Wednesday, October 05, 2022

THE VETERANS' PRESS: Hey veterans, did you know?

| September 20, 2022 1:00 AM

VA travel pay reimbursement pays eligible Veterans and caregivers back for mileage and other travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments. Find out if you’re eligible and how to file a claim.

Eligibility for general health care travel reimbursement:

For veterans

As a veteran, you may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet the requirements listed here.

This must be true:

You’re traveling for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a non-VA health facility in your community.

And at least one of these must also be true:

• You have a VA disability rating of 30% or higher, or

• You’re traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition, even if your VA disability rating is less than 30%, or

• You receive a VA pension, or

• You have an income that’s below the maximum annual VA pension rate, or

• You can’t afford to pay for your travel, as defined by our guidelines, or

• You’re traveling for one of these reasons: A scheduled VA claim exam (also called a compensation and pension, or C&P, exam), to get a service dog, or for VA-approved transplant care

For caregivers

We may pay for transportation and related lodging and meals for non-Veterans if the person meets any of these requirements.

At least one of these must be true:

• The person is your family caregiver under the National Caregiver Program traveling to receive caregiver training or to support your care, or

• The person is your medically required attendant traveling with you to support your care, or

• The person is your transplant care donor or support person

We may also pay for care for an allied beneficiary when the appropriate foreign government agency has authorized their care, or for the beneficiary of another federal agency when that agency has approved their care.

Travel expenses that we reimburse

We may pay for your travel to receive care at these types of facilities:

• VA health facility. We reimburse you for travel to the closest VA health facility to your home that can provide the care you need. If your VA health care provider decides that you need to travel to another VA facility for care, we’ll reimburse the cost of travel to that facility.

• Non-VA health facility. We only reimburse you for travel to receive non-VA care that we’ve approved in advance, except in certain emergency situations.

We may pay for these costs:

• Mileage driven to and from your appointment

• Bridge, road, and tunnel tolls

• Parking

• Taxi and plane fares

• Ticket costs for public transportation, including train, subway, bus, ferry, or light rail

• Transportation by a specially equipped vehicle, like an ambulance or wheelchair van, when needed and approved

• Meals and lodging when needed in some cases

You can submit your travel pay reimbursement claims through our Beneficiary Travel Self Service System (BTSSS):

Mileage reimbursement rate

We currently pay 41.5 cents ($0.415) per mile for approved, health-related travel.

We use Bing Maps to calculate your mileage, based on the fastest and shortest route from your home to the closest VA or authorized non-VA health facility that can provide the care you need. This distance is often called “door to door.”

We pay round-trip mileage for your scheduled appointments. We may only pay return mileage for unscheduled visits.

Monthly deductible

Before we can pay you back for expenses, you must pay a deductible.

The current deductible is $3 one-way or $6 round-trip for each appointment, up to $18 total each month. After you pay $18 within 1 month, we’ll pay the full cost of your approved travel for the rest of that month.

We charge this deductible because we’re required by law to withhold certain amounts from travel reimbursement payments. The money we withhold helps to pay for travel or medical care for other Veterans.

In some cases, we may waive this deductible.

Need local help? See the “Resource Directory” section.

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