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VAA Mission

Vision:

Recognizing the value of Veterans, the Veterans Affairs Assistants Association, (VAA) will be in many states be the leading advocate for Veterans and resource responsive to the changing health care needs of Veterans and their families in attaining the highest quality of life.

Mission:

The Veterans Affairs Assistants Association, (VAA) serves Veterans, and their eligible dependents, through advocacy and education to access for quality and effective health care state and federal benefits, high-quality long-term nursing care and burial honors.

Values:

High-Quality Service: Provide outstanding service to those who served us.

Accountability: Unquestionable integrity in all we do.

Compassion: Consistently demonstrate care and empathetic concern for Veterans and one another.

Communication: Provide accurate and timely “two-way” communication with our employees, customers, the public and key stakeholders; while fostering a culture of cooperation and collaboration with counties, other agencies, Veteran service organizations and businesses to connect Veterans to resources and promote the value of Veterans.

Mental Health Assistance

Service members who separated under any condition other than dishonorable may qualify for VA health care benefits. Reservists and guardsmen who were ordered to active federal service and fulfilled their tour of duty may also be eligible. The VA’s Health Benefits Explorer can help determine health benefits. The VA website also has additional eligibility information.

Vet Centers provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to combat veterans and their families; guiding them through many of the major lifestyle adjustments that occur when a veteran returns from combat. Services include individual and group counseling in areas such as post-traumatic stress, alcohol and drug assessment and suicide prevention referrals. All services are free and strictly confidential.

In addition, a 24-hour Vet Center call center is available that veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or other issues they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. Staffed by combat veterans from several eras and family members of combat veterans, the call center can be reached by dialing 877-WAR-VETS (877-927-8387).

Veterans and the Affordable Care Act Email This Page

The Affordable Care Act, also referred to as ObamaCare, was created to expand access to coverage, control health care costs and improve health care quality and care coordination. The health care law does not change VA health benefits or veterans out-of-pocket costs.

If you are enrolled in VA health care, you don’t need to take additional steps to meet the health care law coverage standards. If you are not enrolled in VA health care, you can apply at any time.

VA offers health care benefits for certain family members of veterans through programs such as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Spina Bifida program. Your family members who are not enrolled in a VA health care program should use the Marketplace to get coverage.

Federal Health Benefits

The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,700 care sites, serving 8.76 million veterans each year. VA health care services include inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, dental care and others. In Michigan, 25 facilities throughout the state offer VA health care, including 15 Community Based Outpatient Clinics, five outpatient clinics and five major medical facilities. A listing of VA health care facilities is listed on the MVAA website.

Service members who separated under any condition other than dishonorable may qualify for VA health care benefits. Reservists and guardsmen who were ordered to active federal service and fulfilled their tour of duty may also be eligible. The VA’s Health Benefits Explorer can help determine health benefits. The VA website also has additional eligibility information.

To apply for VA health benefits, a 10-10EZ form must be submitted online, by phone, in person or by mail. A DD-214 is required.

  • Online – Fill out the VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits online. A submission number will be issued once completed.
  • By phone – Call 877-222-VETS (877-222-8387) to complete the application over the phone. A VA Form 10-10EZ will be mailed for review, signature and return.
  • In person – Visit a VA heath care facility, and complete VA Form 10-10EZ on-site. Locate the nearest facility.
  • By mail – Download and complete a VA Form 10-10EZ, and mail to:

Health Eligibility Center
Enrollment Eligibility Division
2957 Clairmont Road, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329-1647

Once an application is processed, the VA will send a letter with enrollment, Priority Group assignment and copay status. The letter will also provide instructions on how to appeal the decision. Learn more about VA health benefits by visiting the VA website.

The U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System also offers TRICARE, a health program for uniformed service members and their families, National Guard/Reserve members and their families, survivors, former spouses, Medal of Honor recipients and their families and others registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. TRICARE offers comprehensive, affordable health coverage with 11 health plan options, pharmacy benefits, dental options and other special programs.

Service Connected/Presumptive Conditions

The VA presumes that specific conditions diagnosed in certain veterans were caused by their military service. The VA does this because of the unique circumstances of their military service. If one of these conditions is diagnosed in a veteran in one of these groups, the VA presumes that the circumstances of his/her service caused the condition, and disability compensation can be awarded. This list can change and MVAA will make every effort to make updates as they arise.

Veterans within one year after release from active duty diagnosed with chronic diseases (such as arthritis, diabetes or hypertension) are encouraged to apply for disability compensation.

Veterans diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease at any time after discharge or release from qualifying active service may be eligible for compensation if they served a minimum of 90 consecutive days of active service.

Read more about disability compensation within one-year post-service

If a former POW, regardless of the amount of time they were held in captivity, has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by their captivity if they become at least 10 percent disabled anytime after military service:

  • Psychosis
  • Dysthymic Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis
  • Any of the Anxiety States
  • Cold Injury
  • Stroke and Complications
  • Heart disease and complications
  • Osteoporosis (if the veteran has post-traumatic stress disorder)

If a former POW, who was held for 30 or more days, has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by their captivity:

  • Avitaminosis
  • Beriberi
  • Chronic Dysentery
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver
  • Helminthiasis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Malnutrition (including Associated Optic Strophy Deficiency)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Pellagra and any other nutritional deficiency
  • Peripheral Neuropathy (except where related to infectious causes)

Read more about disability compensation for former Prisoners of War

Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Gulf War with a condition at least 10 percent disabling by Dec. 31, 2016, may receive disability compensation for chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses. Included are medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms that have existed for six months or more, such as:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines warrants a presumption of service connection

Signs or symptoms of an undiagnosed illness include: fatigue, skin symptoms, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological symptoms, respiratory symptoms, sleep disturbance, GI symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, abnormal weight loss and menstrual disorders.

Read more about compensation for Gulf War veterans

Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in support of military operations. If a Vietnam veteran has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by exposure to Agent Orange:

  • AL Amyloidosis
  • Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
  • Chronic B Cell Leukemias
  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type II)
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, early-onset
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Cancers
  • Soft-tissue Sarcomas

The VA has also recognized that certain birth defects among veterans’ children are associated with their service in Vietnam or Korea. This includes:

  • Spina Bifida
  • Birth defects in children of women veterans

Read more about compensation for veterans exposed to Agent Orange

Veterans may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical and environmental hazards during military service, and may be entitled to disability compensation if exposure to these hazards resulted in a disease or injury. Examples include exposure to radiation, mustard gas, asbestos, burn pits, chemical fires and contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

Read more about compensation for military hazardous exposures