Multnomah County Veterans Services

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1 Multnomah County Veterans Services 1

2 Objectives Understand Various Levels of VA Understand the Basics of a standard Claim Discuss impacts of the current VBA Process 2

3 Multnomah County Veterans Services; part of aging, disability and veterans services division We are not federal or state employees we work for Multnomah County. We work to ensure that the federal VA delivers to our Veterans and active duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country. 3

4 County Veterans Service Officers are responsible for understanding laws and regulations pertaining to veterans benefits. Accredited to represent at the Federal VA under Powers of Attorney through the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. We explain eligibility criteria for benefits and help veterans, surviving spouses, and children apply for benefits. 4

5 Served in the United States Navy from 1985 to 1993 Deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm Obtained National and ODVA accreditation in

6 NW AIRS 2016 Regional Conference Veterans in Oregon October 6, 2016

7 VETERAN LANDSCAPE 6.5% WWII 8.5% KOREA 37.2% VIETNAM 25.9% PEACETIME 15.3% GULF WAR 6.6% IRAQ/AFGHANISTA N Veterans who are Aging Veterans with Disabilities Veterans Who Are Students veterans who are women Veterans Who live in Rural Multco Veterans who are minorities Veterans who are members of Tribal Communities Veterans who are Justice Involved Veterans who are homeless 7

8 Disabled veterans IN OREGON a closer look 8

9 Disabled veterans IN OREGON a closer look 9

10 Veterans Administration Veteran Center (Readjustment Counseling Center, 7 Regions) Veterans Benefits Administration Veterans Heath Administration National Cemeteries Portland Regional Claims Office Community Based Outpatient Clinics Pension / Debt Management Center St Paul Minnesota (NSC, DIC, Death Claims, Burial Claims) Community Resources and Referral Center Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator VA Supportive Housing (VASH), Veterans Grant and Per Diem (HCHV)

11 Disabled American Veterans Vietnam Veterans of America Veterans of Foreign Wars National Service Organizations American Legion Military Order of the Purple Heart VA/ Congressionally Recognized Veterans Service Organizations Paralyzed Veterans of America National Association for Black Veterans DCHS Aging, Disability, and Veterans Services Multnomah County Veterans Service Officers State Service Organizations Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Multnomah County Veterans Service Officers (ORS , OAR ) Multnomah Country Sheriff s Office Department of Community Justice The Justice Sys Tem Multnomah County District Court Multnomah County District Attorney Metropolitan Public Defenders Community Court

12 State and Local Government Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Oregon Employment Department Oregon Military Department (National Guard) Oregon County Veterans Service Officers (ORS and OAR) Hire Oregon Veterans

13 Community Partners and Housing Services Home Forward Transition Projects Central City Concern Salvation Army NW Pilot Project Join NAYA Reach

14 ADRC Helpline 211 Info Lines for Life Oregon Military Support Network

15 U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs VSO VA Mail Room Triage Pre Determination Phase Rater (VA Decision maker) VA Rating Decision (sent to VSO) Post Decision Review VA Rating Decision Letter (sent to the Veteran/ Claimant) 15

16 Veterans Claims Assistance Act of USC 5103 Due Process VA s Duty to Assist Claims Development Order C&P Exam and Collect Results 16

17 Gateway to Vet Benefits? Local County Veteran Service Office! Seek out an Accredited Veteran Service Officer 17

18 Service Connected Disability: monetary compensation for injuries incurred or aggravated in service, secondary conditions, presumptive conditions, and medical malpractice by the VA. Service connected disability is a key that opens many other benefits. Service-connected veterans with longstanding disability may want to apply for a re-evaluation. We can help with this. 18

19 Benefit for injuries, chronic illnesses or mental health conditions. - Basic requirements Proof of injury or condition while on active duty. Continuity of treatment or symptomology since discharge. Current diagnosis of claimed item. 19

20 Pension: needs-based pension for veterans who are unemployable due to disability, or over age 65. Unemployable or over age 65 Low Income Wartime service Minimum length of service requirements Veterans may be eligible for a higher amount if they are housebound or require Aid and Attendance 20

21 Aid and Attendance is a type of needsbased pension payable to certain veterans and their surviving spouses. Aid and Attendance is also known as: Non-service Connected Pension: for living veterans Death Pension: for surviving spouses of veterans 21

22 Non-Service Connected or Death Pension is payable at three levels: Basic: Applicant meets the minimum eligibility requirements Housebound: Pays more than basic; beneficiary essentially confined to home because of a disability Aid and Attendance: Pays more than housebound, beneficiary requires daily assistance with basic selfcare activities. 22

23 Benefit for very low income war era veterans. - Basic requirements Must have very low countable income (generally below 900 dollars a month) Income based dollar for dollar benefit. Minimum time served on active duty. 23

24 Death Pension (for surviving spouses): Veteran had honorable discharge Veteran had wartime service Veteran met length of service requirements Surviving spouse meets income requirements Surviving spouse meets dependency requirements Surviving spouse NEED NOT be disabled or over age 65 24

25 Death Pension (for surviving spouses): Dependency Requirements: Marriage: married to the veteran for at least one year immediately prior to veteran s death OR had a child with the veteran Continuous cohabitation: lived with the veteran from marriage until the veteran s death Has not remarried, with some exceptions 25

26 There are three levels of pension: basic, housebound, and aid and attendance. With each level, all of your income is subtracted from the maximum allowable rate, and VA pays the difference. Unreimbursed medical expenses are subtracted from income. 26

27 Ann is the widow of deceased veteran. Ann gets $400 per month from Social Security. Ann pays $100 per month for private insurance. Ann s countable monthly income is $300. Ann s Maximum Allowable Pension Rate is $624 per month. Ann s benefit is $624 (maximum pension) - $300 (countable income) $324 (monthly benefit) 27

28 Medical Care: Most honorably discharged veterans are eligible for medical care. The VA Medical Center determines priority. Higher priority veterans are more likely to receive medical care. Low income veterans may qualify for waiver of co-pays. CVSO s can help apply for medical care. 28

29 Primary access is through Compensation or Pension claims adjudication. New veterans who served in a combat zone have five years free medical. Allow few veterans in with very high income. 29

30 Burial Benefits: Most honorably discharged veterans can be buried in a national cemetery free of charge. Monetary reimbursement is also available for some veterans receiving VA benefits, or who died of a service connected disability. Honorably Discharged veterans are also eligible for a free headstone and burial flag. 30

31 Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Survivor s Benefit (formerly Widow s Pension) Oregon Veterans Home 31

32 32

33 Mary, USMC

34 34

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