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Old 03-02-2013, 12:43   #1
ottomatic
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Using the VA

I am a retired (21 year) Army E-7. As such I get Tricare insurance, that seems to get worse from year to year, but that in not why I am here today.
Recently I found a counselor that works for the VA that specializes in something that I need some help with.
I have been retired since 1997 and have never used the VA before. Nor did I sign up for their card, which apparently was a mistake. I have a full time job which pays about $60k in addition to my retirement pay, which seems to put me in the category of making more mony than they want to deal with.
Somebody suggested that I join the American Legion or VFW, that that would make it easier to be seen.
Does anyone have any feedback on how I should proceed?
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Old 03-02-2013, 15:15   #2
MDLibertarian
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As someone who went through the American Legion when I applied for both treatment and compensation for my service-connected disabilities upon leaving AD I have some experience with this even though my situation wasn't quite what you're dealing with since I didn't retire from AD. However, membership isn't required to obtain assistance and the various veterans service organizations (VSOs) can assist you with applying for disability and helping you navigate the VA system, which may include gaining access to treatment through the VA. To do so will require you to sign a limited power of attorney before any VSO can assist you with said system. The Priority Group category you fall into, that's based upon your financial resources and/or disability rating for problems that are determined to be service-connected (or aggravated by military service), will determine if you can be seen/treated at VA facilities for the problem you're experiencing. The VSOs can provide much more information about the requirements and application process as I can only speak for my own situation.
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Old 03-02-2013, 18:12   #3
Jeff82
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As a veteran you are entitled to VA services. There are two sides; one side handles all your disability claims stuff (benefits) and the other side handles getting medicine and treatment (hospital/clinic).

Veteran Service Officers (VSOs are in the VFW, DAV, AMVETS, etc.) will help you with your claims. Injury and ailments that you get "service-connected" will be taken care of for free. Other treatment for things not service-connected you may have to pay a small fee for depending on your Priority Group number you'll be placed in at the hospital.

If you just want treatment then go to the VA hospital and sign up, get a VA ID card and set up an appointment. If possible get it service-connected.
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