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FAQ

A full continuum of comprehensive medical services, including health promotion and disease prevention, primary care, women’s gender-specific health care; e.g., hormone replacement therapy, breast and gynecological care, maternity and limited infertility (excluding in-vitro fertilization), acute medical/surgical, telephone triage, emergency and substance abuse treatment, mental health, domiciliary, rehabilitation and long term care.  To enroll in VA health care or find a facility, visit MyHealttheVet@va.gov or www.va.gov/health. VA researchers at many VA facilities also conduct medical research on women’s health.

Veterans can apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10- 10EZ, “Application for Health Benefits.” The 10-10EZ may be obtained by visiting, calling or writing any VA health care facility or Veterans’ benefits office. You can also call the VA Health Benefits Call Center toll-free at 1-877-222 VETS (1-877-222-8387) to determine your eligibility or access the form from the Health Administration Eligibility Reform Web site: www.va.gov/elig. For VA benefits, refer to Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents at www1.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp. This booklet discusses the variety of Federal benefits available to Veterans and their dependents and survivors, such as: Compensation and Pension Montgomery GI  Bill (Education); Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Veterans Group Life Insurance, and Home Loan Guaranty. 

Additional information and application forms can be obtained at VA’s Web site: www.va.gov.  The Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp, allows you to complete and submit application forms on-line.

You may also call the VA nationwide toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000, for specific benefit information.

Another resource for Veterans to use to receive information and services on VA benefits is called eBenefits. eBenefits is an online portal for Service Members and Veterans to access their personalized DoD and VA information. Some features of eBenefits include checking the status of your claim, reviewing payment history and requesting your personnel file from DoD; however, you will need to obtain a premium eBenefits account.

A premium eBenefits account allows you to access your personalized information and use other personalized features through the portal by obtaining a DS Logon. If you are a Veteran and would like to receive a DS Logon for your premium eBenefits account, please go to any VA Regional Office with two forms of identification. You can go to our Web site at www.va.gov to obtain a list of VA Regional Offices. Service Members and retired Veterans do not need to go to a VA Regional Office and may use their DoD CAC or myPay account PIN to obtain their premium eBenefits account by going to the Web site below.

For more information on eBenefits, please visit www.eBenefits.va.gov.

VA provides maternity benefits to eligible women Veterans. Public Law 111-163 authorizes VA to furnish health care services, for not more than 7 days, to a newborn child of a women Veteran who delivered the child in a VA facility or in another facility pursuant to a VA contract for such care.

Children born to women Veterans who served in Vietnam may also be eligible for monthly monetary benefits, medical care, and vocational training if they have certain birth defects linked to their mother’s service. Contact the nearest VA regional office on the nationwide toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000, for information and eligibility requirements, or visit VA’s home page at www.va.gov.

Apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ which may be obtained by visiting, calling, or writing any VA health care facility or Veterans’ benefits office. You can also call toll-free 1-877-222 VETS (1-877-222-8387) or access the form on the Internet at www.va.gov. The provision of health care to non-Veteran children is limited to those instances where specific authority is given to VA by law.  Contact your local VA health care facility and ask to speak with the Women Veterans Program Manager (white pages of the telephone directory under U.S. Government, Department of Veterans Affairs).

Your state Department of Veterans Affairs can best assist Veterans in this situation. You can find the number of your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs in the blue or white pages of your local telephone directory. Also, local Veterans service organizations, churches, and community organizations may be able to assist Veterans in need.

If you are a new enrollee and/or new patient rated less than 50 percent service connected requiring care for a service connected disability, you will be scheduled for a primary care evaluation within 30 days of desired date. If your outpatient appointment cannot be scheduled within this timeframe, VA will arrange to have you seen within 30 days at another VA health care facility or obtain the services on fee basis, under a sharing agreement or contract at VA expense.

If you are a Veteran who is 50 percent service connected or higher and is an already established patient (not new), your request for an appointment will be reviewed by a VA medical provider who will determine a medically appropriate timeline for an appointment. A clinic visit will be scheduled or rescheduled, based on the medical provider’s review. You will be contacted by telephone or through correspondence of your appointment.

Most VA Medical Centers have inpatient mental health programs. Contact your VA Primary Care Provider or the local Mental Health Program office for assistance. If you already have a therapist and need inpatient care, please discuss your concerns with your therapist.

There are programs that offer specialized care for trauma in residential or inpatient settings for Veterans who need more intense treatment and support. Some of these programs serve women only or have women-only treatment cohorts.

There is also a hotline to provide emergency support and resources to homeless Veterans. The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is 1-877-4AIDVET (1-877-424-3838)

You may be eligible for Military Sexual Trauma (MST)-related care, even if you are not eligible for other VA services. Every VA facility provides free care for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. Veterans may be eligible for service connection or disability compensation for injuries or illnesses related to MST. To receive care, ask your VA provider for a referral for MST services, contact the MST Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center, or contact your local Vet Center (www.va.gov).

Every VA health care facility has providers knowledgeable about treatment for the aftereffects of trauma. Contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local health care facility for more information. Vet Centers provide counseling for combat Veterans who are experiencing readjustments difficulties (www.vetcenter.va.gov). Additional information can also be found at www.ncptsd.va.gov.

If you have never been seen at a VA health care facility, you must first enroll for benefits. Then, you must enroll in a primary care clinic and ask for an evaluation for nursing home care. The evaluation will be done either by the primary care provider or a geriatrics care team.

Contact the Women Veterans Program Manager or Patient Advocate at your local VA health care facility (white pages under U.S. Government, Department of Veterans Affairs or www.va.gov).

You may request a reevaluation of your claim anytime that you believe your condition has changed or worsened. Submit the request to reopen or reevaluate your claim to the VA Regional Office by either letter or statement or on VA Form 21-4138, “Statement in Support of Claim,” www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21- 4138-ARE.pdf . You may also reopen your claim via the toll-free telephone number, 1-800-827-1000.

Your request should include the following information: (1) VA claim number, Service Number, or Social Security Number; (2) Day and evening contact information; (3) Statement explaining change requested; and (4) any new and pertinent medical evidence that supports your request.

 

VA Home Loan Guaranty Program provides loan guaranties to service members, Veterans, reservists, and un-remarried surviving spouses for the purchase of homes, condominiums and manufactured homes, and for refinancing loans.

Some of the ways a VA loan guaranty can be used include: (1) buy a home; (2) buy a residential condominium; (3) build a home; (4) repair, alter, or improve a home; (5) refinance an existing loan; (6) buy a manufactured home with or without a lot.

You must complete VA Form 26-1880, “Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits, www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/vba-26-1880-ARE.pdf and submit it to the VA Eligibility Center along with acceptable proof of service as described on the instruction page of the form.

The Center for Veteran Enterprise partners with the Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration to provide information, assistance, and mentoring for Veterans who would like to start their own business. See www.vetbiz.gov for additional information.

VA does not provide assistance for automobile purchases, except for certain Veterans and service members who need special adaptive equipment. To apply, contact a VA regional office (1-800-827-1000) or a VA medical center.

Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) Benefits end 10 years from the date of your last discharge or release from active duty. If your benefits expire mid-term, your benefits are extended to the end of the term or semester. (Example: Your benefits expire in November but the course ends in December. You will be paid for December.)

The delimiting date can be extended past your 10-year period if you were prevented from attending classes.

If your benefit eligibility is based on two years of active duty and four years in the Selected Reserve, you have 10 years from your release from active duty, or 10 years from the completion of the four-year Selected Reserve obligation to use your benefits, whichever is later.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a new education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. For more information, call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or visit the VA GI Bill Web site at www.gibill.va.gov.

Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) to include the children of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. The benefit is effective August 1, 2009; the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill takes effect. Eligible children attending school may receive up to the highest public, in-state undergraduate tuition and fees, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.

Contact the local VA homeless coordinator (or point of contact), Social Work Services department, or Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VA medical center or regional office. A listing of Homeless Veteran Coordinator offices, by state, can be found at www.va.gov/homeless. There is also a hotline to provide emergency support and resources to homeless Veterans and Veterans facing the possibility of homelessness. The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is 1-877-4AIDVET (1-877-424-3838).

If you served in a branch of the military and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, you may be eligible for burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery of a State Veterans Cemetery.

Female Veterans married to a Veteran are entitled to their own separate grave, headstone or marker, burial flag and Presidential Memorial Certificate. However, they may choose to be buried in the same gravesite as their spouse.

To locate the nearest VA National Cemetery or State Veterans Cemetery, visit: www.cem.va.gov. For more eligibility information call 1-800-827-1000. For information regarding burial at Arlington National Cemetery, visit www.arlingtoncemetery.org.

To obtain copies of your military records and/or “Report of Separation from Active Military Service” (DD Form 214 or equivalent), you must submit a “Request Pertaining to Military Records” (SF 180) to the records custodian of your branch of service.  Addresses for each service’s records custodian are found on page 2 of the SF 180. The SF 180 requires a signature and must be submitted either by mail or fax.  Contact the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100, or fax requests to (314) 801-9195.  The Web site is www.archives.gov/research_room/vetrecs/index.html

The Privacy Act obliges the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as a Federal agency, to protect the privacy of Veterans’ personal information. Therefore, VA cannot release personal information about a Veteran in its records system without that person’s permission. VA can, however, forward a message from you to the Veteran, providing VA has a current address on record.

Write your message to your friend and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope. Include a note to VA explaining who it is that you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have. Put all of this in another envelope and address it to the nearest VA Regional Office.

If the Veteran is in VA records, your message to the Veteran will be sealed and the envelope will be sent to the address on file for the Veteran. It is then up to the Veteran to contact you. This process is designed to protect the privacy of Veterans, as required by law. If you have questions, you may call VA at 1-800- 827-1000.

You may also contact the Women In Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) located at the ceremonial entrance of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, at www.womensmemorial.org or by telephone at 1-800-222-2294.

Current and former members of the Selected Reserve who served on active duty may establish Veteran status and may therefore be eligible for VA benefits, depending on the length of active military service and the character of discharge or release. Members of the National Guard activated for federal service during a period of war or domestic emergency may be eligible for certain VA benefits, such as VA health care, compensation for injuries or conditions connected to that service and burial benefits. Activation for other than federal service does not qualify Guard members for all VA benefits. Title 38, Section 3.7 of the Code of Federal Regulations identifies individuals and groups considered to have performed active military, naval, or air service.

VA provides five years of free health care for Veterans who served in certain combat locations during active military service, beginning on the date of separation from active duty.  This benefit covers all illnesses and injuries except those clearly unrelated to active military service. For more information call 1-877-222-8387. Every VA medical center has a team standing ready to welcome OEF/OIF/OND Service members and to help coordinate their care (http://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/apply/returning_servicemembers.asp).

Where do I find research studies and surveys on women Veterans?

The Office of Research and Development at VA Central Office oversees research within the Veterans Health Administration through its four service areas:

The Medical Research Service provides knowledge of the fundamental biological processes to form an understanding of disease pathology, diagnosis, and treatment.

The Cooperative Studies Program applies the knowledge gained from medical research to patients by determining the effectiveness of novel or unproved therapies using multi-center clinical intervention trials.

The Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) contributes to improving the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of health care services for Veterans.

The Rehabilitation Research and Development Service addresses the minimization of disability and restoration of function in Veterans disabled by trauma or disease.

Some important VA research Web sites to know are:

Contact the Women In Military Service For America Memorial (WIMSA) located at the gates of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, through their Web site: www.womensmemorial.org.

VA provides statistics and demographic information on various Veteran populations at the following Web site: www.va.gov/vetdata. Additional statistics by state can be found on the same Web site.

You may access legislative information and follow up on Congressional bills through the Thomas Web site http://thomas.loc.gov/.

Veterans Service Organizations are available in most communities. Telephone book yellow pages will list local Veteran groups under "Veterans" or "Veteran Service Organizations." Examples of organizations include AMVETS (American Veteran), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), The American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW).

WIMSA can also help arrange for members to either speak at civic or educational events or to be interviewed about the Women's Memorial, a specific era, or women in the military. Contact the Public Relations Department, at 1-(800) 222- 2294 or (703) 533-1155.

WIMSA also has volunteer opportunities if you are interested in speaking about the Women's Memorial, a specific era, or women in the military. Contact the Public Relations and Education Department at www.womensmemorial.org.

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