I will be out of the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office March 9 through March 18, while I attend to some medical needs and a few days vacation.
Durango VA Clinic has been telling most veterans (from this area) to fill out a form for travel reimbursement and they will fax or send it to Albuquerque VAMC for travel pay.
However, all veterans are not eligible for reimbursement of travel expense from the VA. The same rules apply that I frequently write about for travel money: If you are eligible for travel pay from Albuquerque you will also be eligible for Durango and Farmington travel. But if you’re not eligible, you won’t receive a travel check from Albuquerque.
I suggest all veterans from Archuleta County contact me after their Durango VA Clinic visit and I will see they are reimbursed travel money, regardless of eligibility.
I have the Albuquerque VAMC Form on hand at this office (same as the Durango VA Clinic form). Be sure and get a “proof of appointment” slip from Durango Clinic.
Many of you already know if you are eligible for VA travel pay. If you are not eligible, I will reimburse you from this office. However, I pay a flat rate now of $75 (since gas has declined in cost). The Albuquerque VAMC pays about $177 for a trip to Albuquerque and about $44 for a trip to Durango. I figure the VA is kind of behind the curve in their mileage rate that was recently increased to 41.5 cents a mile, at a time when gas prices were sharply declining. I try to adjust my travel reimbursement to current fuel costs, up or down as needed to stretch our local money resources.
I will be happy to check with Albuquerque VAMC for you to see if you’re eligible. This will save you waiting time for a check from Albuquerque VA. I understand it can take a month or two to get your check if you’re eligible. If you’re not eligible, I don’t know if they will even advise you of that information. The program through Durango VA Clinic is still kind of new.
Be sure and bring your’“proof of appointment” for any trip to a VA facility and a Motel receipt if you were required to provide your own lodging (in Albuquerque).
One way or the other, we will be able to cover your travel expenses to any VA medical facility.
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC Van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays — call Mike Dunaway 247-2198 — and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays — call Harriet Mulnix (505) 793-1782.
For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.