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What Every Veteran Needs To Know: VA Health Care - Part 2 of a Series

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Last week we introduce this series with some specific answers to general questions often asked and just as often misunderstood. This week we jump into one of the "meatiest" of topics - VA Health Care.

VA Health Care

VA Medical Centers and Community Based Outpatient Clinics

VA Medical Centers provide a wide range of inpatient, outpatient and residential mental health services for veterans. VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics provide medical services and medication management for enrolled veterans. These services may include primary care, behavioral health care, and other special programs. Staff at these clinics can also provide assessment and referral to more specialized services in the community or at the nearest VA Medical Center. You may contact your nearest VA Medical Center for general information, or ask for the program representative for additional information about the programs offered.

Locate a VA Medical Center or Clinic


VA Health Benefits

VA provides a standard enhanced health benefits plan available to all enrolled veterans and maintains an annual enrollment system to manage the provision of quality hospital and outpatient medical care and treatment. VA provides every active-duty service member, Reservist or National Guard member who serves in a theater of combat operations two years of free health care beginning on the date of discharge or release from service for all illnesses and injuries unless clearly unrelated to military service. At the end of the two-year period, these veterans have the same eligibility for VA medical care as veterans of earlier conflicts, and co-payment status will depend on whether illness or injury is found to be service-connected.

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Provides a Number of Health Care Services

Hospital, outpatient medical, nursing home, and community-based residential care
Dental, pharmacy, mental health, and prosthetic services
Medical evaluation for military service exposure to environmental hazards
Readjustment counseling
Alcohol and drug dependency treatment
Sexual trauma counseling
Specialized health care for women veterans
Health and rehabilitation programs for homeless veterans

For Information on Health Care Benefits And Services

Telephone: (877) 222-8387

For Information on Health Care Eligibility

Telephone: (800) 929-8387

Online Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ)


VA Forms and Publications


Locate a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic


VA Medical Centers Located in Our Area


VA New York Harbor Health Care System Brooklyn Campus

800 Poly Place
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 836-6600

Bronx VA Medical Center

130 W Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 584-9000

VA New York Harbor Health Care System New York Campus

423 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 686-7500

St Albans Primary & Extended Care Center

179th St. and Linden Blvd.
St. Albans, NY 11425
(718) 526-1000

VA Medical Center Northport

79 Middleville Road
Northport, NY 11768
(631) 261-4400

Locate a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic


VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics Located in Our Area

Brooklyn (Chapel Street)
Queens (Thomas P. Noonan)

My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet provides access to trusted health information, links to VA benefits and resources, a Personal Health Record, online VA prescription refills, and much more. In the future, registered users will be able to view appointments, copay balances, and key portions of their VA medical records online. Website:

Health Insurance

TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. Telephone: (877) 874-2273 (TRICARE North Region) Website:

Health Care for Women

Each VA Medical Center has a Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) who helps women understand their benefits, and coordinates their care. The Women Veterans Program Manager can assist women veterans in establishing their eligibility, understanding their benefits, and obtaining their health care in VA system. The Women Veterans Health Program provides a full range of medical and mental health services, including:
Primary care
Reproductive health
Gynecology services
Patient education
Preventive health screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer and osteoporosis
Screening, counseling, and treatment for sexual trauma, substance abuse, PTSD and domestic violence
Vocational rehabilitation
Homeless programs
Transition assistance separating from military duty

For more information contact your local VA Medical Center's Women Veterans Program Manager.

Women Veterans Health Program


The Center for Women Veterans


DoD Deployment Health & Family Readiness Library

This library provides servicemembers, families, veterans and health care providers an easy way to quickly find deployment health and family readiness information. Website:

Do Not Forget

To find out more about what you might be entitled, contact a veterans service officer from the veteran service organization to which you are a member. You can also contact me at the Town of Oyster Bay's Veterans Services Division at (516) 733-8414. The Town of Oyster Bay is located in the VA's NY/NJ Veterans Healthcare Network - VISN 3 (Veterans Integrated Service Network 3). If you prefer, you can contact the VA directly. For information on Health Care Benefits and Services: Telephone: (877) 222-8387. For information on Monetary Benefits (Disability Compensation, Education, Loan Guaranty, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Insurance): Telephone: (800) 827-1000


To answer the question one might ask, "Why didn't you comment on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson's resignation?" Who resigned just this week. Since we have no idea who will be his replacement, two thoughts come immediately to mind. Is it a matter of "Goodbye and Good Riddance!" Or, might it be "From the Frying Pan into the Fire!!!" Let's wait and see.

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt