CONCORD, NH – More than 113,000 military veterans live in New Hampshire, but less than a quarter of them have enrolled in Veterans Health Care (VA).
A new Health Benefits Navigator AARP’s publication seeks to help more veterans access their benefits.
Amy Goyer, family and care specialist for AARP, said she knew from personal experience how complicated the Veterans Affairs system can be. She helped her father, a World War II and Korean War veteran, enroll in VA health care.
Goyer explained that this is in part because there are so many options, and some people use VA benefits in conjunction with Medicare, Medicaid, or other insurance.
“It was really tough,” said Goyer. “It took a long time. It took a lot of phone calls, asking questions and trying to reach the right people, to really get him everything he deserved. And it was so, so useful to him. . “
Goyer pointed out that the Navigator’s booklet explains how to find out if you or someone you care for qualifies for VA health services and what documents are needed to access benefits. She noted that it also contains information on where to contact if you need help navigating the process.
Todd Fahey, New Hampshire State Director for AARP, said not all information on the internet is accurate and it’s important for Granite Staters to have sources they can trust.
“There are also sometimes scams that specifically target veterans,” Fahey warned. “And we want to give them a safe, reliable and trustworthy place to explore and understand the benefits they get from their service.”
Nationally, nearly 60% of all veterans are eligible for VA health services, but less than half sign up for them.
The Veterans Helpline can be reached at 877-222-8387 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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