Veterans have multiple resources for COVID-19 information


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Veterans have multiple resources available for the latest COVID-19, or coronavirus, information.

Here are several resources.

Federal government response

The overall federal government response is at https://www.coronavirus.gov/. This page offers the most updated health-related guidance and information on coronavirus.

VA resources

For the latest VA updates on coronavirus and commonsense tips on preventing its spread, visit https://www.va.gov/coronavirus.

For the latest blogs about coronavirus, visit https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/?s=covid-19.

Rumor control

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is working with the Department of Health and Human Services for COVID-19 pandemic response. As of March 20, 2020, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories and one tribe are working directly with FEMA under the Nationwide Emergency Declaration for COVID-19.

FEMA has a rumor control page at https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-Rumor-Control. The page addresses the latest myths, giving people the latest facts–versus myths–on the federal response.

The agency also has a page about donations and volunteering at https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.

CDC information

The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, offers information about protecting a person and what a person should do if sick. There are also resources for the community covering travel, schools, childcare, business, and community and faith-based organizations. The page also offers the latest information on the number of cases in the U.S.

For more information about coronavirus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Food and drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers the latest information on their site at https://www.fda.gov/coronavirus. The administration is monitoring medical product and food supply chains for potential shortages and disruptions. This page has news about new policies regarding ventilators, testing kits, monitoring vital signs and more.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has information about food safety and pet safety at https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.

Blood donations

The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets. This helps maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as coronavirus cases rise in the U.S.

People can make an appointment to donate blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Type O and platelet donations are especially needed right now.

Financial issues

The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has a page helping people avoid coronavirus scams at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing.

Unfortunately, some people are taking advantage of fears surrounding coronavirus. The FTC page lists tips such as knowing who to buy from online, robocalls and online offers for vaccinations. There’s also helpful information on responding to fake government officials. This ranges from responding to text and emails about checks from the government to experts saying they have information about coronavirus.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also has information about protecting finances at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus. The site educates people on consumer complaints, protecting credit, dealing with debt and more.

Small Business

The Small Business Administration (SBA) assists small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their preparedness plans as described by the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers.

Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here to apply.

The SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses. Use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.

SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to use when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.

Housing information

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers information at https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus. This includes relief for homeowners and information for HUD assisted residents.

Social security and Medicare information

Veterans receiving social security can stay up-to-date with the latest at https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/. The site has frequently asked questions about benefits.

Medicare offers their latest updates at https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus. The page covers information about lab tests, medical hospitalizations and a Medicare Advantage Plan.

State information

People can find out what’s going on in their state at https://www.usa.gov/state-health.


Editor’s note: This post was last updated March 26, 2020.

Author

Adam Stump

Adam Stump is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He is a retired Air Force Veteran who served 20 years, including two deployments to Afghanistan for detention operations and special operations.

Comments

  1. cheryl rausin    

    I think all of us that have half a brain left, should fire ALL our representatives (both parties), for their inability to accomplish any meaningful legislation in the years of trump’s presidency. I never cared to work hard at my former jobs either, but I wasn’t voted into the positions that were open. I never made promises I couldn’t keep, and never managed to give myself a nice raise in income, nor bestow myself with luxury benefits, to last a lifetime. You sound like you would make a great politician. You have common sense, and use critical thinking skills. You would need to lose those qualities, if you were elected, though. Nobody wants a ” smart politician.” You might come up with a good idea for something that would benefit the country.The politicians in washington, just want ideas that benefit them.

  2. nadia Benne    

    VA choice health care program option care outside va

  3. nadia    

    Sign up for choice health care program options to seek medical care outside va

  4. Marty    

    I’m laying in the ER in the VA ER in SC as I type because I thought I had a heart attack earlier today. Not one word about potential Covid19 has been asked nor even remotely suggested as of yet. No testing…nothing. I’m not really even convinced they really care about my heart at this point. I’ve been here 2 hours. I’m pretty close to giving up and heading to a civilian hospital and telling them I’m having a heart attack.

    1. John Cannon    

      The VA In Toledo,Ohio is not doing anything .They don’t have any test KITS or any knowledge of blood SERUM testing to determine if someone has developed anti-bodies to the virus and could be of help on the front lines .They have battened down the hatches there and have shut down.

  5. James Edward Fauntleroy    

    I’ve been to 6 VA Medical centers over the last 20 years. In most you have non veterans working at them that have no fear of losing their jobs so they do the bare minimum to assist the people that helped create the jobs they have. I’d say that maybe 10% of the employees at the VA medical centers really care about veterans the other 90% are just waiting for retirement. That goes not only for medical care but also for applying for benefits. Some things are very obvious yet they do as the insurance industry does….deny deny and deny again. Hoping frustration takes over and you give up. Money has been allocated to hire more people yet nothing seems to have changed. WHY?

  6. Richard Jamirson    

    I have a great Idea, The virus is most dangerous the older you get. Let us ask retired Doctors and Nurses to risk their lives and treat infected patients. Boy I am smart. I should be a Politian.

  7. Richard Jamirson    

    A) Stay away from all hospitals and dr offices unless it is an emergency. That is the best place to get the virus, B) the best way is to get a number from the dr or hospital and get in a drive thru testing line. If you don’ die while in line. To get the the number they use the information you give them.
    I went the St. louis VA er and it took 5 hours to see a dr (twice). I had a heart attack and went to a civilian er and they immediately transferred me to St. Louis VA. They billed me $5000 for the er and $3000 FOR THE AND AMBULANCE ride. The VA refused to pay anything. The ST Louis VA hospital took great care of me once I got there. I live 100 miles away.

    DON”T go to the VA after 4PM or on weekends. They service but only during working hours. Bring a go bag with food especially if you are being admitted to the VA hospital!

  8. Rick Denny    

    Can anyone explain why there is a rumor that VA hospitals are Closed ??? Especially the new puzzle palace hospital in Denver ??? Why cant’ the VA get out there on the news smedia and let Vets know ??

    1. VA Dylewski    

      Get this. I was talking to a neighbor when the postman walked by. I asked him why I was getting any mail lately. He stated
      someone had called the post office & told them that I and the house down back (they have a right thru my property ) has the
      coronavirus. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. The post office completely shut off my mail without notification & without prope
      medical documentation. I am 100% disable vet who served over 35 years in the military & receives all my meds thru the mail, a Federal DOD retired employee & senior citizen. I had zero knowledge of what bills I missed, appointments missed, notices, meds, etc. due to some action I was completely unaware of.
      Before any sort of action is taken on anything, proper documentation should be provided by the authorized licensed officials not by hysterial ignoramus media driven prejudice people who know nothing but suddenly become experts on everything.
      I consider this action very stressful and irresponsible on all party involved.
      .

  9. Fred Sendek    

    I don’t understand all the griping, or maybe I am just lucky, but I have been receiving excellent care by the VA hospital in Saginaw Michigan. Yes, there is a little spread between appointments, and yes there is a little arrogance here and there, but for the whole, I am happy with their service.

  10. Isabella Shores    

    The first step in the test is a nasal swab. The second step is a blood test to rule out an elevated white blood cell count which is an indication of bacterial pneumonia. I received my lab results and have been informed I have a “slightly elevated white blood cell count.” What was I told to do? Come back in five weeks for retesting. Technically I could die in five weeks. Thanks Mr. President.

  11. David    

    I am a Vietnam graduate. I am 100% service connect disabled. I requested to be changed from a specific provider. The Doctor I am now assigned too (DR Mattocks) is very good. She views me as a patient. She provides great medical attention. I kept griping until I finally found a provider that was actually my health provider. Has it been easy, no. I began my journey with the VA during August 1978. In the beginning when I sought treatment for PTSD the VA Doctor I had a case nerves. I write letters to prove I contacted the VA. I wrote my Senators, I wrote the Hospital Director, I saw the social worker, I contacted (in person visit copy of visit requested) letters. Be a paint in the behind. I retired from the Army 1/08/1978.

  12. Gabriel flores    

    Is this guy serious? He just spoke without saying anything. “Contact our provider” ? Duh! Good luck brothers and sisters let’s hope these people start helping instead of giving us some b.s like this. This guy is fcking kidding me smh

  13. Norman    

    The VA in Manila is experiencing difficulty getting medications to veterans outside Manila due to lock down and reduced Air 21 delivery service. However, under the presidential decree, essential travel includes medication and supplies are not prohibited by travel restrictions. These two seem to mean the VA in Manila can find a way to get medication delivered to those who need it. Thus far, no solution is in sight and may require some attention from someone higher up.

  14. Pamela Bozkurt    

    Where is the information on how Veterans can get testing for COVID-19? I’ve spent so much time going back and forth on this part if the site or that….a never ending loop. I’ve called my closest VA Hospital and they simple suggest I stay home. I was told they were never given a directorate on what to do if you’re feeling sick and want to get tested and treated.

    1. Mr E    

      There is a reason there isn’t clear guidance on this site for testing. Read between the lines.

      1. Kim Williamson    

        100% no information on how vets can get tested. No provision for vets to use the “free” testing that will then have the labs that process that “free” test and bill your insurance company (they couldn’t tell me how much that would be) and have no set up with the VA to be reimbursed. Absolutely ridiculous. Stay home is great but if you have symptoms it would be good to know you could get access to testing that is covered.

  15. Felisa Rousseau    

    I agree. I’m a federal employee and veteran. Had a soldier walk in my office listed for quarantine. He had been walking several installations for answers. When I relayed the info to my supervisor and requested to be tested. She said he only needed quarantine and not positive for COVID 19. But he had not been tested. She stated I could get tested if I wanted but at my own expense. After screening, did not qualify for testing. I work in Asia. Seems many people are covering their behinds.

  16. Robert Perez-PEREZ    

    @ all of you bloggers.
    Contact your congressman. You will get immediate positive results..

  17. Larry Pfannenstiel    

    I hope the VA is ready for guys with the virus! We’ve lost too many soldiers as it is! Do your job, make us proud not angry!

  18. Jeffry Brumbach    

    We spend a lot of tax dollars supporting these various “online” sites. We create new jobs within the Veterans Administration annually. I am a late Korean veteran who served with two different divisions in Korea.

    In 1976 I had received minor service from the VA Hospital in Reno, Nevada. I had not returned until 2016 to access service. I was tested for hearing loss. I was scheduled to be fitted with hearing Aids which had been made for me. I arrived for the final fitting, and was told I could not pick them up because I needed to be “rerated”.

    I was assigned a patient “advocate” to Assist me in working through the system. He told me it was hopeless at this point in my life. Immediately following, he handed me a form to rate the appointment! That was it. Since then there has been no response.

    For my place in life my health is great, however, there are and will be Times I need some medical attention. Please advise me what avenue I can take to correct this situation. Sincerely, Jeffry Brumbach

    1. Amber    

      Well since he said your issue is useless then so should his job be! He should have found a way to help you and if he can’t then that job needs to be eliminated and new jobs made to make sure veterans are advised of any and all help available to them. We should all have a case worker who helps us step by step getting benefits and needs available to us! It’s like we have to go on an Easter egg hunt to find them, Since his job title is useless at this point to vets that salary should be given to assist veteran in need of essential medical stuff that way we don’t have to wait for them to re-evaluate how not to help

  19. Clint Trial    

    Focus on our older generation combat veterans first.

  20. Harry Boomhower    

    I do not have much faith in the VA. In January I went to the ER at the VA hospital in Cheyenne. Intake guy was rude and appeared to have a chip on his shoulder. I have run across this many times at that location. I have always thought, “Buddy, if it were not for me and my brothers, you would not even have a job.” I think govt. employees know it is an extremely small chance they will ever be fired, so they do as little as possible. Last fall, in another visit to that ER, I waited 3 hours to see a doctor. She was in a staff meeting and could not be bothered.

    Two years ago, I went to that location for a cardiac stress test. A guy wandered in, did not introduce himself, and sat down at a computer. He was unshaven for several days, had on a dirty shirt, jeans, and muddy work boots. After he left, I asked who the bum was. She said, “that was the cardiologist!” Jesus wept.

    I would like to see something done about the drug costs. I pay around $2,000 a year for my VA drugs, which is really tough when all we have is social security. VA says we make too much money for them to pay me mileage for my 125 round trip to the VA.

    1. Teresa Rosser    

      Amen and AMEN! I’ve had some of the rudest, unkind men, and women take care of me at my WORST times at the VA Hospital in Portland, OR. I have complained sooo many times I’m blue in the face! I am a 50% service connected woman with PTSD/MST. I am also a LPN as well. The red tape you have to wade through to get a job on the hill is plain ole RIDICULOUS!! All the while, when ”one our own” is smoking marijuana on the job pushing his own fellow Veterans in the Patient Transport Dept (and is illegal to be, 1st, smoking marijuana on the job, and 2nd it’s not legally recognizes in Federal Facilities)!! He only gets a slap on the hand, put on “desk duty” and will have to test randomly for the next 2 years?? What the fork??

      All the while, me as an upstanding citizen and NURSE can’t get a job up there because of all the forming RED TAPE to wade through. It’s full on appalling how those people “hide behind the labor union”!!! What the hell? I’ve been in a position to have to in charge of 26 Grandmas and Grandpa’s (and I mean that in the sweetest and most respectful sense) with no CNA, or Caregiver!! But I have no one to lobby for me!! They system is broke and really NEEDS tooling and overhauling.

      I served my country honorably as a HT3, when I got out. I’m an beyond saddened by where the system is in Portland m, OR and it could really use some serious attention to detail. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% grateful for the care I get up there, but something needs to be done to get the lazy no good folks out of there and get some talented new men and women up there. Thin the fat herd is what I mean…

      With the greatest respect and honor to all those who served and died for my freedom, I am sincerely in your dept forever AMEN!

  21. Hal Smith    

    You know what? We no longer need any information. That is everywhere. What we need is tests for all veterans. And the commander in chief needs to resign. Never have I seen such incompetance and phony leadership.

  22. Luther J Hipps    

    How does a Vet get a test if they have symptoms?

  23. Marvin Johnson    

    Thank you for all the helpful information.

  24. Kenneth Green    

    Yeah, my impression is the VA has lots of info. but NO clinical care. Something very fishy here. Wouldn’t be the first time govt has lied to us, heh ?

  25. Carolina Pacheco    

    I have been trying to get my anxiety medication since last September, I have sent several messages through my healthyvet because my othet V.A. doctors felt I was depressed and suicidal so I messaged my Telehealth psychiatrist Dr. FIFE at the El Paso, Texas V.A. but her nurse keeps blocking her from getting the secure message that I needed to get an appointment because she forgot to make the follow up even though all my other Doctors have sent recommendations to her through my online records, so please if you can’t get through on secure message during normal times what should be expected now.

  26. Marie May    

    The VA is not testing in Corpus Christi TX. They are referring people to the city Health department who is excluding people if no direct contact with a known positive or no fever regardless of my VA Dr. requesting I get tested.

    If the VA is really there to help VETs get the testing available to all VA clinics and hospitals. If a doctor recommends a test it should be done and we shouldn’t have to rely on the city, county or state to screen and ultimately deny testing against a VA doctors recommendation.

  27. Nuuanu lee    

    The VA NEEDS TO ACTIVATE THE FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM NOW. These veterans need help now more then ever. The fact that this program was not offered to a Vietnam veteran from the start is just ridiculous.

    1. John Dilley    

      Nope, just par for the course.

  28. Danna Warner    

    All this info on COVID-19 except where to go for help if you have it or the flu. My brother whom is also a disabled combat veteran has called his VA many times and they will not even call him back and tell him what to do and he has been sick for a week. The only time he actually got someone on the phone at the VA there in Oklahoma they told him, “if you stop breathing call and ambulance”. You must do better than blatant disregard for veterans lives. They don’t even try to hide it really. They put up all this BS info to kind of appear to care but when help is actually needed, they don’t even get on the phone.

    1. John    

      Danna, your Veteran *should* be eligible for ER treatment free of charge if he needs immediate care, and cannot be seen by your local VA. Also try requesting a local Doctor if your VA is more than 50 miles away, or if it is unable to see him now. I hope that helps. Please keep in mind, I’m NOT an expert on these things. I’m offering my advice only. I’m a disabled Veteran also, struggling with similar issues on getting seen when I need to be. God bless and keep your head up

    2. Sheri Smith    

      Use the regular hospital. If the VA won’t respond then there are civilian health care options.

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