Are you the spouse or child of a Veteran? You may qualify for the Civilian Health and Medical Program of VA (CHAMPVA), which can reimburse you for doctor’s visits, mental health care, prescriptions, and many other services. Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center would like you to know that on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, from 7–8 p.m. Eastern, VA and Blue Star Families (a nonprofit organization not related to Blue Star Mothers) will host a Facebook chat about VA benefits for Veterans’ spouses, dependents, and survivors. Anyone with a Facebook account can take part and it is not too late to sign up. The instructions follow:
Using Facebook: Join the #ExploreVA Facebook chat with @U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and @Blue Star Families by registering here: http://1.usa.gov/1tJjIi4 .
Using Twitter: Join by using http://1.usa.gov/1ot5LWo .
Editor’s Note: CHAMPVA is a health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. It has nothing to do with DoD’s TRICARE program (formerly called CHAMPUS). In some cases a Veteran may appear to be eligible for both/either program on paper. However, if you are a military retiree, or the spouse of a Veteran who was killed in action, you are and will always be a TRICARE beneficiary, you can´t choose between the two. Therefore, the general eligibility criteria breaks down like this:
- To be eligible for CHAMPVA, you cannot be eligible for TRICARE.
- You must fit into one of these categories:
- The spouse or child of a Veteran who has been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office.
- The surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who died from a VA-rated service-connected disability.
- The surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who was at the time death rated permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability.
- The surviving spouse or child of a military member who died in the line of duty, not due to misconduct (in most of these cases, these family members are eligible for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).
An eligible CHAMPVA sponsor may be entitled to receive medical care through the VA health care system based on his or her own Veteran status. If the eligible CHAMPVA sponsor is the spouse of another eligible CHAMPVA sponsor, both may now be eligible for CHAMPVA benefits – one of the stranger twists of this program. In which case, in each instance where the eligible spouse requires medical attention, he or she may choose the VA health care system or coverage under CHAMPVA for his/her health care needs.
For more information, click here.
As of 16 December 2014