Monday, November 7, 2011

Are you “in”, or are you “out”?

It is difficult for the average Veteran to decipher these “codes” and figure out whether, or not  he/she is in the correct priority group. Even more difficult is trying to determine exactly what benefits you are entitled to receive from a VA Medical Center. Most Veterans faithfully accept whatever  a VA representative tells them. The further up the food chain you are, the more clear the explanations of benefits becomes. 
I would like to comment on an article posted in my latest copy of the VFW Magazine (VFW/November-December, 2011): ISSUES UP FRONT Priority 7 and 8 VA Enrollees in the Crosshairs?

1.       Are these the groups that experience the most Veterans falling   
       through the cracks?
           I do agree with the concept and practice of “means testing”.

2.      The  question here is; “Are these numbers (limits) realistic?”
            The Federal government, in general, tends to under-estimate
            income  levels as they pertain to “means testing”, and it is not in    
            only the VA system that this occurs.

3.       Dose the fact that a Veteran  who has no history of overseas duty,
      or combat duty, or direct support of Soldiers in combat, lessen 
      contribution to the overall functioning and well being of their

4.       If I am in the highest group, Priority 1, am I considered eight times (x8)  
          more worthy, eight times more entitled to benefits, eight times more 
          of a Soldier?

I realize that qualifying the lower priorities for a more thorough benefits package would cost more money. I also realize that someone who is willing to wear the uniform, thus putting his/her life in jeopardy,  deserve a great deal more from this Country than they currently receive. The folks in Washington, DC, who decide these rules and regulations, would  be enjoying a totally different lifestyle were it not for the men and women who have gone off to war in protecting this Country. The bottom line is that they DO deserve more, across the board.

Priority 7:
·         Veterans with incomes below the geographic means test (GMT) income thresholds and who agree to pay the applicable copayment.
These household income figures are what the VA considers when benefits are “means” tested
 $29,402.00 ( single, no dependants) to $41,344(family of four)*
Priority 8:
Veterans with gross household incomes:
·         above the VA Means Test thresholds who were enrolled as of January 16, 2003 and who agreed to pay the applicable copayment;
·         not exceeding the VA Means Test thresholds or GMT income thresholds by more than 10% and who agree to pay the applicable copayment -- effective June 15, 2009.

*comment by H. Dubosque

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