I don't know how many times I meet veterans and they tell me, "I don't want to take the money from someone who needs it". Well I'm here to tell you, that's not how it works. Everyone should apply for VA health care when they separate from the military. Obviously there are certain people who don't qualify due to discharge status, veteran status... However, every county in the United States has what is called a Veteran Service Officer. (States may very with resources).
Many times you can get service connected for something minor that happened in the military that would help qualify you for VA health care. Your VSO's job is to help you get registered and help you file your VA claim. You are not hurting anyone or taking anything away from anyone by going to get registered. Even if you never deployed, go to your VSO and get a claim started. If you don't qualify for anything, then no harm done.
Many vets don't know what to do so I'm going to give you step by step instructions on how to get your VA benefits.
Step 1 - Make sure you have your medical records and your DD214.
Step 2 - Locate your local VSO. Feel free to email me for help locating yours.
Step 3 - Register for an Ebenefits account here.
Step 4 - Sit down with your local VSO and they will help you file your claim.
Step 5 - Be patient!!! We all know the VA can be irritating. Just give it time or ask your VSO to check the status of your claim.
Step 6 - DON'T MISS YOUR APPOINTMENTS!!!
Step 7 - Check your mail for decision letters and talk to your VSO.
It is much easier than many veterans may think. Sometimes we need guidance and your VSO is the place to go to get the help that you need. We can help you here at WNA if you need it. However, VSO's have access to additional local benefits that may help you out. Many States have multiple benefits to veterans that you may not know about. Like here in Minnesota for example. There are many things the DNR can provide to veterans that are at 100% disability, such as a free deer permit, lifetime angling pass, and other discounts.
Now, do I think we as veterans are entitled to any of this? Nope! However, they are available and you should utilize them if you qualify. There is nothing wrong with getting a discount, getting disability from the VA or utilizing VA health care.
When I had cancer, the VA got me in for scans and I was in surgery within a few days. Here at the Maplewood/Minneapolis clinic, I have nothing but good experiences when it comes to the Dr's and Nurses. They took good care of me and listened to all of my concerns. Within a few months of scans after surgery, I was cancer free.
Don't wait until you are sick to go to the VA. Go now, go as soon as you get out, just get into the system. Please contact us if you need help or have questions about the VA process. Click here for additional information on VA disability pay and more.
I always say, no one is entitled to anything. However, you are entitled to your VA benefits because they promised to take care of you when you get out of the military. Go get your benefits today.
Nick- WNA CEO