Reminder to Veterans, 
     You should never pay an individual or an organization to file your VA disability or pension claim.  There are organizations and individuals that will make you big promises for a high fee.  This is against the law ... this is criminal and if you hear of people doing this they should be reported to the VA Office of the Inspector General.  

     Also, make sure you have an Accredited Representative to help you file claims.  Gillespie County Veterans Service Officer, Tami King, is Accredited with the Texas Veterans Commission, VFW and American Legion, and National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. 

     Please share this information with other Veterans who may fall victim to these criminals.

VAMC Kerrville Shuttle to VAMC Audie Murphy, San Antonio - Reservations Required 

If you need to reserve the shuttle that will take you from VAMC Kerrville to VAMC Audie Murphy and back, you must make a reservation.   You should call the Travel Office at (830) 792-2418 for a reservation.  
The shuttle leaves the Kerrville campus at 7:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, and the return shuttle times from the Audie Murphy campus are the same.   You must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the shuttle. 

Changes to Shuttle Service from VAMC Kerrville to VAMC Audie Murphy San Antonio 

Effective April 1, 2020 and until further notice, the Kerrville VA Medical Center to Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital shuttle will follow the schedule below:

  • All patients requiring shuttle service must submit a request through the Travel Department, as the shuttle schedule will be on a case-by-case basis, depending on the needs of each patient. 
    • Patients should indicate if a non-medical attendant/caregiver is necessary to provide assistance at the patient’s appointment; i.e. bathroom support, meal support, other logistical support.
  • STVHCS will not accept walk-ons as there is no longer a set schedule.

For additional questions, please contact the Kerrville VA Medical Center Travel Department at (830) 792-2418.

Reminder:  Policy in place states do not bring along children under the age of 18 and no non-service animals on VHA property.  

Benefits Changes

July 2022:  DFAS Retiree Newsletter June 2022:  For Military Retirees - Great information in the newsletter:  Gray Area Retirees and how to plan to start your retired pay; An update on the SBP and DIC offset now in it's 2nd year, full pay received Feb 2023 for Surviving Spouses; New DFAS telephone local number. 

April 2022:  Texas Department of Housing and Community Affair:  Information on Fair Housing Rights and Section 8 Waiting List Opening May 2022 Housing Choice Voucher for Low Income Persons.  If you have questions, please contact the POC listed in the attachments. 

April 2022:  OPTICAL SHOP AT VAMC KERRVILLE:  PDS Consultants (formerly Korrect Optical) is directly across from the Eye Clinic on 3d floor at VAMC Kerrville.  Heather is the optician.  Call 896-2020, ext. 12037 for an appt.  Hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.   
The optical shop is open to Family (& children) members and Surviving Spouses of Veterans and they will need to bring a current RX for their glasses.  Exam must be done at a private optical shop.  Significantly cheaper to get glasses at this optical shop than at a private optical shop.  Family members do not have to provide ID nor do they have to be accompanied by their veteran.   
Veterans who are NOT ENROLLED IN VA Health Care can also use this service and there will be a charge, and you must bring a current RX prescription from a private optical shop.
Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care and you need a current Eye Exam, call for an appointment at: (830)792-2581.  After your exam you will then be seen at the Optical Shop to pick out your glasses.  If you have had an exam from a private facility and you have a CURRENT RX prescription then just make an appointment with the Optical Shop.   
This Optical Shop is not open to the public.  
March 2022:  VA Proposed List of Cancers for Veterans who served in the SOUTHWEST THEATER OF OPERATIONS  If you have been diagnosed with any of these cancers during active duty or following discharge (no time limits), please contact this VSO so we can file an Intent to File document.  Once you have all of the documents/records we will file the claim, but it could be 6-9 months following the publication in the Federal Register.  This is also a benefit for Surviving Spouse if the Veteran died with the primary or secondary contributing cause of one of these cancers.  

February 2022:  VA Health Travel Pay - Process Online with the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System: 

This is the link to the Travel Portal:

Then click on: Veteran Travel Claim Entry and sign in with the partner access you have signed up for.  Remember that if you do not process it at the VA Medical Facility the day of your appointment, to do it at home.  Reminder:  This benefit is only for Veterans with a Service Connected Disability of 30% or higher (for all VA Health appointments) OR for Veterans who are being seen for a Service Connected Disability that is rated at 20% or less. 
February 2022:  Veterans Enrolled in VA Health Care: What to do if you go to the Civilian Emergency Room - click her for Infograph. 
January 2022:  VA Health Copayment debt relief available now: Medical Debt Relief: American Rescue Plan Copayments for medical care and pharmacy services resumed on October 1, 2021. Financial relief is available to Veterans.  Due to the passage of the American Rescue Plan in March 2021, copayments for medical care and pharmacy services provided by VA from April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021, were canceled. If a payment was made to an account during this period, VA has issued a refund. For information on available debt relief options, please visit the Community Care Financial Hardship page or call the Health Resource Center.

Health Resource Center: 866-400-1238 Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. ET


For information on how to better understand your patient statement, please review Understanding your VA Patient Statement, VA Form 10-0246.

January 2022: Change to DV Texas License Plates & ADA Handicap Parking Spots:  As of January 1, 2022, anyone parking in a disabled parking space must have a disabled person license plate or a disabled parking placard that features the International Symbol of Access (ISA). Currently, disabled veteran license plates do not feature the ISA.
Texans with disabled veteran license plates wishing to use disabled parking spaces in 2022 may apply for a disabled parking placard or for a new disabled veteran license plate featuring the ISA. The veteran must meet the eligibility requirements for a disabled parking placard or disabled person license plate featuring the ISA. Not all disabilities that qualify a veteran for disabled veteran license plates will qualify a veteran for a disabled veteran license plate featuring the ISA.
As of January 1, 2022, you may apply for a disabled parking placard and/or disabled veteran license plate at the office of your local county tax assessor-collector. 
This is the link to apply for the ADA Placard:
November 2021:  VA statement on GPO printing and mailing delays:  Due to supply chain and staffing shortages, the vendor contracted by the Government Publishing Office to provide printing services for the Department of Veterans Affairs is experiencing delays in printing and mailing notification letters to Veterans and claimants. The disruption may impact the ability of some claimants to meet required deadlines via written correspondence with VA.  
In response to the mailing delays and to protect the best interest of claimants, the Veterans Benefits Administration is extending their response period by 90-calendar days for claimants with letters dated between July 13, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021.
If a claimant does not reply to a time-limited notification, such as, making an election of benefits or services, or reporting for a scheduled compensation and pension examination., VBA will not take adverse action to deny, reduce or terminate benefits and services unless: 1) the claimant is contacted and there is documentation of their right to respond; 2) the requested information has been received; or 3) the response period has lapsed. 

November 2021:  Veterans Day 2021 is on Thursday, Nov. 11th, 2021. This Veterans Day discounts list will continue to be updated as we learn of more nationally available Veterans Day discounts, meals or other ways businesses and organizations want to give back to Veterans. These Veterans Day discounts, free meals and other programs are being shared so that Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors are aware of all resources available to them.

October 2021:  Military Retirees, Disabled Veterans to See Largest Pay Raise in Decades for 2022
Article by Jim Absher - 
Military retirees and veterans receiving disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will see their paychecks go up by 5.9% for 2022, triggered by inflation and an annual adjustment to the federal Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). 
That annual adjustment has averaged around 1.5% for the last 10 years. 
The adjustment rate was announced Wednesday by the Social Security Administration. The VA is required by law to alter disability payment rates by that amount. While military retirement is not legally required to follow suit, the change is traditionally the same.
Retirement Pay Increase
For 2022, retired military members will see a $59 increase for each $1,000 of military retirement pension they receive each month.
Retirees who entered military service on or after Aug. 1, 1986, and opted for the Career Status Bonus (CSB/Redux retirement plan) have any COLA increases reduced by 1%, so they will see a smaller increase in 2022. They should see a monthly increase of only $49 per $1,000.
Survivors receiving Survivor Benefit Plan payments will see the same increase of $59 per $1,000 in their monthly payments.
VA Disability Increase
Disabled veterans will also get a bump. The average VA disability check will go up about $8.50 per month for those with a 10% rating, and $85.25 for those rated at 100%.
Other Federal Retirees and Beneficiaries
Military retirees and VA beneficiaries aren't the only ones who benefit from the COLA increase. Civil Service retirees and Social Security recipients also will see the 5.9% jump in their monthly checks.  For Social Security recipients, the monthly increase will mean an extra $91 per month for the average beneficiary.

DoD officials plan no further extensions for 

expired identification cards.  

Cards with expiration dates between 

Jan. 1, 2020  and July 31, 2021: 

 1. remain valid through Oct. 31, 2021, for active duty & dependents, as well as Reserve and Guard servicemembers and their dependents.

 2. remain valid through Jan. 31, 2022, for retirees, their dependents

Cardholders seeking to make an appointment for renewal can make appointments at the DoD’s online ID card office link: 

October 2021:  VA Extends Deadline for Gulf War Veterans to Claim Presumptive Disabilities to 31 Dec 2026:  The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the time limit for Gulf War veterans to claim presumptive disability for certain chronic illnesses related to their military service till 31 Dec 2026 (would have expired 31 Dec 2021).

The illnesses, commonly referred to as "Gulf War Syndrome," are considered "presumptive" by the VA, meaning veterans claiming a disability related to them are not required to prove they were caused by military service.  While there is no time limit for claiming disabilitybenefits from the VA in normal circumstances, some presumptive conditions do come with time restrictions.

Qualifications, time periods and area of operation are outlined on the attached handout. 

September 2021:  National Park passes - Free for Veterans:  Are you eligible?  For purposes of this program, a Veteran is identified as an individual who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following forms of valid (unexpired) identification:

For more information:

September 2021: Change to DV Texas License Plates & ADA Handicap Parking Spots:  Effective September 1, 2021, TX DV license plates recipients must hang the ADA placard in their vehicle to be able to park in ADA parking spaces. 
Effective December 1, 2021, the DMV will require every recipient to get the ADA placard application signed by their doctors, DMV will no longer issue it automatically.  
This is the link to apply for the ADA Placard:
August 2021:  VA to start processing disability claims for certain conditions related to particulate matter: The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin processing disability claims Aug. 2 for asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis on a presumptive basis based on presumed particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas — if these conditions manifested within 10 years of a qualifying period of military service.  
  1. Veterans must have served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning Aug. 2, 1990 to the present:   Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.       OR
  2. Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria or Djibouti beginning Sept. 19, 2001 to the present. 

This is the link to the press release :

May 2021:  There is a special program run entirely by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that provides up to $9,000 in funeral reimbursement assistance for COVID-related deaths.  For family members of Veterans, FEMA may cover funeral costs that VA does not.  If you know someone who may qualify, let them know financial reimbursement is available. You can find specific details on FEMA’s Funeral Expense Reimbursement Program here.  
JANUARY 2021:  UPDATE FOR RETIRED MILITARY WHO USE TRICARE SELECT (does not apply to those who are enrolled in Tricare Premium or Tricare for Life)
What to Do If you Have Been Disenrolled in Tricare Select?
  1.  If you have a diagnosis of one of these 3 medical conditions AND you meet the criteria of: on-ground in Vietnam, brown waters of Vietnam, Blue Water - within 12 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam, Korea DMZ, C-123 aircraft, Thailand base w/ exposure on the perimeter of the bases or handled Agent Orange somewhere in the world - contact my office.  
  2. What is needed for this claim:
    a.  Proof of the above: Diagnosis with medical records AND military record proof of where you were stationed and what your job was.
    b.  Let us know if you have previously filed a VA disability claim for one of the 3 conditions, and hopefully provide a copy of the denial letter.  Veterans can be paid retroactive monies back to 25 Sep 1985 based on the Nehmer Court Decision.
  3. Once we have the evidence required for the claim, we will file the claim and we WILL NOT wait on the VA to dictate when to start sending claims.  
December 2020:  Court Decision Blue Water Navy Agent Orange Claims for Veterans and Survivors  The U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and their Survivors on 5 Nov 2020. 
What does this mean for Veterans and their Surviving Spouses:
- Did a Veteran serve in the territorial waters of the Republic of Vietnam (within 12 nautical miles off the coast) between 9 Jan 1962 to 7 May 1975?
- Does the Veteran have a diagnosed Presumptive Agent Orange Disability?  See below list.
- Did the Veteran or Surviving Spouse file a disability claim with an effective date of 25 Sep 1985 or later for a Presumptive Agent Orange Disability that was denied by the VA?  Or did the Surviving Spouse file a DIC (Dependency Indemnity Compensation-For a Service Connected Veteran death) claim that was denied by the VA?

If the answer is yes to all of the questions above, please contact our office and we will tell you what you must provide and gather for a potential claim. 
November 2020:  Veterans Day 2020 is on Wednesday, Nov. 11th, 2020. This Veterans Day discounts list will continue to be updated as we learn of more nationally available Veterans Day discounts, meals or other ways businesses and organizations want to give back to Veterans. These Veterans Day discounts, free meals and other programs are being shared so that Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors are aware of all resources available to them. Due to COVID-19, some organizations are now offering discounts to Veterans all the time instead of their regular Veterans Day discounts. These adjustments help Veterans take advantage of the discounts offered while avoiding the usual Veterans Day crowds. A new section at the bottom of this story will list all the year-round Veterans discounts.
August 2020:  USAA giving $30M to help military families:  To support the military community and help mitigate the pandemic's impacts, USAA is donating $30 million to two dozen nonprofit organizations to offer relief and support. The Military Family Relief Initiative will help military aid organizations provide zero-interest loans and emergency grants to eligible service members, guardsmen, reservists and their families. The funding also will enhance veteran and spouse employment prospects and military family support efforts. This includes augmenting child-care costs for essential personnel; supporting virtual delivery of education, including online resources and content for parents; and emotional support for children.  Our goal is for this contribution to give military aid organizations a lasting benefit.  As interest-free loans are repaid, the funds can help new recipients well into the future. To Apply if you think your family would benefit from financial support via the military aid societies, visit:
August 2020:  How VA Helps Veteran Business Owners - an article from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

August 2020:  Order VA Prescriptions Early - Some mail delays.   Information from Connecting Vets: As veterans and VA staff report USPS prescription delays, officials say to order early:  The vast majority of Department of Veterans Affairs prescriptions are fulfilled by mail. But as U.S. Postal Service delays mount, more and more veterans are reporting long wait times to receive critical medication and VA staff says the problem is only growing. 

In fiscal year 2016, VA's mail-order pharmacy processed nearly 120 million outpatient prescriptions and VA provides about 80% of all its outpatient prescriptions to veterans by mail using seven "highly automated pharmacies," according to the department. The other 20% are filled at local VA medical facilities.   
VA's mail-order pharmacy system, the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP), processes nearly half a million prescriptions daily and each working day, more than 330,000 veterans receive a package of prescriptions in the mail. Veterans who live further from VA medical facilities, especially in rural and remote areas of the country, often depend on mail-order prescriptions. 
VA's website says prescriptions "usually arrive within three to five days" of being ordered or even an average of "60 hours from filling to delivery," and advises veterans to request refills at least 10 days in advance of running out. That estimate appeared consistent with the normal wait times veterans described to Connecting Vets, and some vets said they have yet to see significant delays. 
But in recent weeks, dozens of veterans said they faced wait times that have doubled, tripled or worse. Some reported wait times as long as three weeks or more for prescriptions that previously took a few days. None of them have been contacted by VA with an explanation, they said. 
Others said they saw delays in delivery of medical equipment, in addition to medications. 
A VA pharmacy chief described the USPS delays for prescriptions as "critical breaks in veterans' therapy," adding, "we are swamped with patient complaints over delivery delays." 
VA's online My HealtheVet tool allows veterans to track their mail-order prescriptions. For some veterans who spoke to Connecting Vets, their medications have been sitting at post office locations for nearly two weeks with no movement.   
USPS is now headed by a new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, who took over on June 15. DeJoy, issued a memo during his first month leading USPS which mentioned the Post Office's continued financial struggles and announced new policies, including that the Post Office would now accept delayed mail to save costs. 
"One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that — temporarily — we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks (in Processing and Distribution Centers), which is not typical," the memo reads, adding that USPS should avoid overtime payments caused by "late and extra trips." 
The memo, first reported by The Washington Post, directed employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers if it would delay carriers on their routes. USPS warned customers months before DeJoy took over that the coronavirus pandemic could cause mail delays. USPS is one of the country's largest veteran employers. 
Veterans and VA staff told Connecting Vets they did not begin seeing delays in mail-order prescriptions until July. 

January 2020: DOD Expanding Access to Commissaries, Military Exchange and Recreation Facilities for Disabled Veterans:  
Effective 1 Jan 2020, Veterans  with a Service Connected Disability, Purple Heart Recipients, Former Prisoners of War are eligible for access to Commissaries, Military Exchanges and MWR resale facilities.  To get onto base you MUST HAVE: a VA HEALTH ID CARD.  Honorable Discharged Veterans also are eligible to shop at military exchanges online.  See the attached information on how to apply and eligibility requirements.

click here for information ...

Key Messages on the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2109 (PL116-23) Agent Orange Claims:   This is the latest release from the VA about the new Blue Water Navy rules starting on 1 Jan 2020.  A couple of things to take note of that are not real clear in the attached message/talking points.   
• The veteran or surviving spouse MUST file a claim for exposure to herbicide toxins. They must list the current diagnosis, the ship they were on and when they were on it, to include the location if they know, and where they have or are receiving treatment for the claimed condition(s) 
• The dates for the Korea DMZ have been extended, all of the other current rules still apply the VA just extend the dates of exposure 
• The only thing the VA did for veterans in Thailand is add the condition of spina Bifida for their children if they meet all of the current requirements for tactical herbicide exposure at/on/or near the fence line in Thailand Airbases. 
• Waco RO will be one of the six national ROs that will get extra training and people to handle the development, rating, and promulgation of these claims 
If you believe you meet the criteria for a Blue Water Navy claim or you know of a Surviving Spouse that was denied DIC for a service connected death, please call for an appointment so we can direct you as to what you need to bring us for documentation.  

click here for information

Open Season for FEDVIP Dental and Vision Coverage Starts Soon:  The Federal Benefits Open Season begins on Nov. 11 and ends on Dec. 9. If you're eligible and considering enrolling in a dental or vision plan through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), you can now review 2020 plans and rates. If you're currently enrolled in a FEDVIP plan and don't want to make a change, you don't have to do anything. You'll automatically be enrolled in a 2020 plan, but you should still check that you understand any changes to your plan and plan costs. Read the full article.  Sign up for TRICARE email updates at  Connect with TRICARE on Facebook and Twitter at and  

CaptionCall Telephone program is designed for Veterans who have an APPROVED VA SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY FOR HEARING LOSS.   The phone is FREE and has a $250.00 value.   CaptionCall was designed specifically for people with hearing loss who are not able to effectively use the phone without the assistance of captions.  The CaptionCall phone displays captions of what your callers say on an easy to read touch screen built right into the phone. It also has powerful amplification (up to 121 dB without distortion) and custom audio settings to help you hear everything you can on the phone.  A skilled and friendly CaptionCall representative takes care of the installation in your home or office and teaches you exactly how the phone works. No worries about setting up the technology and no more struggling to understand the voice on the other end of your calls.  If you are interested in applying for this phone, please CALL for an APPOINTMENT at the Gillespie County Veterans Service Office at (830) 997-3758.  Our office will complete your application, and County Veterans Service Officers can certify your disability.   We also have a sample phone set up in our office for you to see.  

Click here for CaptionCall Brochure and information. 


On-Base Shopping Eligibility Expands January 1:  Beginning in the new year more than 3 million service-connected disabled veterans with VA ratings from zero to 90 percent will be authorized on-base exchange and commissary shopping privileges, as well as access to certain MWR facilities, but you must have a VA-issued Veteran Health Identification Card, or VHIC, to gain access. The VHIC is issued only to veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. You can apply online, or in person at your local VA medical facility. Family members of the newly eligible veterans will not be authorized to shop, but will be permitted on-base as guests of the VHIC-carrying veteran. Veterans who do not reside near a military installation can still shop online at the four military exchanges. Search for stores at ShopMyExchange, Marine Corps Exchange, Navy Exchange, and Coast Guard Exchange. Caregivers will be processed differently, initially, since they have no military or VA affiliation. The VA will post a memo to for caregivers to be used for access at the front gate, along with a driver’s license. This process is expected to transition to a caregiver-type ID card, which will have scanning swipe capability. One hundred percent disabled veterans, their spouses, and eligible dependents already have access because they are issued military identification cards.

June 2019:  Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Act:  On Wednesday June 25, 2019 President Trump signed the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Act".  This legislation will extend disability benefits to about 90,000 veterans who served off Vietnam’s coast during the Vietnam war.  The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 will extend the presumption of exposure to toxic defoliants such as Agent Orange to these service members. 
Key parts of the Act:   
a. Defines "Offshore" of Vietnam for the purposes of the benefit which is not more than 12 nautical miles seaward of a line commencing on the southwestern demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia and intersecting the following points - see the attached act.
b. Extends benefits to veterans exposed to Agent Orange on the Korean  Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), during the period beginning: on September 1, 1967, and ending on August 31, 1971.
c. Expands benefits to those suffering from spina bifida who had a parent who served in Thailand during the Vietnam war and were exposed to an herbicide (Agent Orange)  
The new law will pay for the presumptive benefits change — expected to total $1.1 billion over 10 years — with a new fee on certain VA home loans. Disabled veterans will be exempt from the extra cost. 

Click here to view the Act Document. 

Click here to view List of Presumptive Disabilities and the Specifics of the Act.  

Click here to read the VA Press Release - VA will not make decisions on these claims till after 01/01/2020. 

May 2019:  Information from the South Texas Veterans Health Care System:  Under the VA MISSION Act of 2018, Veterans can expect a variety of improvements to community care.  Eligibility criteria will be different, a new urgent care benefit will be provided, and improved customer service.  Learn more by reading the following documents: 

VA MISSION Act for Veterans 101 Visual Document

VA MISSION Act Frequently Asked Questions and Answers 

Veteran Community Care – Eligibility Information 

Veteran Community Care - General Information 

Enhanced VA Options Under the MISSION Act Brochure 


January 2019:  Blue Water Navy Veterans Court Decision - Urgent to Submit Intent to File:  Blue Water Veterans must have actually stepped foot on the land of Vietnam or served on its inland waterways anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 to be presumed to have been exposed to herbicides when claiming service-connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.  Some offshore vessels docked to the shore of Vietnam, operated in Vietnam's close coastal waters and sent smaller vessels ashore, or conducted operations on the inland waterways of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Evidence confirmed through military records must show that the Veteran was aboard one of these ships.  Blue Water Veterans who did not set foot in Vietnam or serve aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 must show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides during military service in order to receive disability compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.

1. Review the attached list of Agent Orange Disabilities.  If you have been DIAGNOSED with one or more disabilities, continue to the next steps. 
2. Fill out the Blue Water Navy Worksheet.
3. Fill out the attached VA form 21-22 and VA form 21-0966
(this will lock in your effective date). 
4. Call 830-997-3758 for an appointment to fax in the above 2 documents and obtain the DBQ's (Disability Benefits Questionnaires) for your private Physician to complete.  
5. Documents must be faxed in January OR if approved for the disability you will lose a month's pay if it is received February 1 or after.  
6. You will then be scheduled an appointment (when you have the physician documents completed) to process your formal claim.  

January 2019:  Delta Dental VA Dental Insurance Program is available to Veterans who are enrolled in VA Health Care, and if a Veteran's dependents are eligible for ChampVA health insurance, then the dependents are also eligible for this dental insurance.  For more information follow the links below:  




October 2018:  TRDP-The Retiree Dental Plan through Delta Dental goes away on 31 Dec 2018.  Multiple new plans are now available.  If you have a local dentist, please make sure you check with him/her if your selected new dental insurance is accepted before you elect it.  Open Season to Enroll is:  November 12 - December 10, 2018.  If you do not enroll during this time frame, you have to wait till next year during open season.  To decide which plan you want to enroll in for 2019, click below for the Link to TriCare Benefeds and FEDVIP plans and premiums.  

Click here for TriCareBenefeds Link

June 2018:  For Military Retirees - The (SSIA) Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance for Surviving Spouses is now a permanent benefit paid at $310.00 per month plus cost of living increase.  This pertains to Surviving Spouses who are entitled to receive DIC (VA serviced connected death benefit) and it offsets the SBP.  The $310.00 is a consolation prize because you cannot receive both.  

Click here for DFAS Retiree June Newsletter

June 2018:  Eligibility for an annual clothing allowance if you use a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance and/or medication for a service connected skin condition that causes permanent damage to your outer garments.  If you’re eligible, and you haven’t yet applied for this year, you need to act fast! If you have already submitted your application, then no further action is required on your part. Your application should be submitted on or before August 1, 2018. To apply, submit (in person, by mail, or fax) VA Form 10-8678, Application for Annual Clothing Allowance, to the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service at your local VA medical center.    Additional information on this benefit is available at

March 2018:  VA Health Care Travel Pay depending on VA Service Connected disability.  Who is eligible: Veteran must be enrolled in VA Health Care.  If you have VA Service Connected disability rated at 30%-100%, you may get travel pay for all medical appointments (labs, doctor appointments, etc.).  If you have VA Service Connected disability rated at or less than 30% (0%-20%), you may get travel pay for only service connected medical appointments.  Round trip Mileage is based on your home (not mailing PO Box address).  If you have filed a Service Connected Disability Claim, you will have a Disability Medical Exams (enrollment in VA Health care not required).  You will receive round trip mileage reimbursement for this exam.  For Veterans enrolled in VA Health Care, you should have a VA Health Photo ID Card to apply for your travel reimbursement at the kiosks located in the VA health facility or you must go to the Travel Office at the VA Health facility to apply for the reimbursement.  

click here for information


October 2017:  Retired Military:  Changes to the Tricare Checklist:  

click here for information 

September 2017:  VA Education Benefits:  If you are using Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) or Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program): As long as your enrollment was submitted by your school, no further action is necessary to receive continued payment.  If you are using Chapters 30 or 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill) or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): Continue to verify your attendance until further notice as if your school did not close.  This ensures continuation of your payments. Students may verify attendance using the WAVE website or by calling 1-877-VACERT.  If your school is open but you are unable to attend due to this event (e.g., displaced from your home), please contact your School Certifying Official as soon as possible to prevent possible overpayments.   
Please contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits. If you are unable to contact by phone, you can send a secure inquiry on the website using the “Submit a Question” button. 


August 2017:  Disaster Assistance for Veterans - Benefits Information Brochure available.  

click here for information

August 2017:  Assistance for Veterans with hearing loss to obtain a free Cap Tel Captioned Telephone.  The link below is the certification link to be certified by your physician or audiologist:  

Heroes with Hearing Loss Link

The link to Cap Tel:

The link to Heroes with Hearing Loss, resource site:


August 2017:  For Military Retirees- There are currently no changes projected to Tricare for Life (for age 65 and older).  Read the attached article about the changes to Tricare Standard and Tricare Prime for FY 2018 & 2019. 

click here for information

June 2017:  Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers:  for Post 9/11 Veterans who have a serious injury that happened in the line of duty after 9/11/2001.  It is a program that may pay family caregivers to care for the Veteran.  

click here for information

March 2017:  VA's rule establishes presumption of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in water supply at Camp Lejeune.  If anyone needs assistance with filing a claim, contact 830-997-3758. 

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February 2017:  Texas Veterans Land Board raises land loan limit to $150,000

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February 2017:  VA Health Eligibility Qualifications and New Prescription Copay Rates as of 27 February 2017.  

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January 2017:  New VA Disability Presumptives for Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water / Submit Claims Now.

Click here for press release. 

To clarify:  This affects the water sources of Camp Lejeune which includes MCAS New River, satellite camps and base housing areas.  
1.  If you served there during the dates specified, you need to find proof that you served there for 30 days or more of CUMULATIVE days of active duty (5 days, 10 days, 15 days or continuous 30 days).  Find copies of orders, training certificates, award citations, etc.  Put a copy of the PROOF in your file with my office.   This may require ordering your service records from the National Archives.
2.  If you have a diagnosis of one of the 8 disabilities listed, then the above info applies (find proof of service) and then contact me for an appointment so that I can give you the appropriate (DBQ) Disability Benefits Questionnaire for your physician to complete with supporting private treatment records.  


January 2017:  DoD Announces New Outreach Efforts to Veterans Regarding Discharges and Military Records

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December 2016:  Linked article outlines the latest change in the law that governs DFAS and the military taxing medical separation from the service due to combat related injuries since 1991.  Anyone who was separated from the military due to a combat related injury since 1991 was taxed by DFAS at the 25% rate, and they should NOT have been, congress has ordered DFAS to contact the veterans and inform them how to seek relief.  The VA sometimes recouped the money that was severance pay, but was not supposed to for combat injuries/conditions per the PEB/MEB/IDES paperwork.

click here for information...

September 2016:  VA Plan to Expand Disability Benefits Re: Proposed presumptive disabilities for Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC for at least 30 days during 1 Aug 1953 to 31 Dec 1987.

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August 2016:  VA Provides Service Dog Benefits to Veterans with Mental Health Disorders.

Gillespie County
Veterans Service Office
95 Frederick Rd Suite 200
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Telephone: (830) 997-3758
Fax: (830) 997-3245