Veterans: VA is here for you during COVID-19 — call us

We will see and treat you even if you are not yet enrolled in VA health care


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VA has always been here for Veterans, and we will continue to be here for you during the COVID-19 crisis. We will see and treat any Veteran — even if you are not yet enrolled in VA health care — but please call us first. Here is a message from Dr. Richard Stone, Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration and a former U.S. Army combat physician.

My name is Rich Stone, and I have the honor of serving as the Executive in Charge of the Veterans health care system. My message today is for America’s Veterans.

We know that this is a time of great concern, and for many of you that are in communities that may not get all of your health care from us — that go to community physicians — some of your community physicians are not available.

We want you to call us. Even if you haven’t come in to get care from us for the condition you’re concerned about, call us. We’re here. We will continue to be here every day. And we will work to make sure that your health care needs are taken care of. And if we need to see you, our doors are open. We will be happy to see you.

For those Veterans that haven’t enrolled in care yet: if you are in need of care, come in and see us. Call us first, but come in and see us and we’ll work on your enrollment after we take care of your acute health care need.

This COVID crisis can create a lot of anxiety, and one of the things we’re trying to do is to take down that anxiety by making sure you know that across this nation, that we are here for every Veteran that needs us. Thank you.


For the latest VA updates on COVID-19, visit va.gov/coronavirus.

Author

VAntage Point

Comments

  1. Joseph lewis    

    Good morning or good afternoon, in November 9th 2019 I came home from work which I was self employed at that time, as I walk to the kitchen I fell to the floor, I had a aneurysm and was flown from my residents to the hospital in a helicopter and stayed in the hospital for a month, in January 13th 2020 I had to go back down for a clipping, am going thru severe head aces, ringing in my ears and off balance when I try to tie my shoes . I applied for Disability thru SSID and was denied, so I am in the process of writing up appeal application, I have not work snice November 9th to present day. I am a Veteran as I served with the Marine Corp with a honorable discharge, what I am asking is a voice to help me or represent me thru this difficult time that I am going thru. Is there a chance that you my know of someone that can help me, what ever information you may need I can send it to you ( medical records, work history, DD214 etc…) I would be more then willing to send it to you.

    God Bless, Joseph

  2. Larissa Richmond    

    His statement sounds nice, but it doesn’t ring true. I’m an existing VA patient, and I’m unable to be seen right now due to the Covid crisis. The VA hospital locally is canceling appointments and refusing to refer patients to outside providers.

    1. william barrett    

      I have recently had blood test with high PSA numbers which is an indicator of possible cancer and they wont let me see anybody for exams or tests to determine if it is so or what actions need to be taken. haven’t even been able to speak with a physician , say she has been out. earliest date for me is in July. that may be too late.

  3. Charles Lee Heppner    

    Where’s my freakin’ comment?

    1. SHEILA R TWITE    

      It’s hogwash that “their here for us!’ In SD they cancelled my injections on March 16th, long before we ever even had any cases in SD. They wanted me there the following week for a annual visit, which didn’t make any sense. Today they called and cancelled my rescheduled injection appointments that were supposed to be on May 6th. By my appointment in July I will have gone 6 months without my injections for pain! This is ridiculous even though I understand how the medical people must feel and that providers can’t necessarily change anything. Is the civilian world not seeing patients either?

  4. Charles Lee Heppner    

    The Republican Party is obsessed w/ privatizing the VA, hence they’re always under-funding it and imposing Federal hiring freezes on VA employees. The GOP also want to privatize Soc.Sec., Medicare, Medicaid, the USPS & every other government agency that isn’t nailed down. Elected Republicans loathe the VA because the VA can barter w/ Big Pharma as to the price it will pay for prescription drugs. This is undeniable proof that by cutting Big Insurance out of the picture completely and by snubbing-down Big Pharma’s greed, a single-payer healthcare system is the most efficacious way to deliver healthcare equitably,

    Now Cult 45 has enlisted the VA to use Veterans as guinea pigs and the results have been deadly, so POTUS and Fox News are now suddenly silent on their “miracle” drug Hydroxychloroquine. The POTUS is now suggesting that we inject,or imbibe Lysol or liquid bleach to sterilize virus. Veterans that served this country were used as guinea pigs for Trump’s pet drug project that he promoted because he has a financial stake in the French company that manufactures Hydroxychloroquine. Cadette Bone-spurs has.blood on his hands.

    A study published on April 23 involving 368 COVID-19 patients at U.S. Veterans Health Administration hospitals found that taking hydroxychloroquine alone, or in combination with azithromycin, did not reduce the need for a ventilator compared to those not taking the drugs. People taking hydroxychloroquine alone had a higher risk of dying during the study than those not taking the drug. Researchers in China came to a similar conclusion in a study of 150 COVID-19 patients randomly assigned to receive hydroxychloroquine or the current standard of care: after a month, both groups had similar symptom profiles, and showed similar levels of the virus, suggesting that the drug wasn’t clearing the COVID-19 virus in a significant way.. A smaller test in Brazil led Doctors to the same conclusion, before the VA ever initiated research on Hydroxychloroquine.

  5. Mark Baker    

    How can I put in a claim for higher percentage on VA. I keep requesting information but i have not receive information from anyone,

    [Editor: Mark, if you are asking about disability compensation, and if your service connected condition has worsened, you can submit a “claim for an increase” online at VA.gov. You would need to upload evidence from your doctor that shows your condition has worsened. Or, you can work with a VSO to compile and submit your new claim on your behalf.]

  6. Elisabeth Sachs    

    I live in ca in wildomar I keep getting bloody noses and a pain running through my breast. No one will help get me into see an ob gyn appointment the closes is in Loma Linda but no answer. I ALSO HAD MY PURSE STOLEN WITH MY CARD INSIDE HOW DO I GET IT REPLACED. PLEASE REALLY NEED HELP.

    1. Tony Scham    

      I’d go to my regional benefits department or hospital (more than likely the hospital) as that’s where I’ve had my card replaced 2-3 times before.

      It’s by far the easiest for of identification we can obtain when our stuff is stolen, this comes form experience.

      Also I pray your well, if your having an issue you deem severe i’d always call 911. I’d say its better to call than not for fear of not having ID, being covered, etc.

  7. Gerardus Schlotter    

    I went to N. Las Vegas V A hospital on Pecos St. For my prescriptions refills and a lady found NOTHING although I can see them on myhealth evet. How can VA function this way? The pharmacist? Couldn’t have been less helpful. Evidently the POTUS’s plan to rid VA of such has ceased. I need my meds especially the eye drops to slow down my eventual blindness.

  8. Arnold Cabral    

    Veteran Medical Centers should have a Dentist know how to G4 implants for if 100 percent service connected

  9. MM    

    One of the VA employees the head of security in San Diego or La Jolla is posting on our neighborhood link that she wants a hair dresser to come to her house to touch up her roots. How can I send my family to the VA when employees like this aren’t taking the law seriously? Shouldn’t you have guidelines for your employees? Not only was a shocked at your employees breaking the law but she had no problem using her real name and saying were she worked. I don’t feel safe at the VA anymore.

  10. Donald Smith    

    I have a friend who works at the VA Hospital in Arizona who is complaining that the doctors and Nurses do not have the proper safety equipment while working with COVID-19.patients in particular face masks. Seems they are issued 1 mask and a paper bag, so they use the same mask day at day. In fact this is true, this needs to be corrected or we will have those now treating the victims, becoming victims themselves. again this seems like the VA is not getting the attention that the the civilian hospitals. Please correct this problem..

  11. Agripino Lina    

    Hundred of thousands of service member received anthrax shots. Please check if any of these veterans ever tested positive for Covid 19, but exhibited immunity. I personally would volunteer to care for victims should that be the case, and but that would be a welcome news for the fight. You may say that would be the “Holy Grail” for the quest for vaccine, which has already been proven safe. Thank you!

  12. Eyvonne Green    

    I am trying to get email address to the Atlanta VA hospital administrator. Their telephone system is malfunctioniing.
    I have several relatives working in proximity to the covid-19 patients and their va supervisors will not provide n95 masks. They are told by the supervisor that the masks are given to essential employees only. How can that be? Everyone working at the VA is essential. And as they are in contact with patients they should be provided protective equipment. These employees are also veterans. THE VA DOES NOT CARE FOR ITS VETS OR EMPLOYEES. I really need to contact someone in authority. Can anyone help?

  13. Sheila Fernandez Garrett    

    Good evening ,
    If I wanted to get some paperwork filled out for medical claim by my healthcare provider and they were NOT available due to “all hands on deck” presently at the VA due to the covid-19 epidemic, what would be my next recourse or who do I need to see in order to get my paperwork filled out and submitted in a timely manner?

    1. Donovan Davila    

      I’m also looking for the answer to your question, thanks for asking.

  14. Barry Transue    

    I spoke to my primary care physician @ the Wilkes-Barre WAMC this day, after a conversation with a nurse. I am experiencing somceCOVI-19 symptoms. I am terrified. I was told the VA does NOT test for COVID-19, and that i can only get a nasal swab taken if my breathing becomes so labored that i have to travel to my communities ER. I am stunned! I have no medicaid, nor medicare, and no private insurance VA Only. I am symptomatic,and now i cannot get tested unless i become severely ill! This is just wrong, no matter how one slices it. I’ve never felt so alone in my entire life

    1. Ana Andrade    

      I went to ER at Jesse Brown in Chicago was told that I had carona virus of course without no test. Also the opinion of the doctor said was not put in my chart. I had to go to my private doctor to get tested which came back positive. In my opinion the powers that be, don’t care about veterans. Veterans always are that the bottom and we are left to fight for health care and benefits.

  15. Georgianna Sisson    

    Someone needs to work on Aid and Attendance backlog claims. Our claim is almost a year old. Our Veteran has died while waiting on his care funds. Now they are saying it will be December 2020 before it is resolved. We also have a 6 month death and internment claim pending that no one has looked at since November 24, 2019.We need help. We have already contacted Senator Perdue office. What can we do?

  16. Chad Dyess    

    Are you kidding me VA you’re afraid to see your patience during this COVID-19 bullsht fear mongering motherfrs I fought for the country in some of the most scariest place in the world you’re too afraid to fcking see people fck you no wonder why the suicide rate is so high you cowards

  17. Charles W Lewis    

    Have had it with the lying sacks of sht called the VA. Jerry Wester has a situation similar to mine. All of my appointments were cancelled due to Covid-19. Rather funny, not, that the medical director of my local CBOC sent certified mail stating “you need to have a lung cancer screening LDCT conducted as soon as possible to detect the presence of lung cancer”. Then they cancel all my tests. Guess what. Turns out I have advanced adenocarcinoma in both lungs. A civilian doctor diagnosed it. FCK YOU VA. Next step, treatment for the cancer and a call to Rawls Law Group.

    1. Lizzy    

      That’s fckd up! Good luck to you.

  18. Dave Selecky    

    Ben you need to contact your local representative from the county you live in or Dav, American Legion, Amvets,.Vietnam vet’s these are organizations that can sponsor you to put in a claim for your tinnitus issue. Good luck from a fellow veteran.

  19. Barbara    

    “Community Care” authorizes “consults” for Doctors not available through the VA due to availability, travel distance or a 30 day wait for an appt at the VA.
    Telling a veteran if you use an outside Dr on your own disqualifies you from using the VA for a year is inaccurate. You must get preauthorized through “community care” – usually your primary VA physician will submit the consult for the specialist etc. if you want the VA to pay. How would the VA know you went to a specialist if you pay out of pocket? If there is a glitch in the system about not being able to use the VA for a specific need for a year after paying out of pocket go to your VA and start there. Have your primary Dr at the VA put in for the consult.
    My small local VA clinic is doing phone/computer appointments unless it is truly necessary to be seen by the physician. Since people with respiratory problems are considered vulnerable most appointments should be canceled or done via phone/internet unless truly necessary. To be honest most Lung and Heart Drs are still seeing patients so if you would rather be seen in person they will see you.
    Start by calling your local VA hospital and ask for Community Care- they have always been very helpful and timely returning my calls.
    Personally I have found the VA in NY and the VA in Ohio to be very good in all aspects. As with any organization there are rules and regs to follow so just learning the ins and outs is the hard part. Call your main VA hospital- press “0” and tell the operator your issue- they will get you with the correct person.

  20. Robert Gerwer    

    Veterans: VA is here for you during COVID-19 — call us.

    Exactly at what phone number is “US” located? One would think that at the least, it would have an “*” after “US*” with suggestions of who to call and maybe an 800# to give you relevant numbers. Who puts these things out with such a lack of imagination?

  21. frank smith    

    Been going too,the va,since 1970 back then all the va did,was try too get ride of me ;I kept going back.I had to thats all I had just got a e-mail from the head guy “we are open,for our vets” just call first NO PHONE NUMBER given more bull shit. dr,gave me a 877# called , the local clinic,told them I have been sick 6 weeks [no fever] I w as told ,do not come to the va…..now they are going, too have my “new Dr” three drs in 8 months? call me on the , phone,to chat ?my dr can not wright scrips over the phone……. what a wast of time. STILL VERY SICK the va gets 200 billion ,a year from congress +ins $ ,from vets with insurance. the va has turned into a “JOB FARE”;; DO EVERY_THING AT THE VA :In WrITING AND KEEP A COPY ;its that bad;; I should not need a LAWYER to get my care I am a 50% navy war vet that inlisted…

    1. Sharon Hayden    

      We need a class action lawsuit against the VA. My VA sucks and so does the dr.

  22. Bonita I Latch    

    In the past few weeks, I have had some various on again, off again symptoms that may or may not be related to my MS issues. I have become more concerned over the last couple of weeks as I have been in bed now, more often than not. My left arm has severly weakend, my legs become bound with painful muscle knots and I find it difficult to walk at times. I have also become more and more lethargic. A few times in the past couple of weeks, I have vomited and spiked a fever in the middle of the night with bad chills. I don’t know what is happening to me, except that I am not getting any better. The VA Medical Center in Fayetteville is refusing to see any patients at all and after registering with this VA, 6 months ago, was never assigned a Neurologist even though I carry a diagnosis of MS in my records. If anybody ever bothers to read them or not is yours and my guess. I am able to see a Neurologist on the outside of the VA if I can get a referral from my provider at the VA. The provider could do it, but reminded me that if I see a Neurologist on the outside, I will not be able to return to the VA for medical assistance for at least a year. Now what???!!! Stay home and hope and pray that my condition does not worsen to the point of being bedridden or hospitalized or should I just ignore the stupid rule about seeing a doctor on the outside and get in with an MD who can provide me with a referral to get some needed medical assistance?? Shame on the VA for sheltering their doctors and nurses, when so many other non–VA medical people are putting their lives on the front line to help those in need!! I am slowly losing confidence in the VA as a retired VA MH employee/ Veteran . And I am ashamed that the VA chose to look the other way, when America needed their help!

    1. Howard Delbert young    

      I call BS, I have been trying to get an appt for almost a year but keep being told my section is closed or we don’t have doctors.
      I’m a combat Vietnam vet and 100% disabled.
      I have a letter threatening me if I don’t take care of my diabetes I won’t get my pain meds. What’s funny about this is I was sent insulin over a year ago and it took me 90 days to get syringes but then was told don’t take it. I’m not the one holding things up.
      I’m supposed to be on pain meds the rest of my life according to my Neuro surgeon because he says, “no more bandaids”, after 7 surgeries for nerve damage and no more morphine and oxy for continuous pain.

  23. Mike Deaderick    

    As a Vietnam Vet, I’ve received good service and care from the local VA clinic. They’ve met my needs in a timely manner and I’ve always got appointments when needed. Always seem to be caring and helpful. I suppose they’re those that are disappointed….sorry, but I’m not one of them. Everyone’s different and has different needs.

  24. Donnie Owens    

    I truly believe it depends on what state you live in. I received great VA health care in AZ, after returning from Iraq and getting out of the US Marines. I also received great care in Omaha, Nebraska. But I have been in Ohio for about 7 years and it’s the worst I have ever seen. I see an outside doctor, and pay out of pocket. I hope to move back out west, where the VA doctors actually Care, and do the job correct.

    1. Timothy Ditto    

      I truly believe this. I lived in Jacksonville, FL when l made my first claim to the VA. It came back with 0% disability. I lived many years with the “I’m Okay” rule. Then l moved to Phoenix, AZ. They reevaluated my claim. l jumped thru more hoops, than l did in Jax. l have been determined 60% disabled. I have since moved back to Jacksonville, FL area. I tried to file for 100% disability, due to deterioration of my illness. I was denied and threatened, if l appeal, they could reverse the 60% l already recieve. All because, years ago, a Dr wrote ‘veteran shows some signs of improvement.’ I certified my dog as a Service Animal. So yes, l improved while she did her job. My Dog is now 15 yrs old. The day will come.

  25. Brian C Parten'    

    Dr Stone, I hope all Veterans participating in ongoing care for alcoholism and/or chemical dependency & still attending AA/NA meetings outside the VA system; will SOON, be given a priority for available face masks. I depend entirely upon the VA Health Care Sysrem, for preventative medical care. I thank-you, for all the VA is doing to support Veterabs during this crisis… I believe it is a priority for At-Risk Vets, like myself, to have Suitable FaceMasks, to wear, while attending AA /NA meetings.

  26. Bruce H Kanterman    

    Sorry you lie! I wanted to be seen for audiology. First time I want without calling because I didn’t know they were shut down. Then I saw your video and tried to make an appointment but was told no one will see me. I explained your video and was told why would he say that. Needless to say I was never seen. Now a notice of disagreement and appeal of mine have just vanished off the VA website.

  27. Terry Meldrum    

    VA said I was not eligible because I made too much money I’m 73 years old I draw Social Security which I paid for and I draw my pension which I paid for so it’s not actually income I don’t understand why they consider that income I’ve been trying to get my ears check because I have tinnitus but I can’t get an appointment NASCAR years in the service during the Vietnam War I guess doesn’t count

  28. Ben S    

    I would believe it if it weren’t for the fact it’s like pulling teeth to get an appointment under good conditions. The VA is run by self-serving, corrupt assholes, and staffed by incompetent personnel who couldn’t get jobs at a good hospital. I’ve never had a condition that I wasn’t literally better off just staying home, and waiting out. I have a dermatological issue on my shins that doubled in size when the VA attempted to treat it and all I got was a “whoops”. I don’t trust the VA anymore, and I don’t think anyone should.

  29. Jessica Nickle    

    Well that was 2 minutes & 11 sec. Of absolute bullsht. I am from Ohio and the Dayton V.A don’t give 2 shts about the Vets. They set there and did NOTHING while my father ( a vet.) Was having a HEARTATTACK.

  30. Orman R Melanson    

    I personally have to say that the VA has always been there for me and I know that they will be in the future. Orman Melanson

  31. Sam    

    Our appointments were canceled out of an abundance of caution and care for the health care workers! Look at the Manhattan, NY VA. They don’t even screen anyone for COVID-19! They have a security guard there at the front asking you if you want a mask, that’s it!! Not to mention, when you walk into that place it’s like a million degrees in there! As we all know from the military, heat breeds disease!!

  32. gerry trimble    

    The VA medical people have helped me in many ways the past 30 years with meds, doctors, surgeries up to point of extending my life. Granted it wasn’t always convienent & prompt…however it was afordable with quality MD’s/Surgeons. My experiences have been in Vancouver, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and two others in the SE US long ago. I have used their prescription drug mailout services for decades. My experiences have gotten much better the past 15 years, and it’s affordable when retired too, with backup insurance – a nessity for retirement.

  33. Rachel M Brown    

    The VA has never given a damn about veterans. Agent orange veterans dead of cancer would agree…of they could. I know us burn pit vets won’t be seeing any helpeither. They’re garbage and i understand why we kill ourselves at the VA now.

  34. Misti Grant    

    This is a joke. Eglin Outpatient Clinic is telling ALL veterans they aren’t going to see anyone for anything. Go to urgent care; tell them you want to use the care act to be seen; pay the copay (I have none through the VA) go fill any prescription at CVS and carry on.

    I have a sinus infection; urgent care clinic locally won’t see anyone either. But MY VA IS HERE FOR ME!

    More lies for the benefit of the Government! I’m 70% rated and cant see my PC.

  35. Tim Bradshaw    

    I totally agree with the gentleman’s remarks, looks like they all went into hiding as far as none covid patients .Grocers, fast food employees and so many of us continue pushing on and put the needs of others above ours but not the VA!

    1. Eula Diann Crouch    

      I needed the va last year twice and God and va doctors answered the call and saved my life so I’m very grateful for the va. I may have a blood clot but I keep going on I don’t give up easy.

    2. DALE P ROMANS    

      If it wasnt for the VA in Bismarck ND i would not be here i could not afford Obama care and was unable to get insolyn or oral meds for my diabetes. I was dying and they came through. Dale Romans.

  36. David Poling    

    Thanks for staying in touch. Most of my appointments have been put on hold too. I understand that. I have had lung cancer operation and treatments. And I have no doubt that should I develop a problem with civic-19, the VA would be there for me. As of now I’m doing fine.

  37. Ellen Davis    

    We voluntarily cancelled all of our appointments – It’s the wise thing to do. If you are not acutely ill, best to discuss with physician over the phone than go in when you could be risking those respiratory issues becoming much worse. Your appointments were cancelled out of an abundance of caution and care for your health. If your situation becomes worse, contact VA and they will help you in the best way possible – over the phone or in person.

    1. Paul Whtimer    

      In my case – I have discussed issues over the phone with my local care provider under CITC. I was directed to get a CITC consult – I did. Now I find it has been cancelled by CITC after my VA Doc ordered it. I was told it was fine to drive to the nearest VA for same issue – but it’s several hours vs 20 min. So to say “Your appointments were cancelled out of an abundance of caution” doesn’t hold up too good – as the VA has said “come on in – we don’t mind you doing all the driving and seeing someone you don’t know or have any history with”. There’s no “caution” applied – just funneling everyone through the VA – regardless of the impact on the veteran.

  38. Paul Whtimer    

    Is this why the CITC has been “suspended” and now vets MUST come to the VA for health care – even if eligible for CITC? Poor decision – I notice the VA is not talking about this “CITC Covid19 suspension” – I just found out today when my CITC consult was cancelled.

  39. WILLIAM CONFALONE    

    I am a WWII vet. Widowed. I live alone but I do have children that call & since this epidemic looked in on me. It’s reassuring and comforting to know that the VA is not some detached, aloof, distant arm of government but an organization that reaches out and informs its constituents that “We are here:? thank you.

    William F. Confalone

  40. Jerry Wester    

    The VA is NOT here for us. They have cancelled all of my medical appts, which were related to respirtory issues. One would expect such appointments to be kept, especially now. I am very disappointed in this system.

    1. S W    

      Jerry, I whole heartedly agree with you. My appointments keep getting cancelled too. I thought they were supposed to automatically reschedule those appointments for 60 days out from the cancelled date. Apparently, I have been misinformed. Also, I keep seeing stories about how the VA is offering video appointments or phone appointments. Another lie, they have not offered me either in lieu of cancelling my in-person appointments. One cancellation letter has me very upset. The letter sounded like my provider no longer works at VA and went on to tell me that to reschedule, I need to call the clinic “if needed”. No wonder vets are committing suicide at such an alarming rate when they feel so uncared about.
      Why was the New York VA opening up beds to NON-VETERANS, who were non-covid 19 when they have a Navy hospital ship to help out, it’s damn near empty due to not being used, and an events center that has something like 2500 beds and is also empty? Yup, the VA cares alright (sarcasm added).

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