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From Chuck Weber, your Veteran Service Officer...

COVID 19 Impacts on VA

VA Regional Offices
- VA made the decision to close its regional offices (VAROs) to the public, postponing hearings for the duration of the national emergency

MISSION Act (Community Care) -  VA is not pausing these during the COVID-19 outbreak.

VA Hospital Preps - VA is bracing for a potential surge of 1 million veterans infected, based on a “worst case” scenario that up to 1 in 5 of its mostly elderly population of veterans will need coronavirus care.

VA Visitation - VA closed visitation at its 134 nursing homes and 24 spinal cord injury centers to protect elderly and vulnerable patients and screened patients for symptoms of the virus before they entered facilities.  Many VA medical facilities have cancelled public events for the time being, and VA is urging all visitors who do not feel well to postpone their visits to local VA medical facilities. Facilities have also been directed to limit the number of entrances through which visitors can enter. Upon arrival, all patients, visitors, and employees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure.

Previously Scheduled VA Appointments - VA is encouraging all veterans to call their VA facility before seeking any care — even previously scheduled medical visits, mental health appointments, or surgical procedures before proceeding to any appointment.

VA Cemeteries/Burials - All U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries are open and will continue to provide interments for Veterans and eligible individuals. However, effective March 23 — as part of the agency’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) — committal services and the rendering of military funeral honors will discontinue until further notice. Immediate family members (limited to no more than 10 individuals) of the deceased may witness the interment if requested.  Certain portions of a cemetery typically open to the public, such as public information centers or chapels, may be closed to the public. Contact your local cemetery for updates regarding closures.   For more information, contact NCA at 202-891-9987. Veterans can call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117 or schedule a burial arrangement online at https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/schedule-a-burial/ .

VBA Debt.   If you are affected by the COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS), have a VBA benefit debt and need temporary financial relief, please contact the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) at 1-800-827-0648 to request assistance.  Refer to https://www.va.gov/debtman for additional info.

Got COVID 19? - Before visiting local VA medical facilities, community providers, urgent care centers, or emergency departments in their communities, veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms — such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath — are encouraged to call their VA medical facility or call MyVA311 (844-698-2311, press #3 to be connected).


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