Service Officer's Corner
The Collin County Veteran Services Office is a department of Collin County. We are not part of the Veterans Administration nor funded by them. We are your ADVOCATE and can assist you or represent you in dealing with the Veterans Administration.
The Veteran Services Office serves veterans and their dependents with the filing of complex claims for the various benefits they are eligible to receive. The Service Officer holds numerous accreditation with a service organization and attend mandatory training conferences two times a year to stay abreast of the ever changing laws and regulations concerning veterans.
The advocacy doesn't stop after the filing of a claim. We continue to follow the progress of the claims process with the Veteran/Dependent throughout the often lengthy time it takes the VA to reach a decision. Services offered include:
- Compensation or Pension
- Disability Retirement
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
- Appeal to Board of Veterans Appeal
- Hospital and Outpatient Benefits
- Texas Veterans Land Board Programs
- Texas Veterans Commission
- Texas State Cemetery Program
- Texas Veterans Homes
- Educational Benefits
- Vocational Benefits
- Debt Waivers
- Obtaining or replacing Military Awards
- Obtaining Lost Military Records
- Review of Military Discharge
- Claims for Insurance Payments
- Burial Allowance
The new eligibility criteria will be a major improvement over existing criteria in terms of making things simpler: currently, eligibility criteria vary between VA’s community care programs. When the new criteria go into effect, Veterans can expect better access and greater choice in their health care, whether at VA or through a community provider.
The eligibility criteria are projected to go into effect in June 2019 after final regulations are published and effective, so the criteria are not yet final. In addition, key aspects of community care eligibility include the following:
- Veterans must receive approval from VA prior to obtaining care from a community provider in most circumstances.
- Veterans must either be enrolled in VA health care or be eligible for VA care without needing to enroll to be eligible for community care.
- Eligibility for community care will continue to be dependent upon a Veteran’s individual health care needs or circumstances.
- VA staff members generally make all eligibility determinations.
- Veterans will usually have the option to receive care at a VA medical facility regardless of their eligibility for community care.
- Meeting any one of six eligibility criteria listed below is sufficient to be referred to a community provider—a Veteran does not have to meet all of them to be eligible. (Real-world examples of when a Veteran would be eligible for community care are included in the eligibility fact sheet linked at the end of the article).