• P.O. Box 65900 Washington, D.C. 20035-5900
  • 202-257-5446
  • P.O. Box 65900 Washington, D.C. 20035-5900
  • 202-257-5446

March 24, 2015

Sgt. Shaft caricatureDear Sgt Shaft
What programs are available to blinded vets at the VA?

JC
Fairfax, VA

Dear JC
The VA has a nationwide comprehensive blind rehabilitation program.  This includes blinded rehab centers collocated at VA medical centers. In addition at every medical facility there is a visual impairment service team (VIST). There are more than 100 VIST Teams throughout the country. The team coordinators provide outreach to our nation’s blinded veterans and their families. They provide training in areas such as mobility, Braille, and computer skills.

 

Shaft Notes
sgt_shaft_kudos_smaller
Kudos to the Department of Veterans Affairs for updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more Veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

Effective 2015, VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care programs and copayment responsibilities. This change makes VA health care benefits more accessible to lower-income Veterans and brings VA policies in line with Secretary Robert A. McDonald’s MyVA initiative which reorients VA around Veterans’ needs.

“Everything that we do and every decision we make has to be focused on the Veterans we serve,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “We are working every day to earn their trust. Changing the way we determine eligibility to make the process easier for Veterans is part of our promise to our Veterans.”

Instead of combining the sum of Veterans’ income with their assets to determine eligibility for medical care and copayment obligations, VA will now only consider a Veteran’s gross household income and deductible expenses from the previous year. Elimination of the consideration of net worth for VA health care enrollment means that certain lower-income, non-service-connected Veterans will have less out-of- pocket costs. Over a 5-year period, it is estimated that 190,000 Veterans will become eligible for reduced costs of their health care services.

In March 2014, VA eliminated the annual requirement for updated financial information. VA now uses information from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration to automatically match individual Veterans’ income information which reduces the burden on Veterans to keep their healthcare eligibility up to date. That change better aligned VA’s health care financial assessment program with other federal health care organizations.

Veterans may submit updated income information at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/, or by visiting their nearby VA health care facility.  For more information, visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits or call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is currently accepting applications from Veterans interested in competing in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Applications can be completed online at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov, and will be accepted through May 15. Veterans ages 55 and older who are enrolled for VA care are eligible to participate.

The 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games takes place in Omaha, Nebraska, Aug. 8-12. Nearly 800 athletes are expected to compete in the national multi-event sports and recreational competition for senior Veterans. The event encourages participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and supports VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs. Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, bowling, cycling, dominoes, field, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track.

VA research and clinical experience verify that physical activity is important to maintaining good health, speeding recovery and improving overall quality of life. The games also serve as a way for participants to continue in local senior events in their home communities.

VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System will host this year’s games. The health care system provides care for more than 55,000 Veterans from 101 counties in Nebraska, western Iowa and portions of Missouri and Kansas.

For more information visit www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov and follow VA Adaptive Sports on Twitter at @VAAdaptiveSport or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vaadaptivesports.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is accelerating the deployment of a state-of-the-art tool to help protect Veteran patients using high doses of opioids or with medical risk factors that put them at an increased risk of complications from opioid medications.

The tool, referred to as the Opioid Therapy Risk Report, is being made available now to all staff in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Over the past week, VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, has reached out to over 2,000 primary care providers in VHA clinics throughout the country to promote the use of this novel tool. It includes information about the dosages of narcotics and other sedative medications, significant medical problems that could contribute to an adverse reaction and monitoring data to aid in the review and management of complex patients.

“All of American medicine is aiming to better understand how to treat severe pain, and Veterans receiving care in the VA health care system typically suffer from higher rates of chronic pain than the general public,” said Dr. Clancy. “While opioid medications may be appropriate in some cases of chronic pain, we are dedicated to using them safely and providing effective pain care to our Veterans. It is critical that we ensure system-wide implementation of the Opioid Therapy Risk Report in the weeks ahead.”

The Opioid Therapy Risk Report allows VA providers to review all pertinent clinical data related to pain treatment in one place, providing a comprehensive Veteran-centered and more efficient level of management not previously available to primary care providers. VHA is actively deploying training aids to providers and facilities now and over the next several weeks to familiarize them with how to utilize this tool in their daily practice.

 

Tags CLOUD

#Vote4Vets1st80-hour pay periodA National Home for Disabled Volunteer SoldiersAbuse of AuthorityAccess Stand DownActive DutyAcute Kidney InjuryAdaptive Sports GrantsAddictionaddiction treatmentAdvanced Practice Registered NursesAdvanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)Advisory Committee on Minority VeteransAdvisory Committee on Women VeteransAdvocacy ProgramAFGEAgent OrangeAir ForceAir Force ReserveAKIALPALSAlyce DixonAmerican Federation of Government EmployeesAmerican Gold Star MothersAmerican LegionAmerican Nurses AssociationAmerican PlatoonAmir M. HekmatiAMVETSAnemiaanti religiousAppeals ModernizationAPRNArlington CemeteryArlington National CemeteryArmed Forces ExpeditionaryArmed RobberyArmed Services CommitteeArmyArmy & Air Force Exchange ServiceArmy Exchange ServiceArmy Women's FoundationASAEAsbestosAssistant Secretary for Information and TechnlologyAssisted Living ProgramAtomic Veterans Healthcare Parity ActATSDRAudiology Awareness MonthbenefitsbenzenebillBilrakisblindBlindedblindnessBoard of Veterans AppealsBoosting Rates of American Veterans Employment ActBowen Military Test Groupbrain cancerbrain healthbrain injurybrain related injuriesBrain TrustBRAVE ActBronze StarBudget FlexibilityBurialCamp Hometown HeroesCamp LeJeuneCancerCaregiver ServicesCarlton SherwoodCasey TreesCatch-22CAWPCDCCenter for Investigative ReportingCenter for Women VeteransChamplain CollegeCHAMPVAChange DirectionChattanoogachemical weaponCherokeeCHIP IN for Vets ActChoice ActChoice ProgramChoice Program billingChristianityCivil Service CommissionCivil Service RulesClaimCoast Guardcolon cancerCombat Related Special Compensationcombat-relatedCommisaryCommunities Helping Invest through Property and Improvements Needed for Veterans ActComp and Pen ExaminationsCompensation ClaimsComprehensive Addiction and Recovery ActConcealed CarryConcurrent receiptConcurrent Retirement Disability PaycongressCongressional Awards Receptioncontaminated drinking waterCorrupt EmployeesCost OverrunsCOVER ActCRDPCreditable Servicecrisis interventionCrisis LineCRSCCVC ProgramCWVDAVDBE ProgramDC VA Medical CenterDD214DEERSDefense Commissary AgencyDefense Employer Support Freedom AwardDenver VA Medical CenterDepartment of DefenseDepartment of JusticeDepartment of LaborDepartment of Veteran Affairs Regional OfficeDepartment of Veterans AffairsDepartment of Veterans AffarisDependency Indemnity CompensationDepressionDesert ShieldDesert StormdiabetesdiabeticDICDignified Interment of Our Veterans ActDioxinDioxin exposuredisabilityDisabledDisabled American VeteransDisabled VeteransDisadvantaged Business Enterprise ProgramDischargeDMZDODDOLDomestic ViolenceDr. Carolyn M. ClancyE-SERBeBenefitsEducationEnewetak AtollenlistedESPNFairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment ActFamily Medcial Leave Actfederal civil service systemFederal WayFemale Veteran Suicide Prevention ActFisher HouseFlag DayFleet Reserve OrganizationFlorida Department of Veterans Affairsforced to retireFort McClellan Health Registry ActFourth Estate AwardFRAFry ScholarshipFt. BelvoirFully Developed Claims ProgramFY17 National Defense Authorization ActFY2016 Defense Authorization ActG.I. BillGAOGeneral Assembly Military and Veteran CaucusGeneral Joseph F. DunfordGI BillGI Bill Fairness ActGiven an HourGold Star Families Voices ActGrant and Per DiemGrow the ArmyGuideStarGulf War RegistryGulf War VeteransGus BilirakisH.R. 1994H.R. 4063H.R. 83Harm Reduction CoalitionHASCHawaiiHead TraumaHealth and Human Serviceshealth carehealth care insurancehealth care planhealth insuranceHealth NethealthcareHealthNetHearing lossHeath IT InitiativeHelp A HeroHepatitisherbicideherbicidesHire More Heroes ActHomeless VeteranHomeless VeteranshomelessnessHonorably DischargedHonoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012HospitalHouse Armed Services CommitteeHouse Committee on Veterans affairsHouse Veteran Affairs CommitteeHouse Veterans Affairs CommitteeHUD VASHIBM Corporationidentity theftIGIllegal TerminationInactive ID CardInfantryman badgeInspector GeneralinterredIranISILISISJapanese AmericansJason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety ActJewish War Veterans of the U.S.Joint Chiefs of StaffKaiserKiewit-TurnerKoreaLadies Auxiliary VFWLake Baldwin Veterans Affairs Outpatient ClinicLawyers for HeroesLeanIn.orglegislationlendingLeukemiaLibrary of Congress’ Veterans History Projectlive in infamyloss of limbLymphomaMarineMarine CorpsMarine Corps Amphibious Warfare SchoolMarshall IslandsMedal for ServiceMedalsmedicaidmedical careMedicaremental healthMerchant MarineMerchant MarinersMerit Systems Protection BoardmesotheliomaMilitarymilitary commissary programMilitary IDMilitary MedalsMilitary Officers Association of AmericaMilitary Order of the Purple Heartmilitary retireesMilitary spousesMillion Veteran Programmisuse of government travel cardsMLAMOAAMOAA Military Family InitiativeMOAA Military Family National Service AwardMOPMSPBmTBIMyelomaMyVAMyVA initiativeNational Brain BankNational CemeteryNational Defense Authorization ActNational Department of Veterans Affairs ArchivesNational GuardNational Personnel Records CenterNational Press ClubNational Veterans Golden Age GamesNational Veterans Wheelchair GamesNative AmericanNavyNDAANeuropathyNight of HeroesNIMHNo Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered ActNVSBEOak Ridge BoysOCSOffice of Construction and Facilities ManagementOffice of General CounselOfficer Candidate SchoolOIGOne MindOperation Ranch HandOpioidopioid addictionOpioid ManagementOpioidsOPMOverdose Education and Naloxone Distribution programpain managementPaitentsLikeMeParalyzed VeteransParalyzed Veterans of AmericaParkinson's DiseasePathways to InnoVAtionPeace Prize MedalPearl HarborPenFed FoundationPensionPentagon Federal Credit Union FoundationperchloroethylenePersian GulfPhilly POPSPhoenix VA Health Care SystemPicnicpolytraumaPolytrauma Rehabilitation CentersPolytrauma System of CarePosttraumatic Stress DisorderPrayerPrescription DrugsPreventing Veteran Suicideprimary careProblem EmployeesPROMISE ActProvider AgreementsPTSDPuerto Rico VAPulitzer PrizePurple HeartPurple Heart MedalPVAradioactive falloutRegistered Sex Offenderrelocation incentives programResourcesResponsible Opioid Management and Incorporating Scientific ExpertiseretiredROTCSallie MaeSAVE Benefits ActSBPscandalScholarshipSclerodermaScripTalkScripttalkSecretary of Veterans AffairsSecretary Sloan GibsonSeismic Safety and Construction Authorization ActSemper FiSenate Armed Services CommitteeSenate Committee on Veterans’ AffairsSenate Veterans' Affairs CommitteeSeniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits ActsequestersequestrationService AnimalsServicememberServicemembersSgt. Shaftslap on the wristSmall BusinessSocial SecuritySoldierSpina Bifidaspinal cord injurySports ClipsSSASSIAStudent Veterans of AmericasuicdesuicideSuicide PreventionSuicide Prevention Fact SheetSuicide Prevention Office and Mental Health ServicessuicidesSummer of ServiceSurvivor Benefit PlanSVASyriaTBITehranTelehealthThanksUSA.orgThe Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment ActThe Home Depot FoundationThe Joint CommissionThe Military CoalitionTinnitusTIPTomah VA Medical CenterToxic Exposure ResearchTransition in PlaceTransitional HousingTraumatic Brain InjuryTri-WestTricareTricare for LifeTricare PrimetrichloroethyleneTriWestU.S. Attorney’s OfficeU.S. Department of Veterans AffairsU.S. House Veterans Affairs CommitteeUFUnder Secretary for HealthunemploymentUnionUniversity of FloridaUS ArmyUS Department of DefenseUS Savings BondsUSA Addiction Treatment PartnershipUSERRAUSMCUSNUSS Weiss APD 135VAVA AccountabilityVA Accountability ActVA BacklogVA BenefitsVA BudgetVA Caregiver Support ProgramVA Caribbean Health Care SystemVA claims backlogVA Compensation programVA crisis lineVA DenverVA DependencyVA disability compensationVA emergency roomVA EmployeeVA Health CareVA HealthcareVA home loanVA Inspector GeneralVA Medical CenterVA Medical CentersVA officialsVA OIGVA PharmacyVA Puget Sound Health Care SystemVA Regional OfficeVA Under Secretary for HealthVA’s National ArchivesVACAAvaccinationsVBAVEP ProgramVetVET ActVet Connect Act of 2016VeteranVeteran Appointment Request AppVeteran BenefitsVeteran Enrollment Rework ProjectVeteran Farm TrainingVeteran suicideVeteran suicide ratesVeteran SuidiceVeteran's PreferenceVeteran’s Choice fundveteransVeterans AdministrationVeterans AffairsVeterans Affairs CommitteeVeterans Affairs Medical CenterVeterans Benefits AdministrationVeterans ChoiceVeterans Choice ActVeterans Choice ProgramVeterans Crisis LineVeterans Dayveterans EditVeterans EmploymentVeterans First ActVeterans Health AdministrationVeterans Homeless ProgramsVeterans of Foreign WarsVeterans of Foreign Wars Memorial BuildingVeterans Service OrganizationsVFWVFW AuxiliaryVFW-SVA Legislative FellowshipVHAVHA facilitiesVHA Office of Public HealthVietnamVietnam veteranVietnam VeteransVietnam Veterans MemorialVietnam Veterans of AmericaVietnam Warvinyl chlorideVirtual Lifetime Electronic RecordVision Rehabilitation ClinicVISN & MCD CompensationVISTvisually impairedVLERVolunteerVSOWalgreensWashington DC Veterans Medical CenterWashington State UniversityWASPswater supply at Camp LejeuneWatsonWheelchair AthleteWheelchair GameswhistleblowersWomen Airforce Service PilotsWomen VeteransWomen Veterans Call CenterWomen Veterans CommitteeWomen's Army Corpswomen's healthWomen’s History MonthWomen’s Integrated Treatment and Recovery ProgramWorld War IWorld War IIwounded militaryWounded WarriorsWWIIWWPYMCA