First, an update on the VA’s efforts to provide the COVID-19 vaccinations: At the Jan. 7 VA Togus town hall meeting they reported that they have vaccinated the resident veterans in the Community Care facility and the healthcare workers. On Jan. 6, they started vaccinating out patient veterans starting with those over 85 and who have at least five or more high risk medical conditions. They will then address 85 and older with four, then three, then two high risk medical conditions. Then they will go to the 75 and older with five or more conditions, and so forth. They are using their computer records to identify those who meet the requirements and will outreach to the veterans for appointments. But, if you feel you want to ensure the VA is aware of your interest in getting a vaccine, you can “self-identify” by going to www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed. They are anticipating the ability to provide vaccinations to all veterans by late spring. VA Togus is only providing the Moderna vaccine and are only receiving between 200 and 300 vaccines per week. With over 40,000 veterans in the system, there is optimism that the availability of vaccines will increase significantly. They did report that if you have had COVID-19, you should still get a vaccine. At this time, unfortunately, those who use ChampVA will not be able to get vaccinated by the VA.
If you are rated at 30% or over disabled, you are eligible to received travel pay to and from your VA appointments. In the past, you would go to the travel office at Togus and file the claim. They have switched to filing claims only online. This past week, after hours of trying and a call to the VA, I finally figured out how to file the claims online. The process starts by going to www.access.va.gov. Since this process requires access to a computer and the ability to navigate a not simple process, the Legion is setting up the capability to assist in the process at the Hall. Next week we will provide information how that will work. In addition, the VA has provided a “how to” video to assist in that process. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you the video. In addition, the VA/Togus has an office to assist in the process as well. That person is Mike Miranda at (207) 623-8411 ext 2255 or Michael.email@example.com
The next event at the Hall will be the “4 Chaplain Ceremony.” We will be limiting attendance to ensure compliance with CDC and state guidelines. If you are interested in attending, call the Hall at 633-4487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The next Post meeting will be Zoom only on Feb.8.