterans whose previous income was ruled too high for VA 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 co-pays 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.
Cold War certificates
If you served honorable on active duty, the Guard, Reserve, or as a DOD federal employee from Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991, you are authorized for the Cold War recognition Certificate. Here’s how to obtain your copy free:
– You will need proof of your service, such as a DD form 214 (Record of Military Service)
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– Prepare, date, and sign a letter, requesting the award of the Cold War Recognition Certificate. You can also fill out an official request form at the Army’s Cold War Recognition Certificate Web site.
– Send the letter or request form, and a copy of your service proof to:
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Cold War Recognition Program, Hoffman II, Room 3N45
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0473
– You may also FAX the letter and proof to: 1-800-723-9262
– Your letter must contain the phrase “I certify that my service “was honorable and faithful” or it will be rejected.
– Do not send the original of your proof of service. Send a copy. Original documentation will not be returned.
– There is a large demand for this program. Current backlog time is about six months.
– I encourage all veterans to write their story or tell it to someone your comfortable with who will write it for you. Sometimes telling your story can help others understand your “ups and downs” in daily life. Retelling the story may help by reminding you of the good times while in the military. Each one of us feels and remembers those times as only we can tell it.
In these economic times, it is imperative that we veterans contact our representatives and senators, in writing, to ensure that the cost of health care to our service-connected disabled veterans remains free.
– REMEMBER THE VETERANS’ RALLY for Aug. 14-16. Watch for more information.
– Contact your Grand County Veterans Service Officer at:
Grand County Veteran’s Office
Attn: Dave Jones
P.O. Box 264
Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451
Phone: 970-887-7322 or 970-509-9024
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