Kentucky Boyle Post 46
Helping others for a better Life!
Veterans Transportation Program - Lexington VA Medical Center
Need a Ride to Your Appointment?
The Veterans Transportation Program is designed to assist veterans seeking treatment at the VAMC with their travel needs. Depending on your location, up to 2 services are available (see the schedule below). 
If you would like to participate in either the Veterans Transportation Service or DAV Volunteer Transportation please review the schedule below and call our coordinators and make arrangements.
·         For Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) please call 859-381-5912
VTS has the capability to transport Veterans who rely on assistance such as wheelchairs, large electric wheelchairs and scooters. 
  
·         For DAV Volunteer Transportation (DAV) please call 859-381-5902
Veterans utilizing the DAV Volunteer Transportation service must be ambulatory (capable of boarding and departing the van without the driver/s aid and attendance).
Areas Served
City Served Pick-Up Location Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Berea  Cracker Barrel VTS DAV VTS  VTS  NO SERVICE 
Campton  Arby's VTS VTS VTS  VTS  NO SERVICE 
Carlisle  Door to Door VTS DAV  VTS  DAV  NO SERVICE 
Corbin  Cracker Barrel  VTS DAV  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Crab Orchard  Redi-Mart Gas Station  VTS VTS  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Cynthiana  Walmart  VTS VTS  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Danville  McDonalds  VTS VTS VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Flemingsburg  McDonalds  VTS  VTS & DAV VTS  VTS & DAV NO SERVICE 
Frankfort  Door to Door   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV
Georgetown  Door to Door   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV
Harrodsburg  Wendy's  VTS VTS  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Hazard  VA Clinic  VTS VTS  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Irvine  McDonalds  VTS VTS VTS  VTS NO SERVICE 
Jackson  McDonalds   VTS VTS VTS  VTS NO SERVICE 
Lancaster  McDonalds  VTS VTS VTS  VTS NO SERVICE 
Lawrenceburg  Lee's Famous Recipe  VTS  VTS VTS  VTS NO SERVICE 
Lexington  Door to Door   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV
London  Cracker Barrel VTS DAV  VTS  VTS NO SERVICE 
Manchester  Walmart  VTS VTS  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Maysville  Kmart  VTS DAV  VTS DAV NO SERVICE 
Millersburg  Door to Door  VTS VTS & DAV VTS   VTS & DAV NO SERVICE 
Morehead  VA Clinic  VTS VTS  VTS VTS  VTS
Mt. Sterling  Burger King  VTS VTS  VTS  VTS  VTS
Mt. Vernon  McDonalds  VTS VTS VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Nicholasville  Door to Door VTS & DAV VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV
Owingsville  Dairy Queen  VTS VTS VTS VTS  VTS
Paris  Door to Door  VTS  DAV  VTS DAV  VTS
Richmond  Cracker Barrel  VTS & DAV  DAV VTS & DAV VTS NO SERVICE 
Somerset  Kmart  VTS VTS VTS  VTS NO SERVICE 
Stanford  Walmart  VTS VTS VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Stanton  Hardee's  VTS VTS  VTS VTS NO SERVICE 
Versailles  Door to Door   VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV
Wilmore  Door to Door   VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV 
Winchester  Door to Door   VTS & DAV  VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV   VTS & DAV VTS & DAV
Passenger Rules & Regulations (Partial List)
1)  All riders must be ambulatory (capable of boarding and departing the van without the drivers aid and attendance).
2) The driver is only permitted to stop the van for rest stops and/or emergencies, or to pick up and discharge passengers at designated pick-up points.
3) Passengers are not permitted to use tobacco products, drink alcohol, use foul and offensive language, or bring weapons, drugs, or any other illegal substance or items on the van.
4) Passengers will wear seat belt at all times.
5) It is the responsibility of the veteran to notify the appropriate local coordinator at the numbers above as soon as possible regarding appointments, cancellations, or any other changes.
6) Only articles small enough to be held on the veteran's lap or placed under the seat will be transported on the van.
7) Neither VTS or DAV is an emergency vehicle. The driver has the right to refuse transportation to any passenger whom he/she feels is too ill to ride the van.
7/18/2019

8-1-19

Post 46 Service Officer:  Gene Klaus, gaklaus@msn.com, 989-284-5972.

Post Service Officers (PSO) from this area meet with Veterans on scheduled Fridays at the Sousley Campus (Leestown Campus) of the Lexington VAMC.  Time: 07:30 to 11:30 Place: Building 28, room 15.  (Building 28 is at the far right of the complex.  Enter at south end of building 28 next to loading dock.  Room 15 is last door on right.)  Other times and places are available by arrangement as needed.

The most common Veteran needs addressed are Disability Benefits (new and appeals), benefit changes, and Surviving Spouse and Dependent Benefits (DIC).

Meeting schedules for July and August 2019 are: 8-9, 8-16, 9-6, 9-13, 9-20, 10-1, 10-11.

Please email or call Gene Klaus if you have any questions. 

The Blue Water Navy bill, H.R. 299

Update:  VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has delayed implementation of the Blue Water Bill until January 1, 2020 so that the VA can establish processes.  Veterans should apply now so that their application is on file.

Veteran Planning for Survivor Future

The VA has informational products designed to aid Veterans and their family in preparing for the future after the Veteran dies.  The products include information on benefits such as a final resting place for eligible Veterans, spouses, and their eligible dependents, as well as a headstone or marker, a flag to drape the casket, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.

VA burial benefits are paid to a spouse, designated family member, or executor to partially offset the cost of burial expenses, plot costs, and transportation costs of a Veteran’s remains.  The amounts typically paid at this time are $2,000 for a non-government cemetery, $250 for a government cemetery, and transportation costs for the Veteran’s remains.   (These are subject to change by the Congress.)  There is a 2-year time limit for burial benefit application.

Eligible surviving spouse, dependent children, and/or dependent parents of a deceased Veteran may apply for a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefit.  This a monthly tax-free benefit.  The Veteran must have died of a service-connected illness or injury.  The 2019 base amount is $1319.11 per month and is increased for dependent children or other qualified needs.

If Veteran has a compensation application or appeal in process, a person financially dependent on the Veteran (spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent) may apply as a substitute claimant within 1 year after the death of the Veteran.  Accrued benefits will be paid to the claimant if the Veteran’s original application/appeal is granted.

Other benefits the survivors may apply for include Dependent’s Educational Assistance Program, survivor pension (if not eligible for DIC), special survivor pension due to a mental or physical disability, home loans, and CHAMPVA benefits (health benefits if Veteran 100% disabled).  The 2019 survivor pension is $626.63.

Case study tips:

1)    Observe all given deadlines for needed information.

2)   Observe all deadlines for survivor benefits: 1 yr. for substitute claimant, 2 yr. for burial benefits.

3)    Seek guidance.  The VA paperwork requirements are difficult to meet without assistance.

4)    All DIC and pension payments are calculated based on the survivor’s unique situation.


Service Officer Tips

7-1-19

Post 46 Service Officer:  Gene Klaus, gaklaus@msn.com, 989-284-5972.

Post Service Officers (PSO) from this area meet with Veterans on scheduled Fridays at the Sousley Campus (Leestown Campus) of the Lexington VAMC.  Time: 07:30 to 11:30 Place: Building 28, room 15.  (Building 28 is at the far right of the complex.  Enter at south end of building 28 next to loading dock.  Room 15 is last door on right.)  Other times and places are available by arrangement as needed.

The most common Veteran needs addressed are Disability Benefits (new and appeals), benefit changes, and Surviving Spouse and Dependent Benefits (DIC).

Meeting schedules for July and August 2019 are: 7-12, 7-19, 8-2, 8-9, 8-16, 9-6, and 9-13.

Please email or call Gene Klaus if you have any questions.

 

The Blue Water Navy bill, H.R. 299 is Law!

The president signed H.R.299, the Blue Water Navy bill, into law on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.  This ends a decades long fight by sailors, Marines, and others who served off the coast of Vietnam during the period 1-9-1962 to 5-7-1975.  The law means that they will now get the same presumption as ground troops that certain diseases are connected to Agent Orange exposure.  The new law will make approximately 90,000 additional Veterans eligible for benefits under the law.

In addition, H.R.299 includes Veterans who served on the Korean DMZ during the period 9-1-67 to 8-31-71.  They will also now get the same presumption as ground troops that certain diseases are connected to Agent Orange exposure.  A third group of non-Veterans is included in the law.  Children of Veterans who served in Thailand during the period 1-9-62 to 5-7-75 and who have spinal bifida.  The children will be covered for health care, vocational training and rehabilitation, and monetary allowances.

The VA now has 120 days to submit a plan to Congress explaining how it will implement the new law.  

Veterans and survivors of Veterans eligible under the law need to apply now for benefits.


Veteran Compensation Appeals

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) ruled that a lawsuit seeking relief for Veterans who have experienced long decision wait times can move forward.  This is the first time a court has allowed the VA to be sued.  The order requires the VA to review and move forward all Veteran appeals that have been waiting at least 18 months by 10-1-2019, with a progress report to the court by August 12. 


Case study tips:

        1)    Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 days, are eligible for Agent Orange presumption                   diseases.

 2)    Veterans should seek assistance from the VA for medical needs, regardless of income.  Example:  We recently saw     the family of a 96-year-old WWII Veterans who was in need of long-term care.  We were able to assist the family       in with getting the Veteran into a Veteran’s Home close to Lexington.

 3)    Encourage all Vietnam Veterans to seek care at a VA medical center and to apply for compensation.  It is NEVER         TOO LATE!

 4)    Encourage survivors of Veterans to fined out if they are eligible for benefits.


6-1-19

Post 46 Service Officer:  Gene Klaus, gaklaus@msn.com, 989-284-5972.

Post Service Officers (PSO) from this area meet with Veterans on scheduled Fridays at the Sousley Campus (Leestown Campus) of the Lexington VAMC.  Time: 07:30 to 11:30 Place: Building 28, room 15.  (Building 28 is at the far right of the complex.  Enter at south end of building 28 next to loading dock.  Room 15 is last door on right.)  Other times and places are available by arrangement as needed.

The most common Veteran needs addressed are Disability Benefits (new and appeals), benefit changes, and Surviving Spouse and Dependent Benefits (DIC).

Meeting schedules for June and July 2019 are: 6-7, 6-14, 6-28, 7-12, 7-19, 8-2, and 8-9.

Please email or call Gene Klaus if you have any questions.

 

Service Officer Tips

NOTICE:  The Lexington VA will host a town hall meeting with Veterans and their families on June 7, 2019, at 17:30 to 18:30 at VFW 680, 1494 Leestown Rd, Lexington.

Previous Tips discussed applying for VA care, VA benefits as related to service-connected issues, the appeals process, and survivor benefits.  There is often another overlooked benefit for qualified Veterans—pension.

PENSION:

A pension differs from compensation in that it is needs-based assistance.  In general, a Veteran must have served for at least 90 days, with at least one day during a wartime period.  Pensions are paid when any total disability-whether it is service connected or not, leads to the Veteran requiring financial assistance.  The amount paid is a flat amount.  The pension benefit is offset by other income dollar-for-dollar.  Note: Any Veteran over the age of 65 is presumed to be totally disabled for the pension program.  Veterans can apply for a need-based pension, a special monthly pension, or benefits because a child is severely disabled. 

To qualify for a needs-based pension the Veteran’s family income cannot exceed the maximum amount for which he is applying.  (The 2019 family basic pension limit is $20,731, adjusted for medical expenses.)  Total family assets cannot exceed $127,061 for 2019.  A special pension, in addition to the basic pension, may be awarded for home-bound expense or Aid and Attendance, which is designed to assist in covering the cost of a nursing home, assisted living facility, or long-term care facility (a surviving spouse may also receive an amount for long-term care.).   A third pension category is for a child incapable of self-support.  To substantiate such a claim, the evidence must show that the child, before his/her 18th birthday, became permanently incapable of self-support due to a mental or physical disability.  Note:  A special pension may be granted to Veterans who may not be eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income.

It is important for Veterans to understand that any income received must be reported at least annually to the VA for continued pension benefit.  This includes the income of a spouse, should the Veteran marry during the year.  The VA will collect any over-payment directly from a Veteran’s pension or any other compensation received.

A Service Officer can assist with the completion of the multiple documents needed for a pension application.

 

Case study tip:  Promptly reply to all VA inquiries since most have a firm deadline for response.


5-1-19

Post 46 Service Officer: Gene Klaus, gaklaus@msn.com, 989-284-5972.

Post Service Officers (PSO) from this area meet with Veterans on scheduled Fridays at the Sousley Campus (Leestown Campus) of the Lexington VAMC.  Time: 07:30 to 11:30 Place: Building 28, room 15.  (Building 28 is at the far right of the complex.  Enter at south end of building 28 next to loading dock.  Room 15 is last door on right.)  Other times and places are available by arrangement as needed.

The most common Veteran needs addressed are Disability Benefits (new and appeals), benefit changes, and Surviving Spouse and Dependent Benefits (DIC).

Meeting schedule for May, June, and July 2019 are:  5/3, 5/17, 5/24, 6/7, 6/14, 6/28, 7/12, and 7/19.

Please email or call Gene Klaus if you have any questions.


SERVICE OFFICER TIPS

 The previous Tips discussed applying for compensation benefits.  Once the VA makes a compensation decision on the Veterans’ application, the Veteran is notified of the decision.  If the VA grants a benefit, the percentage and amount are presented.  If the decision is a denial, the reasons for the denial are presented.  The Veteran has the right to appeal and should do so.

 Appeals process:

Complete forms sent with the VA decision or meet with a Service Officer to discuss the most appropriate manner in which to appeal. 

 Starting February 2019 there will be two types of appeals:  (1) those appeals that existed prior to   2/14/19 (Legacy Appeals) and (2) new appeals under the Appeals Modernization Process.  Veterans who have appeals in process under the Legacy Appeals Process will continue under that process.

 The new Appeals Modernization Process is designed to make VA decisions more timely, transparent and fair.  If you receive an initial claim decision after February 2019 and you disagree, you can choose one of three new paths to have your disagreement reviewed:  (1) supplemental claim; (2) a higher-level review; or (3) appealing directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. 

 The Supplemental claim process is expected to take 125 days to complete.  This option is taken if there is new and relevant evidence to support the benefit claim. 

 The Higher Level review process is also expected to take 125 days to complete.  This option is taken if there is no new evidence to present.  The review of your claim will be by an experienced claims adjudicator. 

 The path of Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals can be a lengthy process. The Veteran can have his case directly reviewed by the Board without new evidence or a hearing, submit new evidence without a hearing, or choose to submit new evidence and have a hearing with a Veterans Law judge.

 There are further appeals after any of these processes should the Veteran not agree with the VA’s decision.

 Case study tip:  Veterans need to review their claim when there is any new information.  For example:  A diabetic who changes from oral medication to insulin shots should file for a benefit increase.  




4/1/19

POST 46 SERVICE OFFICER:  Gene Klaus, gaklaus@msn.com, 989-284-5972
Post Service Officers (PSO) from this area meet with Veterans on scheduled Fridays at the Sousley Campus (Leestown Campus) of the Lexington VAMC.  Time:  0730 to 1130; Place:  Building 28, Room 15 (Building 28 is at the far right of the complex.  Enter at south end of building 28 next to loading dock.  Room 15 is last door on right).  Other times and places are available by arrangement as needed.

The most common Veteran needs addressed are Disability Benefits (new and appeals),benefit changes, and Surviving Spouse and Dependent Benefits (DIC).

Meeting schedule for April and May 2019:  4/5, 4/26; 5/3, 5/17, 5/24; 6/7.  Please email or call Gene Klaus if you have any questions.

SERVICE OFFICER TIPS

VA Transportation:  The VA has a van on Wednesdays that comes from the CBOC in Somerset to Lexington - Cooper and Leestown.  Danville Veterans can ride as long as they have clinic appointments between 1000 and 1330.  (Note:  Primary Care Mental Health Clinics are at Leestown.  Specialist Clinics are at Cooper).  Riders must call 859-381-5912 to arrange transport.

The March Service Officer Tips discussed applying for benefits.  What happens once benefits have been requested?  The typical process is as follows:

1)  A qualified Service Officer (SO) sends the Benefit Application to the Regional VA Office (RO).  The RO reviews the application and sends an acknowledgement letter to the Veteran.
2)  A C&P (Compensation and Pension) examination is ordered by the RO.  This is a detailed medical examination to determin the medical condition of the Veteran.
3)  The RO reviews the C&P examination results and all supporting documentation submitted with the Benefit Application.  Additional information may be requested from the Veteran.
4)  A decision is made concerning the benefits requested.  The RO will either grant a benefit or deny a benefit.  The decision is sent to the Veteran, along with a detailed explanation of the decision and the process for a decision appeal.
5)  The Veteran has one year to appeal the RO decision, after which, the decision becomes final.  The Veteran appeals through a Service Officer or by completing the forms the RO sends with the benefit determination.

How long does the process take?  The process typically takes from 4 months to 18 months or more.  Any benefit granted is effective from the date of the original application.

What can the Veteran do to help the process?  The Veteran can:
1)  Ensure that his/her address and contact information are current.  Changes must be reported as soon as possible to the VA.
2)  Sign up for Ebenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov.  This will enable the Veteran to closely follow the benefit process and to upload information relevant to his/her claim.  
3)  The Veteran can contact the National Call Center for an in-depth explanation of questions concerning his/her benefit application by calling 1-800-827-1000.
4)  Sign up for myhealthevet at www.myhealth.va.gov.  

This is an abbreviated explanation of the C&P process.  Please contact a Service Officer for more detail.


2/28/19
POST 46 SERVICE OFFICER:  Gene Klaus, gaklaus@msn.com, 989-284-5972
Post Service Officers (PSO) from this area meet with Veterans on scheduled Fridays at the Sousley Campus (Leestown Campus) of the Lexington VAMC.  Time: 0700-1130; Place: Building 28, Room 15.  Enter at the south end of building next to loading dock.  Room 15 is the last door on right.  Other times and places are available as needed.  The most common Veteran needs addressed are Disability Benefits (new and appeals), Pension Benefits, and Surviving Spouse and Dependent Benefits (DIC).

Meeting schedule for March and April 2019:  3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/29; 4/5, 4/26, 5/3
Please email or call Mr. Klaus if you have any questions.

SERVICE OFFICER TIPS

How does a Veteran become a VA Patient?

1)  The first step is to visit www.va.gov and select VA Benefits and Health Care from the drop down menu.  You may also meet with a Service Officer or call 877-222-8387 to talk with a VA representative.  The Service Office will assist with your application and also assist you with applying for disability benefits if that is indicated.  There are several categories of patients.  For example, those who have just finished a 12-month combat tour, Vietnam Veterans (served "in country"), Purple Heart recipient, or those who receive Medicaid.

2)  Once the required application is completed, the Veteran can either mail the document or take it to a VA medical center.  VA medical centers can be found at www.va.gov.  You will need to provide the following:  (a) a copy of both sides of your current insurance card (including Medicare and Medicaid); (b) a copy of your DD214 "Armed Forces Report of Transfer or Discharge;" and (c) Purple Heart recipients only: a copy of your award letter if "Purple Heart" is not noted on the DD214.

3)  The telephone number of the Health Benefits Center (eligibility office) of the Lexington VAMC is 859-233-4511, ext. 4948 or 859-281-4948.  The eligibility office is located in Bldg. 1, Leestown Campus, 2550 Leestown Rd, Lexington KY 40511.

How does a Veteran submit a claim?

1)  A claim may be submitted by the Veteran on www.va.gov, select "VA Benefits and Health Care" from the drop down menu, and then select "Disability."  Complete the application and mail it and all supporting documents to the indicated application location. 

2)  The Veteran can also meet with a Service Officer who will complete the application with the Veteran and submit it on his/her behalf.  The Service Officer will assist with the initial application and any subsequent appeals should the claim be denied.

3)  Documentation needed is any claim application:
     a)  All medical records from non-government providers
     b)  DD214
     c)  Banking information to include account number, bank name, and routing number.

Claim progress can be monitored by completing an account on www.ebenefits.va.gov.

NOTE:  Any qualified Veteran can apply for benefits.  The VA evaluates each application on an individual basis.