Bill Harding: Veterans health care outpatient dental treatment available

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Historical Veteran/national dates

March 1: Asiatic Fleet Memorial day

March 2: Vietnam War Began (1965)

March 3: "Star Spangled Banner" made the US national Anthem (1931)

March 9: Daylight-savings time - Spring ahead 1 hour

March 12: Girl Scouts of the USA founded (1912)

March 16: Palm Sunday

March 17: St. Patrick's Day

March 20: First day of Spring

March 21: Good Friday

March 23: Easter Sunday

— The following information is from a Veterans Affairs fact sheet.

Outpatient dental benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs according to law. In some instances, VA may provide extensive dental care, while in other cases, treatment may be limited. This article describes the outpatient dental eligibility criteria and contains information veterans should know in order to understand eligibility for VA dental care.

Eligibility:

Veterans are eligible for outpatient dental treatment if they are determined by VA to meet one of the following criteria:

Those having a service-connected compensable dental disability or condition are eligible for any needed dental care.

Those who were prisoners of war and those whose service-connected disabilities have been rated at 100 percent or who are receiving the 100-percent rate by reason of individual unemployability are eligible for any needed dental care.

Those who are participating in a VA vocational rehabilitation program under 38 U.S.C. chapter 31 are eligible for dental care necessary to: enter into a rehabilitation program; achieve the goals of the veteran's vocational rehabilitation program; prevent interruption of a rehabilitation program; hasten the return to a rehabilitation program of a veteran in interrupted or leave status; hasten the return to a rehabilitation program of a veteran placed in discontinued status because of illness, injury or a dental condition; secure and adjust to employment during the period of employment assistance; or to achieve maximum independence in daily living.

Effective January 28, 2008, recently discharged veterans with a service-connected non-compensable dental condition or disability who served on active duty 90 days or more and who apply for VA dental care within 180 days of separation from active duty may receive one-time treatment for dental conditions if the dental condition is shown to have existed at the time of discharge or release and the veteran's certificate of discharge does not indicate that the veteran received necessary dental care within a 90-day period prior to discharge or release.

This includes veterans who reentered active military, naval, or air service within 90 days after the date of a prior discharge and veterans whose disqualifying discharge or release has been corrected by competent authority.

Note: Veterans discharged between Aug. 1, 2007, and Jan. 27, 2008, are eligible for the dental benefit by making application within 180 days of their discharge. Veterans previously denied this one-time dental benefit because application was made outside of the previously mandated 90 day period after separation will be contacted to review and correct, as appropriate, your application denial. Affected veterans also may contact their local medical center to review and correct, as appropriate, their denied application.

Those having a service-connected non-compensable dental condition or disability resulting from combat wounds or service trauma are eligible for repeat care for the service connected condition(s).

Those having a dental condition clinically determined by VA to be currently aggravating a service-connected medical condition are eligible for dental care to resolve the problem.

Those with nonservice-connected dental conditions or disabilities for which treatment was begun while the veteran was in an inpatient status in a VA medical center, when it is clinically determined to be necessary to complete such dental treatment on an outpatient basis.

Those receiving outpatient care or scheduled for inpatient care may receive dental care if the dental condition is clinically determined to be complicating a medical condition currently under treatment.

Certain veterans enrolled in a VA Homeless Program for 60 consecutive days or more may receive certain medically necessary outpatient dental services.

For more information about eligibility for VA medical and dental benefits, contact the Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222-8387 or www.va.gov/healtheligibility.

Office closure

The Craig VSO office will be closed starting at noon Wednesday and will reopen March 25 while I am on vacation.

Any problems with return flights may mean not getting back to work until the 26th. There will not be any Thursday Veterans Hotline articles for the next two weeks. The next article will be March 27.

Dick Maxson will continue the veteran transport program in my absence.

Phone scam using 90# on your home, cell phones

There is a another phone scam working its way through the electronic identity theft efforts.

Individuals representing themselves as phone service technicians (AT&T, Telus, etc.) call saying they are conducting a test on the telephone systems. They state that to complete the test, the phone owner should touch/push/enter nine(9), zero(0) and then push the pound sign (#) and then just hang up.

Following up with phone service providers, if you enter 90#, you give the requesting party full access to your phone line or cell service, which in turn allows them to place long distance calls that are then billed to your phone number.

This scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons. Do not push 90# for anyone! Check with At&T, Verizon or Snopes.com for full disclosure.

New Veterans Cemetery coming

Congressman Doug Lamborn has released an e-mail stating that a new veterans' cemetery for the Colorado Springs area has been applied for and is a line item for the Department of the VA for fiscal year 2009.

VFW National Home for Children Awareness

March 23 to 29 is National Awareness Week for the VFW national Home in Eaton Rapids, Mich. This home provides care for children and families of our nation's war veterans. For more information, visit www.vfwnationalhome.org/awareness_week.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8: 30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only. Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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