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VA travel money update

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office won’t be able to reimburse cash for VA health care travel expenses until about August.

Meanwhile, I will be issuing a gas credit card for veterans to use to pay for their gas and motel expenses when traveling to a VA healthcare facility.

If you have already made a trip and are looking for re-imbursement, save your proof of VA medical appointment and receipts and I will reimburse you later when I get the money.

You will have to see me the day before your VAHC appointment to obtain a gas card. The gas card must be returned to me immediately following your trip, with your receipts.

Every year about this time, I have to go through a “transition” period to close out the current year Veterans Trust Fund Grant report to the state, and wait for money from the new VTF Grant year. The state of Colorado, source of the VTF money, is on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year. It takes the state several months to approve a new VTF Grant and issue money from the grant.

Quick note: If you pay any “co-pays” to the VA for prescription drugs or medical visits, you should see me for the gas card. If you do not pay any co-pays to the VA, the VA will most likely reimburse you for travel pay. You will need to fill out a travel pay voucher to the VA (I have the form).

Sorry for the temporary inconvenience, but I don’t have any control over how the state runs its grant money policies. Just be thankful we get the money, especially right now with the state budget cuts, etc.

Many of you will remember that, some years ago, many local veterans had to pay for their own gas and motels if they didn’t get travel pay from the VA.

DAV vans

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.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. Durango, CO 81301 (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone?number is?247-2214.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.