Returning Service Members - VA Central Ohio Healthcare System
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VA Central Ohio Healthcare System


Returning Service Members

American Soldier with US Flag Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center (Columbus VA ACC) is grateful to the men and women who risk their lives to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places around the world.

About our Program

The Columbus VA ACC is committed to ensuring our returning service members and their families make a seamless transition back to civilian life. As part of our efforts we fully support the Department of Defense in these efforts. Our OEF/OIF/OND team works closely with all branches of the service to ensure access to services within the VA are timely and comprehensive, while assisting the family members with information and linkage to needed resources.  An OEF/OIF/OND Post Deployment Integrated Care Clinic is located at the Columbus VA ACC to best serve returning Veterans in the area. The team is committed for accessible services and have extended appointment hours that range Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Columbus VA ACC has assembled and implemented a Veteran Outreach Program leveraging its mobile medical unit which consists a driver/enrollment specialist, Nurse-LPN and a Provider-Nurse Practitioner. The mobile medical unit is in the community supporting various events such as, but not limited to; county fairs, Welcome Home ceremonies, rural VSO events, and community events in the 13 county catchment area that involves Veterans and their family members.  More recently the Columbus VA ACC is working closely with local Universities in order to provide enrollment and primary medical care to OEF/OIF/OND Veterans on campus. This initiative will include initially Columbus State, Ohio State University and Ohio Dominican University.  There are ongoing outreach efforts by the OEF/OIF/OND team to expand this service to veterans on additional college campuses.

There is ongoing and continual support of the OHIOCARES* initiative which is a collaboration of state and local agencies supporting the behavioral health of returning Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Veterans and their families. In addition, the OEF/OIF/OND team continues to be an active participant in the  Inter-Service Family Assistance Council (ISFAC). This Council is particular to the needs of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans and their families along with actively drilling National Guard and Reservists from every branch of the Military throughout the state of Ohio.  Lastly, there is VA representation on the ODVS Woman Veteran Advisory Board, the City of Columbus Veterans Advisory Board, and involvement with nationally recognized Armed Forces Day Luncheon, Veterans Day Parade, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame and the Ohio Women Veterans Conference.

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.