Veterans have long struggled to receive timely and quality care from the VA health care system. Many veterans lack a facility that is within easy driving distance from their homes, and even those who live near a VA facility are forced to deal with long, frustrating wait times to receive even basic care.
Because proper medical care – and medical documentation – is one of the foundations of any successful claim for disability benefits, this could really cause some difficulty for our nation’s veterans.
The Choice Program for Veterans
These issues became widely publicized in April 2014 with news reports that veterans had died while waiting to receive care from the VA in Phoenix, Arizona. It soon became clear that unreasonably long waiting times were a problem at VA facilities across the nation.
In response, Congress created the “Choice Program” as part of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. This program gives America’s veterans options to receive care from non-VA facilities.
If you are a veteran who meets any one of the following criteria, you may be eligible for the Choice Program:
- You have been told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician
- Your current residence is more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility
- You need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home
- You face an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to a VA medical facility based on the presence of a body of water (including moving water and still water) or a geologic formation that cannot be crossed by road
Since proper medical care is one of the foundations of any successful claim for disability benefits, any veteran considering applying for Social Security Disability should take advantage of the Choice Program, if they qualify. More information about the program can be found here.
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About Citizens Disability, LLC:
Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call (800)492-3260.