- Agent Orange
- Gulf War Syndrome
- Entrepreneurship Training
- Gravesite Locator
- Online Prescription Refills
- Family Member Benefits
- TRICARE for Life
- VA Billing Questions
- Resource Links
- Additional Contacts
Service in Vietnam
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims has announced a landmark decision in the case of Haas vs. Nicholson, August 16, 2006. The Court's ruling states that Veterans Affairs requirement for "boots on the ground" as the definition of "service in the Republic of Vietnam" is unreasonable and does not align with Congress' intent. The law does not limit application of the presumption of service connection for herbicide exposure to those who set foot on the soil of the Republic of Vietnam.
The Court cited that the law defines "service in the Republic of Vietnam" as including "service in the waters offshore, or service in other locations if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam." Veterans who have previously been denied VA disability compensation due to Agent Orange exposure should reapply.
Learn more about Agent Orange Exposure on the Veterans Affairs website.
Gulf War Syndrome Update
Department of Defense has released "Gulf War and Health: Volume 5, Infectious Diseases", identifying 9 diseases and 34 long-term health effects that may appear weeks to years after initial infection. This report can be ordered or read online at the National Academies Press.
For additional information you may also visit the VA Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses page.
As a service member or veteran you now have an opportunity to use your education benefits to learn how to start or enhance a small business. Entrepreneurship training allows eligible service members and veterans to use VA educational benefits to take courses offered by the Small Business Development Centers or the National Veterans Business Development Corporation, better known as the "The Veterans Corporation."
Individual courses must be specifically approved for VA purposes to use your benefits. To apply eligible veterans must submit an application for benefits (VA Form 22-1990). To obtain your form, or learn more, visit the Military.com website.
VA Online Gravesite Locator
Grave locations of more than three million veterans and dependents buried in national cemeteries can be found more easily due to maps that can be printed from home computers and at national cemetery kiosks. Online since April 2004, the Nationwide Gravesite Locator helps veterans' families, former comrades-in-arms and others find the graves of veterans.
The new records date from January 1997, the earliest time for which electronic records exist. The information comes from applications made for these veterans' headstones or markers. Beyond the 5 million records now available, VA continues to add approximately 1,000 new records to the database each day.
Last year, VA furnished nearly 369,000 inscribed headstones and markers for veterans' graves worldwide.
VA Burial Benefits
Veterans whose discharges are other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children may be buried in a national cemetery, regardless of where they live. No advance reservations are made. VA provides perpetual care, as well as a headstone or marker, a burial flag and a memorial certificate to survivors.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, the National Cemetery Administration website, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.
Online Prescription Refills
Veterans can now refill VA-prescribed medications online at the My HealtheVet website. This site is designed exclusively for VA patients to manage medications prescribed by VA doctors. Veterans will have to become registered users of the site which also includes a Personal Health Journal for recording and tracking your health conditions. (Source: Naval Affairs, November, 2005)
Family Member Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs has created a section on their website for surviving spouses and dependents of active duty service members and military veterans. Visit the VA Family Member Benefits page for the latest benefit information.
TRICARE for Life (TFL)
TFL is a program option available for military retirees, their spouses, and survivors age 65 and over who are entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Medicare Part B. TFL is available as secondary coverage to Medicare in addition to offering access to TRICARE services that may not be covered under Medicare.
TRICARE pays secondary to Medicare beginning on the first day of the month that the beneficiary turns 65. In most cases, Medicare will pay first, and the remaining out-of-pocket expenses will be paid by TRICARE.
- For TRICARE and Medicare-covered services, Medicare pays first in most cases, and TRICARE pays its share of the remaining expenses second.
- For services covered by TRICARE, but not by Medicare, TRICARE pays first and the beneficiary is responsible for any TRICARE deductibles and cost-shares.
- For services covered by Medicare, but not by TRICARE, Medicare is the only payer and the beneficiary is responsible for Medicare cost shares.
- For services not covered by Medicare or TRICARE, the beneficiary is responsible for all costs.
For services received from a civilian provider, the provider will first file claims with Medicare. Medicare will pay its portion and automatically forward the claim to TRICARE for processing. TRICARE will send its payment for the remaining beneficiary liability directly to the provider, and beneficiaries will receive a Medicare summary notice and a TFL explanation of benefits (EOB) that indicates the amount paid to the provider.
Health Revenue Center
In February 2006, the DVA established the Health Revenue Center, a call center for VA billing questions. Trained VA Health Revenue Center staff in Topeka, Kansas are standing by to assist you with your questions related to your VA billing statement. They use a new computer system that allows them to view your billing records and get the information they need to answer your questions quickly. This system is accurate, secure, confidential.
If you have an outstanding debt with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) this is for you.
Toll Free Phone: 866-347-2352
7 am to 7 pm (Central Time)
VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Phone Numbers (September 2006)
- Appointments: 866-403-1544
- Billing: 866-347-2352
- Pharmacy: 800-661-0827
- Grand Island and North Platte: 866-580-1810
- Lincoln: 866-851-6052
- Omaha: 800-451-5796
- Phone: 866-687-7382
After 4 pm weekdays, weekends, and holidays.
Veteran's Special Issue Help Line
- Phone: 800-749-8387
For information regarding:
- Agent Orange
- Gulf War Syndrome
- Mustard Gas
- Project Shad