Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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VA Travel Benefits

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VA Beneficiary Travel Benefits

VA Beneficiary Travel Benefits

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do You Qualify for VA Beneficiary Travel Benefits?
If you meet the criteria below, you may be eligible for mileage reimbursement or special mode transportation associated with obtaining VA health care services.
 
You qualify if:
1.  You have a service-connected (SC) rating of 30% or more, or
2.  You are traveling for treatment of a SC condition, or
3.  You receive a VA pension, or
4.  Your income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate, or
5.  You are traveling for a scheduled compensation or pension examination.

You qualify for Special Mode Transportation if:
1.  Your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van as determined by a VA clinician, and
2.  You meet one of the eligibility criteria in 1 through 4 above, and
3.  The travel is pre-authorized (authorization is not required for emergencies if a delay would be hazardous to life or health).

At the Travel Reimbursement Window, you will need:
1. Your VA Identification Card, Driver’s License, or State-issued Identification Card
2. A list of the appointments for which you are claiming reimbursement for days other than the current day. This is referred to as “Back Travel Pay.”
3.  You must be completely checked-out from your clinic appointment.

Mileage Rates:
General Travel  = $0.415 (41.5 cents) per mile
Scheduled appointments qualify for round-trip mileage. Unscheduled visits may be limited to return mileage only.
Deductible (effective January 9, 2009) = $3 one-way ($6 round trip)
Deductible requirement is subject to a monthly cap of $18. Upon reaching $18 in deductibles or 6 one-way (3 round) trips, whichever comes first, travel payments made for the balance of that particular month will be free of deductible charges.
Note: Mileage is calculated from your residence to the nearest VA facility where care could have been provided. 

Waiver of Deductible:
A waiver of the deductible will be provided if you are eligible for travel and you:
1.  Are in receipt of a VA pension or;
2.  Are a nonservice-connected Veteran and your previous year’s income does not exceed, or your projected current calendar year’s income, in the year of application will not exceed the applicable VA pension rate, or
3.  Are a service-connected veteran and your previous year’s income does not exceed, or your projected current calendar year’s income, in the year of application will not exceed the applicable national means test income threshold or,
4.  Are traveling for a scheduled compensation and pension exam.

For more information, visit www.va.gov/healtheligibility/Library/FAQs/BeneTravelFAQ.asp