The VA and Medical Benefits


Experiences with the VA


I recently retired from my civilian employment in a rather disorganized way.  What we hope is that things will proceed in a way that allows us to plans things in advance, but in my case, it was over two years of waiting for the operation I worked for to be shut down.  When it finally happened, I only had two weeks notice.  After getting my finances in proper order, I started to investigate what benefits, if any, I might get from the VA.  My primary concern is medical care and prescription drugs, so I filled out a form to determine my eligibility for these things.  Quite quickly, I received a document back from the VA that said I was placed in Priority Group 8g, which means no benefits at all.  I knew from conversation with other Association members that this did not sound right, so I filed a formal "Notice of Disagreement", copying both of my Senators and my Representative.

In less than a week, I received a phone call from the local VA facility to inform me that they had made a mistake and that I had been incorrectly classified.  I am now in Priority Group 6, which may qualify me for some help with medical care and prescription drugs.  I have an appointment in a few days to meet with them and I will be updating this narrative as I gain more information.

The point is for all of you who were assigned to Vietnam to apply for a determination of benefits through the VA web site at:  Do this whether you need the benefits now or not.  If you get the brush off initially, as I did, follow it up until you get a minimum classification of Priority Group 6.  My understanding is that all Vietnam vets are entitled to that classification at a minimum.

More to follow......

Peter Bird


13 Jan 2009 05:47 PM