Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Veterans Administration updates may positively affect your eligibility



Linda Mallon, a retired Army master Sgt., found her niche working with veterans and their families in Granbury. She is a former claims administrator for Blue Shield of New Jersey and later senior personnel sergeant taking care of soldiers’ careers for more than 20 years.

If you applied for Pension Aid and Attendance or Survivor Pension Aid and Attendance in the past but were denied or you didn’t consider applying at all because your assets were too high, you may want to take another look at applying again or starting a claim.

The VA allows veterans and surviving spouses up to $150,538 in assets not including your home.  Your total household income minus non-reimbursed medical expenses still have to fall below the pension rate and the VA will reimburse up to that rate, which can be found online at www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/.  Survivor Pension rates can be found at www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension-rates/.

Non-Service-Connected Pension is generally for veterans who are unable to work, have limited means and served on active duty at least 90 days with one day during wartime. VA Pension is offset by Social Security and other income, so if you are a veteran with limited means, served on active duty during wartime and your total income is below the pension rate, I encourage you to contact our office for a consultation.

The VA health care system has changed its application as well.  In the past they asked for income, assets and non-reimbursed medical and education expenses, then revised to exclude assets, and now you may elect not to report income if you agree to copays.  If you were denied enrollment in the past or now have a service-connected condition even if it is rated at 0%, I encourage you contact our office to apply again.

Enrollment in the VA health care system does not cover spouses or dependent children, however if you are a veteran rated at 100% permanent and total, your dependents are eligible for enrollment in CHAMP-VA even if they have other health coverage.

If you were denied enrollment or you are enrolled in the VA Health Care System but were denied payment for a service outside of the VA system for treatment for a condition that could be considered life threatening, the VA offers claimants an opportunity to file an appeal the same way it would if you were challenging a disability rating decision.

Veterans enrolled in the VA Health Care system should get a physical through the VA at least once a year and seek treatment for conditions even if minor at least once in 24 months to keep your enrollment active.  Veterans who allow their enrollment to lapse could face big medical bills if they need lifesaving emergency treatment through outside facilities.  Make sure if you need life-saving emergency treatment, you inform the VA immediately and advise the treatment facility to send a copy of your medical treatment record and the bill to DALLAS VA MEDICAL CENTER, ATTN:  Fee Services, 4500 S. Lancaster Rd., Dallas TX, 75216.  Our office will be closed Monday and Tuesday July 3-4, and Thursday and Friday July 27-28, 2023.  Feel free to email me with questions or to schedule an appointment. 

lmallon@co.hood.tx.us 817-579-3292