Objective: Provide information regarding 4 Department of Veterans Affairs programs.

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1 Veterans Benefits

2 Objective: Provide information regarding 4 Department of Veterans Affairs programs. OEF/OIF/OND Case Management Peer Support VA Claims and Benefits Vocational Rehabilitation

3 Structure of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA)

4 VA Health Care (VHA) Manchester VA Medical Center in Manchester, NH Outpatient clinics in: Somersworth, NH Portsmouth, NH Conway, NH Tilton, NH Other Clinics in the state are managed by White River Jct. VAMC.

5 Some Manchester VA Programs VA provides a number of health care services, including but, not limited to: Preventive Care Services, 24/7 Urgent Care services (at VA hospitals only) Hospital, outpatient medical, dental*, pharmacy, and prosthetic services Specialized health care for women Veterans Screening exams for: Depression, Substance Abuse, PTSD, Military Sexual Trauma, TBI Treatment related to Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Readjustment counseling, mental health services Couples/family counseling, Peer support services, supported employment Alcohol and drug dependency treatment Homeless Veteran programs Veterans Justice Outreach Polytrauma/ TBI Caregiver Support Program Therapeutic and Supported Employment.

6 OEF/OIF/OND Program Mission To honor Americas OEF/OIF/OND Service Members by ensuring access to exceptional care to improve their health and wellbeing.

7 How we meet our mission Promote healthy transition from active duty to VA care. Provide a safe and friendly entry point into the VA system. Ensure patient centered, comprehensive integrated care. Coordinate across service lines and with community partners. Assist with arranging timely and Veteran negotiated appointments Outreach to service members in the community. Provide same day access (where and when available) Diminish the stigma of mental health services Provide comprehensive female preventative & Primary Care.

8 OEF/OIF/OND Veteran Eligibility for VA Care Who is considered an OEF/OIF/OND Veteran? Served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty by Federal order. With a discharge status of anything other than dishonorable. Eligible for co pay free care for five years post discharge date for any injuries and illnesses related to their military service during deployment Eligible for one full dental exam/evaluation within 180 days of discharge

9 OEF/OIF/OND Case Management Services. (Case Management is the focus of the OEF/OIF/OND team). Explore readjustment Concerns after military separation Establish VA health care services medical appointment; meds; mental health appointment/need; substance abuse appointment/need; prosthetic equipment Explore resources and discuss issues related to financial hardship,va benefits, relationship concerns, legal issues, housing/homelessness issues, employment and unemployment issues.. Connecting to appropriate medical provider regarding physical health concerns

10 Manchester VA Medical Center Peer Support Services

11 VA CLAIMS AND BENEFITS TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

12 BASIC ELIGIBILITY FOR VA CLAIMS Has to be a Veteran with a discharge that is considered Honorable for VA purposes (38 CFR 3.12) A discharge that is Honorable, General or Under Honorable Conditions is good to go Anyone else is considered to have been naughty, but if there is an application for benefits we have to provide Due Process

13 BASIC ELIGIBILITY FOR VA CLAIMS AND MORE Minimum active Duty requirements are 24 months of more of continuous active service Or, the full period the Veteran was called to service (National Guard, Reserves) However, a Veteran that was injured in an Active Duty for Training status (ACDUTRA) may apply for benefits related to the injury or event. In this scenario the evidence of record should indicate no negligence on the part of the Veteran commonly referred to as a Line of Duty (LOD) Determination.

14 SERVICE CONNECTED CLAIMS A claim that is based upon an event, or injury in military service The there elements of service connection are: Event or injury in service Current condition (diagnosis; lay testimony) Nexus, or the link/connection (in almost all cases the VA exam will take care of this) Reference: 38 CFR 3.303

15 DIAGNOSIS vs LAY TESTIMONY Some conditions have to be diagnosed in order to obtain a VA exam Examples are heart conditions, diabetes or specific mental conditions (i.e. bipolar) Some conditions the Veteran is considered competent to claim without a current diagnosis such as musculoskeletal issues or depression (the Veteran is competent and can tell us his back hurts or that he is depressed)

16 CLAIMS BASED UPON PRESUMPTIVE CONDITIONS Per 38 CFR there are diseases that are considered service connectable based upon verified exposure Examples are Agent Orange, Gulf War Environmental Hazards and Camp LeJeune (drinking water) Former Prisoners of War (FPOW)

17 PTSD CLAIMS 38 CFR 3.304(f) Relates to a traumatic event or experience in military service Combat, Personal Trauma and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) The Veteran provides a stressor statement The evidence of record needs to place the Veteran in the described situation or circumstance In a sense, in certain situations PTSD is in a way presumptive (but not exactly)

18 OTHER MENTAL HEALTH CLAIMS The elements of service connection apply The Veteran s in service medical records need to show complaints or mental health treatment in service Certain conditions need a diagnosis such as Bipolar or schizophrenia Conditions such as Anxiety or Depression can be claimed by the Veteran as lay testimony

19 OTHER TYPES OF CLAIMS Secondary: The claimed condition is caused by a service connected condition Aggravation: The claimed condition existed prior to service and the condition was worsened by service Reopen: The claimed condition was previously denied; The Veteran submits New and Material evidence (not just new but addresses the reason for the denial) 38 USC 1151: condition is caused by injury or illness as a result of VA healthcare or occurred in training such as Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) or Vocational Rehabilitation

20 NON SERVICE CONNECTED PENSION May be claimed based on injuries or illness not related to military service Specific requirements to be eligible: Service in a recognized wartime period (can be as little as 1 day) 24 months or more of active duty; prior to 1980 this can be the full term of active duty service if less than 24 months of active duty (ACDUTRA Does not apply) A discharge that is Honorable for VA purposes Low income: based upon an income threshold established by Congress If over age 65 a lack of medical records is not an issue

21 AID AND ATTENDANCE This is an additional benefit which may be awarded based upon either service connected compensation or non service connected pension This is to help a Veteran or a spouse of a service connected Veteran that needs help from others to perform daily life tasks Conditions such as loss of use of extremities and blindness are the most common

22 CLAIM FORMS VA Form EZ Fully Developed Claim (FDC)for Service Connection VA Form EZ Fully Developed Claim (FDC) for Non Service Connected Pension VA Form Aid and Attendance Application VA Form Statement in Support of Claim for PTSD VA Form a Statement in Support of Claim for PTSD Secondary to Personal Trauma (most often used for MST) VA Form Release for VA to request private medical records (This form is HIPPA compliant if filled out correctly by the Veteran) VA Form Statement in Support of Claim (think of this as VA notepaper)

23 WHAT HAPPENS IF A CLAIM IS SUCCESSFUL? If the Veteran is granted benefits, they are paid based upon percentage (determined by severity of condition(s)) Reference: 38 CFR part 4 If more than one condition is granted, the combined evaluation is determined based upon the most to the least severe disabling Conditions granted at 0% are still service connected; these do not pay monetary benefits but the Veteran is entitled to VA healthcare for any condition that is service connected at 0% If a Veteran is service connected at 30% or more disabling they may request additional benefits for dependency Spouse, minor children and even school age children 18 and over if enrolled in school School age child benefits are paid until the child is age 23 if still enrolled in school

24 HOW TO GET VA FORMS Any VA regional Office; Manchster is open 8:30 to 4:00 Monday through Friday Located at 275 Chestnut Street in Manchester Online via ebenefits Online via VONAPP You may also call for assistance Also at: *These are fillable pdf s

25 VA Regional Office Vocational Rehabilitation

26 Questions?

27 How to Reach us Kristin Maxwell, OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager ext Shannan Brown, Peer Support Specialist ext Veterans Benefit Administration

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