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Thread: VA Benefits Waiting Period??

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Denver, Colorado

    Question VA Benefits Waiting Period??

    Hi Guys...

    My hubby Don is 62 and thinking about retiring. He wants to look into VA health benefits. He was not injured in active service but he is a vet and we have a really good VA center here in Denver.

    Are any of you guys receiving VA health benefits? If so... what is the waiting period? I know that we have to fill out stuff but I was wondering what the waiting period is...

    Thanks for any help you can give!


  2. #2
    I am not sure there is a waiting period. Call the VA center in Denver and ask to speak with the NSA--National Service Officer through PVA.

    Do it sooner than later. THere is no age requirement either. SCI does not have to have occurred on active duty.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  3. #3
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tampa, FL
    Sieg, I had my SCI after I retired; filled out the paperwork and get very good care from the VA. Not sure if your hubby receives any disability (I had a bad shoulder and ankle from my Army days ) so the cost of meds is reduced at the VA. I don't recall there being any waiting period - I kept putting off filling out the paperwork because I imagined the VA being filled with a lot of old folks. I should have known that SCI happens to people of all ages.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  4. #4
    I enrolled in the VA system after my injury. Went from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta over to the Augusta Ga facility for rehab. I have no military injury.
    As my injury was catastrophic I was moved to priority 4. I get most of my medicine through the VA and go for an annual check up at the Augusta hospital even though it is 9 hours away. I tried St. Louis and the annual check up I got there was a waste of my time so if you have a good SCI unit close it would be great. I aslo credit the Augusta rehab department with getting me on my feet. I use a local facility for semi annual blood work and general check ups.

  5. #5
    i found my private insurance enabled me to get much better care than was offered at the Bronx VA. when you don't have a service connected disability or catastrophic classified injury you go to the end of the line as far as testing, appointments. i don't disagree with this.
    my local VA is overbooked and short staffed so its better to go to the private sector if you have good insurance
    cauda equina

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks everyone...

    The Denver VA center is a really good one... Don is a T11 complete and he has friends who are vets who have been telling us to apply for healthcare benefits ever since he was injured in 2005... so we applied online today and will send the hard copy in and see what happens.

    Thanks again for all your help!


  7. #7
    The Denver VA does not have a SCI Center, but they do have a SCI outpatient clinic with SCI Center trained nurse, physician and social worker. The designated SCI Center for the Rocky Mountain area is in Albuquerque. Denver is scheduled to get a SCI Center but it is unlikely to be opened within the next 4-5 years.

    If he has a SCI, he should definately apply for VA benefits. The best way to do this is to contact the local PVA National Service Officer (NSO) since they will help make sure that the paperwork is done correctly. This is critical as with a SCI (even non-service connected) he should correctly be rated Priority 4 instead of the more likely 6-8 without the SCI (which could preclude him from care at all depending on income). Priority 4 is for non-service-connected catastrophically disabled veterans. He may still have a co-pay (again, depending on income) but it is not very much.

    Depending on when he served, he may also be eligible for a VA pension and other benefits. The PVA NSO works for the PVA (not for the VA) but they can function as his advocate with the VA to be sure he gets all benefits (medical care, DME, pension, A&A, etc.) that he is personally eligible for. Here is the Denver PVA NSO contact information:

    Denver VA Regional Office
    55 Van Gordon, Denver VARO Rm 356
    Lakewood, CO 80225

    Meanwhile you can go ahead and download and complete the application for health benefits below. Generally as soon as this is turned in, with a copy of his DD214 (discharge papers) it takes 24-48 hours to confirm eligibility and start accessing health care, although getting rated as Priority 4 may take a little longer. He will have to establish a primary care provider at the VA, be seen, and get prescriptions written by a VA provider in order to get meds (they will not fill prescriptions from outside providers):


  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Denver, Colorado
    Thank you KLD!

    We have already joined the Rocky Mtn Chapter of the PVA and have sent in the 1010ez online and in the mail... I have asked that the PVA officer contact us to assist in all the stuff....

    Thanks again... I will post with the results.


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