Benefits Information

CHAMPVA UPDATE

The Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) is a program very similar to TRICARE. But, they are not the same. When a veteran is retired from the military, both the veteran and family members are eligible for TRICARE. People eligible for TRICARE are not eligible for CHAMPVA care for themselves. Only family members qualify for CHAMPVA, assuming:

*The veteran has a 100%, permanent and total, service-connected rating.

*The veteran dies while rated 100% permanent and total. An important part of the previous sentence is the "permanent and total" part. This does not include IU (Individual Unemployability) which is a temporary rating.

*The veteran dies of a service-connected condition. Thus, for example, the widow of a veteran rated 60% service-connected for diabetes who died of a kidney condition would not qualify unless the VA acknowledged the kidney condition was caused by the diabetes. In such situations it would be prudent for veterans suffering from secondary life-threatening conditions to submit a claim to the VA in advance stating their secondary condition was caused by their rated service connected condition.

*A service member dies in the line of duty after 30 days of entry into service for reasons other than misconduct.

*The surviving spouse remarries after age 55. Remarriage prior to age 55 terminates eligibility.

If you want to apply for CHAMPVA please come to the Barefoot Bay Veterans Service Office where you will be assisted in completing VA Form 10-10d.

VA COMPENSATION & PENSIONS

(C&P). Veterans will frequently hear the term C&P used by the VA. When a veteran has submitted a claim, the claim examiner provides their examination to C&P, Compensation is paid for service-connected conditions. Much like Workers Compensation, when a military member becomes ill or injured as a result of their duty (on duty is defined as 24/7 even when the service member is on leave and liberty). Except for the employer (military or DOD) paying the compensation to the employee (service-member), the Department of Veterans Affairs pays the benefit.

Pension

is for nonservice-connected conditions. When a service member served during (not necessarily in) a official period of war and later becomes unable to obtain and maintain gainful employment, the VA may award the veteran Pension. For example, Let's take a service-member who left the Navy 10 years ago who served only one (1) four year term. He was honorably discharged and did not have illnesses or injuries during this 4 years of service. Fast forward to today; he happens to be walking down the street and is hit by a bus. The veteran was severely injured and now can't keep any gainful employment. What should he do and what will happen?

*The first step he should take is to apply for a Pension. He can do so on-line at http://www.va.gov or obtain a VA Form 21-526 from the Barefoot Bay Veterans Service Office where you will be assisted in completing the form.

*Step 2. The examiner will provide their opinion on the veteran's workability.

*Step 3. Wait for the Rating Decision. In the example given, the veteran served during an official period of war, was Honorably discharged, and cannot work due to nonservice -connected conditions. The VA should award Pension to this veteran.? The amount varies depending on "total family income." The VA will review the income of everyone in the house, not just the veteran. If the total family income is less than a certain amount*, the veteran may be awarded Pension. Even if the veteran is awarded just $1.00 a month, all the veteran's medical care will be provided at no cost. No cost for outpatient or inpatient care. No cost for medications. No Cost! And, the veteran would be eligible for Beneficiary Travel Pay. The VA provides more than just a safety net. The VA really cares about veterans. [Source: Veterans Advisor David Peters article of Dec 23, 2011 .. in part].

*Maximum Annual Pension Rate Tables are available at your Veterans Service Office.

That's it for this month. Thanks for listening.-Dave

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