Veterans’ Corner 12.6.12
“Medical lodging” is VA’s term for temporary lodging at the VA healthcare facility in Johnson City, Tenn. Free temporary lodging and meals may be furnished if you travel more than 50 miles and you are undergoing extensive treatment or procedures (transplant, chemotherapy, surgical intervention, etc.) or you are receiving healthcare service for a Comp and Pen Examination. You and a family member (and/or caretaker) may be furnished free temporary lodging including meals, at the discretion of the facility director, for the duration of your treatment. Contact Social Service at your local VA.
A different benefit – which cannot be used with the medical lodging – is one where you may be paid the actual cost for meals, lodging, or both (not to exceed 50 percent of the amount allowed for government employees) when it is determined that an overnight stay is required for your travel related to obtaining VA healthcare services. Factors VA may consider in making that determination include, but are not limited to:
• The distance you must travel; • The time of day the VA scheduled your appointment;
• The weather; • The traffic, or other conditions affecting your travel.
Be sure to contact the Travel Office at your local VA to secure this benefit.
Registering your DD 214 with the clerk of courts and county VA office
One of the first things you are told before you are discharged from the military is, “Make sure you register your DD214.” You may need it to verify VA benefits or for a job interview and, without it, you have no documented proof that you actually completed a military enlistment.
Where to register your DD214
The first place you may want to register your DD214 is with your county veterans’ office. It will be beneficial in the future, when you are ready to take advantage of the VA benefits that you are eligible for. Some of the benefits you may have rights to include:• Education benefits
• VA home loans• VA medical benefits• Disability claims• Employment opportunities
These are just a few of the benefits that qualifying veterans are eligible to receive. By having your DD214 on file with the county veterans’ office, the office can assist you with filing VA applications and required forms that may be needed to apply for VA benefits. In addition, by registering with the county veterans’ office, you can ask to receive county veterans’ information about job fairs, emergency financial assistance and many other county veteran programs.
The second place you are going to want to register your DD214 is the clerk of courts at your county courthouse. This is for one reason and one reason only; if your original copy gets lost while moving, cleaning the house or is just accidentally thrown away. You have a back up … just a car ride away.
Sometimes important military discharge and separation records, such as the DD214, are lost or damaged. The veteran or next of kin of deceased veterans can obtain replacement records. The appropriate forms can be obtained from the county veterans’ office or on the Internet by clicking to http://www.archives.gov/research/index.html. Specific data about the veteran is required on these forms and the county veterans’ office can assist.
Note: Those without computers can go a library for computer assistance.
For VA questions, call Georgia Henry at (828) 733-8211.
Comments and suggestions on the Veteran’s Corner can be emailed to Mike Halus at (firstname.lastname@example.org)