WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to a letter that U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, sent to VA Secretary James Nicholson, VA has announced will be revising veterans' compensation award notification letters to include disclosure that, as a result of the award, medical copayments may be reduced or eliminated. Veterans have the right to request reimbursement from VA for care received prior to a decision on a compensation claim, but many veterans are not aware of this benefit.
"Given that over 25 percent of veterans seeking compensation are waiting more than six months for their claims to be adjudicated, I am pleased that VA is now fulfilling its legal responsibility to provide service-connected medical care. The out-of pocket costs paid by veterans during that waiting period can be considerable and they deserve to be compensated," stated Akaka.
VA will inform veterans that they may contact their medical centers regarding potential refunds of out-of-pocket medical expenses, or reduced copayments, based on grants of service-connection or increased evaluation. These revised award notification letters will begin going out to veterans next month.