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Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
I went to a VA appointment today and they are withholding my medications (I can't refill anything) until I go in for a blood draw tomorrow. He said it was to make sure I wasn't addicted to anything.

:(

Been hearing that if you've taken anything you're not prescribed (controlled substances) the VA is refusing your treatment. I have nothing to worry about, but this is really, really lovely. Not giving me my sleep meds so I can sleep and not have a hosed day at work on no sleep is extremely annoying.

This is Ohio, by the way.

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Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Kawasaki Nun posted:

File a complaint with the patient advocate? That seems like an unnecessarily invasive way of conducting a drug test considering they could just have you do a piss test.

When I asked about it, they said it was their new policy to try to prevent "overdoses". I am taking a controlled substance, but I have not said nor done anything to make him believe I am abusing it. In fact, I don't even order them every 30 days because I only take them as needed, so it's very strange to suddenly be suspected of taking more than prescribed....

It's too late to call now, I need to attempt to sleep (too far to drive back now). I'll talk to them tomorrow after I show up there half-dead from being up more than 36 hours after I fail at sleeping.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Kawasaki Nun posted:

Yeah withholding medication for a surprise blood draw is an unnecessary interruption of care for some stupid policy. There are ways to enact drug screening policies in a way that doesn't interrupt care. Them wasting your time when you drove out there and then denying you your prescribed medication for some nebulous policy is poo poo treatment and you should tell them to gently caress themselves via complaint IMO.

Really you might have asked them why the gently caress you weren't informed of this new policy before you drove out there to get your medication refilled. Seems like a simple phone call would have saved you the trouble, allowed you to schedule a draw prior to your medication running out, and saved everyone alot of headache in the process. I realize that would have required a modicum of proactivity on the part of the VA, but that is precisely why you should voice your dissatisfaction. I had to give a piss sample as part of my treatment but the Golden VA managed to handle that entire process quickly and easily without any interruption

I spoke to someone at the pharmacy after I couldn't sleep and they spoke to the department head and was able to make it refillable again. I really wish the VA had a pick up option from ordering online. Now I have to play a game with the post office because this is signature required and in true post office fashion they always lightly knock and run away as fast as possible to try to avoid doing any real work. Thanks, VA!

Edit: Oh and last time they didn't even make an attempt to deliver, put 'address non existent, returning to sender'

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Busket Posket posted:

Sarah, I'm so sorry they're loving around with you, and you're not alone.

Half the vets have had their opiates, benzos, or any other controlled substance cut off cold turkey. One had been on opiates for a decade because his spine is crumbling and they can't fix it because his seizures tear apart any stabilized vertebrae. He was housebound in agony for months before he saved up enough to see a pain specialist out of pocket. His file now has the big fat DRUG-SEEKING label because he complained to his primary and the patient advocate.

I've seen others who have been made dependent on sleep meds, either by their condition or because VA docs were candymen not long ago, get cut off and go days without sleep, jumping at every sound and about to cry with exhaustion. Any complaints, even up to the rat-faced Secretary, have been met with form letters about new VAMC policy and contraindications.

In actuality, as I've mentioned before, the VA sees patients as statistics rather than individuals, and one of McDonald's initiatives is to bring down the number of scheduled drugs prescribed. It doesn't matter if you're physically dependent, or it's the only thing that helps ó if their bar graph doesn't show numbers going down from 2015-2016, they will face sanctions. Of course that's not spelled out as clearly in the documentation, but if you're paying attention, it's obvious.

I'm glad you got the pharmacy to act. I've also been witness to complaints being met with the other fun label of NON-COMPLIANT. I hope your situation doesn't stay bad, and that they don't pull this poo poo on you again.

Also I forgot to mention that I ended up going to urgent care recently for foot pain because it was over a month for primary care appointment and was given steroids and pain killers and referred to podiatry. Next appointment with them was over a month away. Went back to urgent care, they said they couldn't give me anything else because i'd would become addicted. Podiatry gave me inserts, stents to sleep in. Didn't bother her one bit that I said my pain when walking was 8/10. Didn't offer me anything for pain, even though OTC isn't helping. Talked to mental health about the sleep today because sometimes my feet hurt so bad (plantar fac in both feet) that I still can't sleep after taking sleeping meds. His solution is apparently to drug test me, and give me some excuse about they have to do it for everyone. So now after reading your post, I've probably been marked as a drug seeker because I'd like to actually walk places and go do things and not be in pain. Oh yeah and sleep, I'd actually like to sleep.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Soulex posted:

3) Dental?

Make sure if your dental work is not completed when you separate, your record is stamped and signed that you did not receive all your dental treatment within 90 days of separation (Navy branches always had a stamp and the frost desk would do this, I have no idea what other branches do but it should be similar). Even if you're due for a cleaning, sealants or anything else minor, get that box checked no. If it's no, you can be seen by VA dental to finish the treatment. Check in with the VA dental department ASAP so you can get scheduled, I know my VA has absurd wait times.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
I joined the darkside and am now a VA employee :downs:

If anyone needs any help dealing with something lovely happening in Central Ohio, let me know and I'll do my best to help you out.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

white sauce posted:

No loving way!

I remember your posts from years ago. You still have the same Av.

Good luck with everything :)

They had a job fair with on the spot hiring for veterans. No usajobs hoops to jump through.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Soulex posted:

This. loving always telling me Iím not qualified despite meeting the goddamn experience requirements. Itís because I donít have a BA or MA yet.

When I first got out ages ago, the only position open at the VA was for janitorial services and I was told I didn't have the experience required. Apparently being on active duty for 7 years and having to clean everything spotless every day isn't considered work experience.

I go to a job fair: apply for and land I job I'm not qualified for.

The VA works in mysterious ways.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
Just had the worst experience yesterday. It was resolved but I just need a place to vent. Just utterly disappointed at the level of disrespect I got yesterday.

I'm glad it got resolved, but I feel awful for everyone who has dealt with this person. :(

Anyone who has had to deal with a lovely person at the VA I'm so sorry. No one deserves to be spoken to like I was yesterday.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Booger Presley posted:

Document this and report it to someone. If you're being treated poorly then odds are someone else is as well.

I used to let things like this slide but after so many years, I am compelled to call them out and file complaints. No need for crappy!

The next thing that happened is my psychiatrist called (he's not located in the building) to discuss the medicine that she said was fine to take when clearly it is a major contradiction with whats going on. What happened is I was on the phone with the nurse who was doing the speaking for the doctor and I overheard the doctor say "there's nothing wrong with what she's taking shes freaking out over nothing UGH tell her to talk to her prescriber/behavioral health about it then". I told the psychiatrist she was being a massive bitch about the whole situation and he said I am to stop taking the drug right now, do not take it again even if she says so because she has no idea, read her notes, told me he's going to call her directly and I'm sure gave her the rear end chewing of a lifetime.

I didn't make a formal complaint because this VA takes them deadly serious and she did apologize today. I didn't necessarily want her to be fired if she just had a bad day. I did write it down in my notebook of important things & dirty secrets, and it's also in the notes on my psychiatrist's end that she was being a jackass (he became directly involved).

It's been a rough week. :(

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Naked Bear posted:

Pretty much anything involving patient contact, but I would bet on being tested regardless of what the job is. I did not get piss tested when I was hired, but most of the new (potential) hires do.

It's not limited to patient contact. I work in sterile processing and have absolutely no contact with patients and had to be drug tested prior to the VA offering a position and signed a form that I can be drug tested at any time. It's more along the lines of could you get someone killed? Yes? Then you need to submit to testing. There were people in my orientation that were exempt from drug testing. Those who were working in the canteen, housekeeping/janitorial, and logistics. Not sure about any other type of employee.

And as a patient, I have been denied medication refills until I showed up and gave them a urine sample. The doctor specifically said they are screening patients for weed, and will deny medications if you have a positive urinalysis.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Medlar posted:

Thanks for the invite but my job precludes me from imbibing the devil's lettuce. And I'm in Colorado. :sad:

As an addendum to my previous post, it looks like an investigation was/is being conducted on my PCM. It turns out she was doing this to multiple patients (not delivering critical medications on time) and her "justification" was that people are supposed to call 2 weeks in advance and if they didn't, she would sit on the orders for 2 weeks regardless. My patient advocate said that it was pointed out that her patients were calling in to order on-time and she was STILL not forwarding the orders to the pharmacy to fill--her excuse was something like, "well I believed he (meaning me) was displaying drug-seeking behaviour and did not want to distribute".

If I could just repeatedly slap one loving person in the world... when I heard that I was understandably furious but thankfully my advocate said not to worry given the low dosage, lack of ANY evidence, and the fact that this PCM was sitting before a board in the first place for multiple allegations.

What a dumbass loving senile old oval office trying to run her own little fiefdom. If there is one thing that ellicits sheer disgust from me, it's small petty people that are given power that they utilize to spread as much misery as possible.

Still haven't received the medication (now 3 weeks late lol) but thankfully a series of calls got it mailed out yesterday.

So yeah who here wants free government loving healthcare?

Why do you have to call your PCM for refills? Is she only giving you 30 days at a time or something? This is concerning because I have never ever called in to have someone forward a refill request for me. For my controlled meds I was up to 5 months of refilling on my own then having to go in and see the provider to secure a future 5 months.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with not having your medication. I had to stop my insomnia meds cold turkey and have not been taking anything for 10 weeks now. Anything I have been given as a substitute has given me nasty side effects or not worked at all so I've been on nothing and have not gotten any sleep in.. well about 10 weeks. I just had to come to terms with the fact I wasn't going to sleep for at least the rest of the calendar year.

Also as said earlier, use secure messaging. She can't deny she didn't get it, she can't refuse to read it, and it's proof that she saw your request and sat on it. And it's documented what you said, so if you just type in a brief professional sounding message requesting a refill be processed, she can't make up a phone call and put words in your mouth that you're seeking drugs.

And I'm double sorry as a VA employee that you are being treated this way. :( If the patient advocate is no help, keep going up. It's incredibly easy to get ahold of higher ups. It's all available on your VAs website (random example: https://www.sandiego.va.gov/about/leadership.asp )

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Medlar posted:

drat TEN weeks? How isn't that life-threatening? Presumably you've tried every conceivable solution but drat I certainly hope you get some sleep! A lot of vets I know espouse pot but you're a fed employee so ehhhhhh. I really do wish they would just federally-legalize it, let the presumed bad wave of overindulgence happen, which would allow for long-term research studies with much larger sample sizes, and then just wash your hands Uncle Sam.

I'm not sure if there is any delineation between types of controlled medications or if there are relevant state laws, but AFAIK there are not and I was told I could only order 30-day refills and had to do it over the phone. That wasn't how it was when I was in the military. I received 90-day refills that I picked up at the pharmacy; no phone calls, no apologetic customer service reps having to listen to me fume, no bizarre nigh-puritanical quackery. SPECIAL TRUST AND CONFIDENCE RAH

Re: secure messaging. Is that a "Premium" Account benefit? I've tried to set one up but it's been an unfruitful waste of time. More importantly, why is there a "Premium" Account that is free...when you have a free account that is free? What's the point of calling it Premium? Make it the same thing as a default account; and whoever made the decision to make Premium accounts a thing needs a handicapped license plate. I recall the answer I was given was some nebulous thing about muh legacy software.

As far as VA employees go, my patient advocate and the majority of employees I interacted with were the bomb-diggity; in retrospect it just seemed like that particular PCM's attendant staff all were kinda buh--I assume exhausted and/or apathetic. Either way, I no longer have to raise a ruckus about the VA because it seems like things worked out, so thanks for the advice.

:ssh: I'm pregnant (currently 12 weeks now) so a lot of medications are bad for babby and pot is definitely out. The benzo I was on there was a low chance of birth defects so I still could have taken it, but I really didn't want babby to have no arms and legs...

A premium account is just going to the my health e-vet rep in your VA and them verifying by ID that you are you. It doesn't cost anything at all, it's just so that someone can't make an account, claim to be you, and then sit down and download your entire VA medical history and have a good read. The re-ordering online may also be a premium feature that you don't have access to. Maybe your VA isn't really big on it and that's why your provider is forcing phone calls to reorder. I know we push it really hard because it makes everyone's life easier if they have access to a computer or mobile device, and even the much older vets that come in have smart phones these days.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
Been super busy and forgot to post about the baby shower that the VA is throwing all over at different clinics this month.




Went to the one here and it was awesome. Way more people RSVP'd than showed up so all of us ended up winning prizes.

So. Much. Free. Stuff.

It was a little weird for me having a "baby shower" when I was only 13 weeks but hey... free stuff is free stuff!

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

EVA BRAUN BLOWJOBS posted:

"Baby" and "VA" sounds like a frightening combination.

Luckily they outsource the maternity appointments. However, the VA did insist I make an appointment for Feb 2019 for a postpartum appointment. I told them that was way too in advance and she said the doctor told her she must call me to make this appointment. She asked if a particular day in Feb was ok. I said I don't know, it's A YEAR IN ADVANCE how am I supposed to know?? She was not impressed with my sarcasm.

The downside of being a veteran and a VA employee is they no longer give a flying poo poo you are a veteran, now you're just a salty coworker they have to deal with. :rolleyes:

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Soulex posted:

I need some help.

I just was informed that our landlord will not be renewing our lease. I have 2 months to find somewhere else to live, and move. Problem is I can't physically lift anything. I have a wife and three kids.

Does anyone have that list of companies that help disabled veterans? To move stuff? I don't have money to hire anyone, and had to move everything last time myself. I was broken for about a month.

I have 1 year of school left. loving ONE! Goddamn it!

A quick search brought up this:

http://www.veteransinc.org/services/supportive-services-for-veteran-families/

Never used or contacted them for anything before, but it's worth a shot if you have no other options.

Unfortunately, as much as I love and miss San Diego, I'm on the other side of the country or husband and I could help :(

What part of San Diego specifically? I probably have a good number of veteran friends still out that way that may be able to lend a hand.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Soulex posted:

Thanks. I'll be giving them a call tomorrow.

I've finally calmed down. I am going to miss this place because I felt safe here. I live near USD, but will probably end up moving out by Santee or something. I hate commuting but I dont have a choice this time.

The silver lining is that we have two months to look, paint, and move. We will be selling a lot of our poo poo because we are pretty gung ho about moving to Europe. Pretty much as soon as I get my diploma. My wife talked me out of just making the move in a couple months and remaining a senior. Just never graduating. I'd eventually go to school in Europe to finish.

I'm so frustrated with this. It's the cramp on the last leg of the PT test. At least I know what the future is going to bring. In less than a year I'll be moving abroad and trying to figure out where the VA wants me to check in with people for medical stuff. I was going to stay and get my masters but I can do that over there.

Thanks again. I told my dad and he might be coming out to help. Maybe. I'll know more as the date gets closer.

There's places out there that are also safe and close, 2 months isn't a lot of time but it is a good chunk of time to find someplace new. And really, Santee isn't that far. I used to commute from El Cajon to MCRD daily and husband to 32nd Street. We lived in a giant house with a ton of people and it was toxic and one day we decided enough was enough and the next week we moved to Kearny Mesa. The thing about San Diego is there's always stuff open for renters, there's a lot of other places you can move and still feel safe. If you don't want to get an apartment, find a realtor (I'm 100% sure you can find one who is a veteran and sympathetic to your needs) and they can help you find a new place too.

I wouldn't sell your stuff just yet. You are certain you are moving, but that's a year away and to be honest and (not trying to be rude, just real) you have no clue if that is going to happen because you can't predict the future. Slow down and don't make any rushed decisions because you are stressed.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Zero VGS posted:

Huh, I never heard of this site. I just signed up and it has absolutely no records about me, not while I was in nor from the VA, except that it has all my blood tests. No one told me I have slightly high cholesterol, I had no idea.

You have to get a premium account to see any real records from the VA. And you won't find anything from active duty online. That would be way too easy and make things smooth for service connected disability when the VA could access your active duty records.

Step One: finding out where your record is:
https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/medical-records.html

Then you will need to contact by phone where your record is to get the process rolling. So in my case, I was Navy and got out in 2010. I would have to contact the VA Records Management which says:

quote:

All requested records are downloaded from VBMS and merged into a PDF file, reviewed, redacted or withheld as appropriate in accordance with law, and the finished product is burned to a CD and mailed to the Veteran for use on a personal computer.


But then further searching points me here:

quote:

The VA Records Center and Vault frequently receives calls and e-mails from Veterans seeking military and/or medical records. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist because the records requested are usually not at our Center.

Isn't that lovely? It may be easier depending on what year you got out and what branch. It's likely there's no form you can fill out online, you'll have to call/make a written request.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

A Bad Poster posted:

So I'm officially out as of today. I'm waiting on stuff from the VA for my school, but what else should I do now? I'm guessing some medical stuff, but I have no idea how that works.

Did you make copies of your medical and dental record?

I can't speak much for medical, but if you had any dental work that still needs completed, you have 180 days to check into the VA and get it at no cost. If you didn't make copies of your dental record, still go and bring your DD-214. Even if the box is checked that dental is complete, you can still be seen. It's really important to make sure your dental is all done and not on your dime because dental is expensive, and you may go for some time without dental insurance. Hell, even with dental insurance, it's still expensive. After 180 days you are not going to get any dental benefits at the VA unless you are 100% disabled or you have a dental disability. And go now, because at my VA, dental is extremely busy open to close every day. This VA sees more patients than any other department, and unlike some VAs, we have every specialty in house.

As far as medical goes, you will have some benefits but you'll need to go figure out what that is. I don't have a disability rating but I get healthcare at the VA because I applied for benefits after husband and I were unemployed for 1 year and was considered low income (unemployment and GI Bill income didn't count). It's a program that once you're in, you're in for life. We have insurance now but the mental health insurance part of it isn't fantastic, so I continue to go to the VA for mental health because it only costs about $15 a visit plus I think last I checked it was $15 for a 30 day prescription.

Sarah fucked around with this message at 17:08 on Aug 4, 2018

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
They definitely do bill private insurance for what they can. I have moved away from using them for anything but mental health because I get better care through my insurance and picking my own doctor. Since I became a VA employee, I am no longer treated as a veteran at my own appointments. They treat you like some rear end in a top hat off the street wasting their time. Except mental health of course, my psychiatrist is the most amazing caring person I've ever seen at the VA.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

xaarman posted:

Anyone have any two cents?

I got some botched dental work while AD, and went under periodontal care as a result my last few years in.

VA disability claims that it wasn't service related.

Is medical malpractice not covered under VA disability? I'll require care and/or surgery for the rest of my life now, and am paying out of pocket for extra dental costs now.

I'm planning on appealing the decision, just trying to get more informed on the process. Or if dental negligence isn't covered, I should find that out too....

Dental is really tricky to get a service connection for. Did you make copies of your dental records? Do you have your x-rays? If you did, then like Mr Nice said, you need to speak to someone at your local VSO to start an appeal. If you didn't, you need to request your records. I am not sure if you can request them to make copies of your x-rays or if they will send you the original x-rays. Depending on what happened to you, the x-rays will go a long way in telling the story for you (as opposed to maybe a dentist writing up some BS to cover his/her rear end). If you already have copies of your x-rays from your AD record, get copies of them made (do not give the VA the original x-rays!!). Especially if your periodontal care includes bone loss... those previous x-rays where you had healthy normal bone prior to the bad treatment will be great for an appeal.

VA Dental care is extremely difficult to obtain. It's by far the busiest department at my VA. Despite the insane eligibility requirements, they see the highest volume of patients and work the longest hours. The knee jerk reaction for anyone not rated 100% is probably no, in hopes they accept it and go away.

Good luck.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

cult_hero posted:

Dental issues are a weird exception. Treatable, replaceable, or carious teeth are not considered a disability unless it involves loss of the underlying bone structure such as to prevent replacement. Loss of teeth due to things like gingivitis or tooth decay are generally not service connectable unless you have something like osteomyelitis which leads to the loss of bone.

Generally it's not worth it to even claim dental issues. At the most you might end up with having them service connected for treatment purposes only. i.e. no money for them, but those teeth can get fixed or removed by VA.

This is why you take your x-rays with you with you leave active duty. I always told anyone separating to make copies of their records and hold on to their xrays. Most of them didn't even consider they should copy their dental records, they only thought about medical.

Any poor treatment that resulted in bone loss will 100% be noticeable in the timeline series of xrays.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

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Mr. Nice! posted:

Xaarman isnít looking for compensation, but he should be at least service connected with a 0% because military dentists hosed him up.

Absolutely agree, but the VA is so stingy with dental that you really have to get all your poo poo together to get a dental disability rating of even 0%. Most people get into dental by way of having a total rating of 100%.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Wrr posted:

I kinda have no clue where to even begin finding a school for a graduate program. I'm living in the South Bay, CA right now there seems be nothing around for sociology. Do I need to attend the school in person in order to get that E5 COLA pay? I want that loving COLA pay. How did you all go about school hunting? All the googling I'm doing just comes up with terrible websites that claim to have information on schools in the area, but don't do poo poo other than vaguely describe what a degree is.

Also does the VA help any with paying for GREs and whatnot?

It's been a while since I used the GI Bill, so I don't have the exact answers for you but I can share some general knowledge.

I have no idea what you mean by South Bay, CA because when I google that for a location it comes back with either South Bay in the SF area or South Bay in the LA area.

You do not need to attend in person for BAH. However, the amount of BAH you receive will be different. If you take classes exclusively online with no in-class time, you will only receive E5 BAH at the national average rate. I have no idea what that is. When I was taking classes I preferred to take everything I could online, and I would schedule some dumb lovely 1 credit hour in-class.

I just decided to go to the college closest to my location. Didn't really think about it. They love veterans and waive all the requirements like SAT/ACT.

As far as I know, the VA does not help with GRE. I don't even think I had to take one for Ohio State. They saw veteran and just let me (and husband who is also a veteran) in.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

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Godholio posted:

HALF the national average. $825 per month right now.

Ah yes. I knew it was something much worse than just the average. That's why I always took that lovely 1 credit hour in-class. I think it was less than that when I was using the GI bill while going full time... I want to say it was about $650. drat that's not enough BAH for a lot of places.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

McNally posted:

Well, according to the VA's own GI Bill calculator, I should be getting the higher number which is the 2018 BAH rate for my school's zip code. According to my eBenefits page, it's the same amount I received last academic year, too.

https://www.stripes.com/news/students-using-gi-bill-receive-incorrect-housing-payments-due-to-va-technical-errors-1.548276

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Zero VGS posted:

yeah I have to just pick one in-person class and a bunch of bullshit online to not do... they still pay you BAH if you fail your community college classes right?

Your BAH and tuition is still 100% covered if you fail a class.If you drop the class, you have to pay the tuition and BAH back, and you don't get the GI Bill prorated back to you for what you are paying back. So basically, if you feel like you're going to fail and you want to drop to save your GPA, it's going to cost you. So you get to decide if you want to pay it back or eat the failure. What a great system!

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Zero VGS posted:

Does uh... not showing up much count as failing or dropping out?

edit: lol, I never knew there's tons of websites where I can just pay people to take all my online classes for me. If that's what it takes to cash this thing out it doesn't seem like the worst idea. I have no interest in actually completing any kind of degree anyway, I've saved up enough to retire.

You can be dropped for attendance if it's noticed. GI Bill considered financial aid.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/10/11/veterans-military-retirees-will-see-a-28-percent-cola-boost-for-2019/

2.8% COLA increase for 2019.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Zero VGS posted:

Does anyone know if VA Healthcare is actually considered "health insurance"?

I got hit on my bicycle by a car in Massachusetts, and there's a law that covers my medical bills up to $2000 "if I have insurance", or $8000 if I have "no insurance". I want to go to physical therapy conveniently near my work or home, not to the random mountain summit the VA would send me on an expedition to, and if I'm going for more than a month then I'd easily pass the $2000 mark.

Do they send you a letter at the end of the year that you are covered for tax purposes?

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Zero VGS posted:

That they do, is that what all these other laws go off of for the final say?

I have no idea! But they send me a letter too, so it was just something I thought of.

According to https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/cost/insurance.asp :

quote:

VA health care is NOT considered a health insurance plan.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Howard Phillips posted:

1. When does the VA send an updated COE for GI Bill? I want to know how many more months of benefits I have remaining.

2. If I fail a class while using CH33 GI Bill benefits what happens? I assume they won't charge me back.

If you fail a class nothing happens with the GI Bill. Tuition stays paid and BAH is yours to keep.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
Absolutely no behavioral health at any VA should turn anyone away who walks in during working hours regardless if they take walk-ins or not.

Since itís now Friday evening, and if you canít wait until Monday, do you have a VA that has an emergency department or weekend urgent care?

Thereís a couple of ways you can talk to someone for you or the other person with the VA crisis line:
https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/veterans-crisis-line.asp

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

McNally posted:

Absolutely no VAMC emergency room turn anyone away who walks in, and yet I had it happen.

I said should. It shouldnít happen. Thereís good VAs and thereís lovely VAs. I know at my behavioral health clinic they will not let anyone go who comes in. Depending on the severity it may not be right that second but you will see someone.

But we have a massive MHC. Itís so large that they bought an off-site building and moved a lot of doctors over there and have built an addition on to the main building which should be done this summer. It will be nice to have my doctor back in the building and when Iím having a bad day I can just stop in. :)

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
Some Mission Act stuff being discussed in the get help thread that I am going to reply to here so we don't clog up that thread :)

Mr. Nice! posted:

Bolded something that grabbed my eye - is that urgent care like a walk in clinic or ER rooms? The fact that they're adding copays to my VA coverage is irritating enough, but just :wtc: if they are taking away emergency room coverage.

The VA Mission Act of 2018 ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2372/text ) says

quote:

ď(h) Walk-In Care Defined.óIn this section, the term Ďwalk-in careí means non-emergent care provided by a qualifying non-Department entity or provider that furnishes episodic care and not longitudinal management of conditions and is otherwise defined through regulations the Secretary shall promulgate.Ē.

There is nothing in that at all about copayments for any community care other than for what they define as Walk-In care. I think it's safe to say that if you're in a priority group that doesn't pay a copayment, then you're not going to pay a copayment for community care, unless you are utilizing the new urgent care / walk-in care option.

But for myself, I already pay a copay for every visit (and have done so since I was enrolled in 2012), so I would expect things to be no different if I were doing community care and I would have to provide a copayment.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Sarah posted:

Some Mission Act stuff being discussed in the get help thread that I am going to reply to here so we don't clog up that thread :)


The VA Mission Act of 2018 ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2372/text ) says


There is nothing in that at all about copayments for any community care other than for what they define as Walk-In care. I think it's safe to say that if you're in a priority group that doesn't pay a copayment, then you're not going to pay a copayment for community care, unless you are utilizing the new urgent care / walk-in care option.

But for myself, I already pay a copay for every visit (and have done so since I was enrolled in 2012), so I would expect things to be no different if I were doing community care and I would have to provide a copayment.

So a new training came out today about Emergency Care Reimbursement. It had this little part:

quote:

VA can pay certain costs the Veteran is personally liable for when they are eligible. However, by law, VA cannot pay copayments, coinsurance, and/or deductibles the Veteran owes to a third party or is responsible for under a health-plan contract

So it seems that if you are making the choice to get community care and that provider has a copay, you have to pay it.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Nostalgia4Dogges posted:

Whatís the minimum rating for that? Thatís purely a state-to-state thing right?

10%.

Itís not a state to state thing.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.
Sorry should have been more clear. Itís not a state to state thing for the VA loan fee exemption. If youíre 10%, fees are waived. We just bought a house and used a VA loan and looked into it.

Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Ceiling fan posted:

Goddamn these VA e-mail blasts are clickbaity. Ooooh, I can get an RWB shirt for free!! (Just add $5 for shipping and handling) I'll never have to wear my McNally shirt again now that I can get one of those babies.

I saw that too. I was wondering what the heck that was about.

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Sarah
Apr 4, 2005

I'm watching you.

Time posted:

I left the army in 2011. No disability rating, but I have a Purple Heart which someone told me once meant I got medical care, maybe. Anyway Iím at an urgent care in the VA network right now and Iím wondering if the VA is going to send me a heinous bill because I gave them my Va Id for insurance

With the Mission Act, you do not need to notify them you are going to urgent care, but you must first be enrolled into VA healthcare. A VA ID does not mean that you are enrolled into VA healthcare. If you're not enrolled into VA healthcare, then it's extremely likely you are going to be billed, as you are not a VA patient.

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