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Did you know the Beacon can help a veteran with health benefits?

January 24, 2019
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

As we mentioned in the Eagle last month, the Beacon is now an outreach program offering assistance with understanding of benefits for you, the veteran. We can help you, as an honorably discharged service man or woman, learn the details of which you would never ask or ever think of.

You can meet with a Veterans Service Officer and a Pine Island veteran to help you through the sometimes difficult enrollment processes in order to obtain your benefits. Some of the most common requests for medical help are regarding eligibility for and enrollment in VA Healthcare.

If eligible for VA healthcare, you can benefit in several ways. Benefits include direct mental health care or access to VA resources and services that can support the care that you need in the community. The first step is finding out if you are eligible. From there you can find additional resources that can support the care that is provided (for example, group treatments, specialty care, housing resources).

Generally, if someone has served 24 consecutive months of active duty service in the military and separated under conditions other than dishonorable, they may be eligible. In some cases eligibility may be based on income.

There are some special conditions, such as veterans who experienced MST (military sexual trauma), reservists who serve on active duty, National Guard members and military veterans who served in combat, such as those who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, which may have unique benefits.

Determining the eligibility status and possible co-payment information for a veteran can be complicated. Because of this we strongly encourage you to apply for enrollment even if you feel you may not be eligible.

Our next date for one-on-one appointments is Feb. 1, between 9 a.m. and noon. Please call The Beacon of HOPE at 283-5123 to schedule your appointment.

James L. Garnett

Veteran U.S.A.F.



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