If you are a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran you may be unaware of benefits that are available to you. For example, in September of 2008, the VA acknowledged that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was a presumptive condition for all veterans with 90 or more days active duty in the military. Efforts were taken to identify all veterans who met this criteria and also to identify those that passed from this condition. Those that had a surviving spouse were contacted by letter or phone. Many of these surviving spouses were unaware that they were eligible for a benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation which includes a monthly payment of $1195, access to CHAMPVA health benefits, and education benefits. As a result the quality of life for these surviving spouses has increased significantly.
We often encounter many in country Vietnam veterans that are unaware of the fifteen presumptive conditions that are associated with agent orange exposure. Still other veterans may not know that they are eligible for low cost VA health care to include prescriptions. We often hear veterans say “I thought VA health care was for those that was injured in service”.