Veteran’s Corner

Answers offered for common Veteran questions



Hello again everyone.

Today I wanted to answer some commonly asked questions.

Q. Will my spouse still receive money from VA when I pass away?

A. Money currently paid to the veteran for VA pension or compensation will not continue. However, there may be an entitlement for the surviving spouse or dependent based on the veteran’s service. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors whose spouse was either a:

• Servicemember who died on active duty.

• Veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease

• Veteran whose death resulted from a non-servicerelated injury or disease; and who was receiving or entitled to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediately before death, or since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least one year before the death if the veteran was a former POW who died after September 30, 1999.

The surviving spouse is eligible for DIC if he or she meets one of these requirements:

• Validly married the veteran before January 01, 1957.

• Married to a servicemember who died on active duty.

• Married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran’s death began or was aggravated.

• Married to the veteran for at least one year.

• Had a child with the veteran and cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death.

• If separated, was not at fault for the separation and is not currently remarried.

A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue or receive DIC.

VA Health Care

~Information regarding Non-VA emergency care.

At some time in your life, you may need emergency care. This information explains what VA might be able to do for you. When it is not possible for you to go to a VA medical Center, you should go to the nearest hospital that has an emergency room. If you are in an ambulance, the paramedics will usually take you to the closest emergency room.

Q. What is an emergency?

A. A medical emergency is an injury or illness that is so severe that without immediate treatment, it threatens your life or health.

Q. How do I know my situation is an emergency?

A. Your situation is an emergency if you believe your life or health is in danger.

Q. If I believe my life or health is in danger, do I need to call the VA before I call for an ambulance or go to an emergency room?

A. NO. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Q. When should I contact the VA regarding an emergency room visit?

A. You, your family, friends or hospital staff should contact the nearest VA medical center as soon as possible, preferably within 72 hours of an emergency, so you are better aware of what services VA may or may not cover. Provide VA with information about your emergency and what services are being provided to you. Ask VA for guidance on what emergency charges may or may not be covered, so you can plan accordingly.

Q. If the doctor then wants to admit me to the hospital, must I obtain advance approval from the VA?

A. ~If the admission is an emergency-NO, although prompt notification of the VA is necessary.

~If the admission is not an emergency-YES

Q. If a VA bed is available and I can be safely transferred, do I have to move the VA hospital?

A. YES, if you want VA to continue to pay for your care. If you refuse to be transferred, VA will not pay for any further care.

Q. If I am admitted to the hospital as a result of an emergency, how much will VA pay?

A. This depends on your VA eligibility. VA may pay all, some, or none of the charges. Some highlights are listed in the following information.

For service-connected conditions, here are some of the criteria that must be met:

1. Care or services were provided in a medical emergency, and

2. VA or another federal facility were not feasibly available, and

3. VA was notified within 72 hours of the admission.

4. Ask your local VA Medical Center’s Non-VA (Fee) Care Office for further eligibility guidance.

For non-service-connected conditions, here are some of the criteria that must be met?

1. Veteran is enrolled in the VA Health Care System, and

2. Veteran has received health care services from VA within the previous 24 month, and

3. Veteran has no other health insurance coverage.

4. Ask your local VA Medical Center’s Non-VA (Fee) Care Office for further eligibility guidance.

Q. How do I know if I have a service-connected condition?

A. A service-connected condition refers to an illness or injury that was incurred in or aggravated by military service and has a rating assigned by the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Q. How long do I have to file a claim for reimbursement for emergency medical care?

A. File your claim with the nearest VA Medical Center quickly because time limits usually apply. For nonservice connected care, the time limit is 90 days. Again, consult your local VA Medical Center for additional information.

Q. Will VA pay for emergency care received outside the United States?

A. VA will only pay for emergency care outside the U.S. if your emergency is related to a service-connected condition. For more information about care provided outside the U.S. contact the Foreign Medical Program (FMP) website at: www. fmp

And for additional information on non-VA emergency care, visit: www.nonvacare.

That’s it for today, but as always, if you have any questions or need assistance please don’t hesitate to phone our office.

MIKE LAMBARIA is the Veterans Service Officer for Atascosa County Veterans Administration. Contact him at: 1 Courthhouse Cirlce Dr, Suite 101, Jourdanton, TX 78026, Phone: (830)769- 3251.

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