Veterans Corner: Four Chaplains, Hy-Vee Fundraiser, Home Care Expansion | Local News

Don’t forget the Four Chaplains Memorial Ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday inside the McLean County History Museum!


America pledged to take care of veterans’ health when it created the first iteration of what became the National Veterans Health System. Eligibility rules, including the number of days of military service needed to qualify for VA health care, have changed over the years. In 2003, Congress imposed an “income test” that required a veteran applying for VA health care to have an annual household income below a means test amount. However, the House passed a bill last week that would require the VA to automatically enroll veterans who meet existing eligibility criteria for VA health care when they leave military service. The “means test” eligibility requirement would not apply in these circumstances. Veterans would be listed unless they opted out in writing. The House vote was 265-163. The Veterans Transition Bill or EVEST ACT has similar legislation in the Senate. If this legislation becomes law, about 58,000 veterans who otherwise could not enroll in VA health care will be automatically enrolled, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Since 2003, tens of thousands of honorably discharged veterans (most Vietnam-era) have been and are denied access to VA health care if the veteran’s income level exceeds a “test of income” imposed by the government. If you have applied for VA health care and have been told that you do not have access to it due to your income exceeding the income criteria, you have likely been assigned to priority group 8 health care GOES.


The Hy-Vee grocery store at 1403 Veterans Parkway in Bloomington is sponsoring a fundraiser for Carl S. Martin American Legion Post 635. In February, when a customer purchases a red recyclable grocery bag for $2.50, Hy- Vee will donate $1 at ext. 635. When you buy the recyclable bag, let the cashier or service desk know you are buying the bag to support the Hy-Vee program. Help Hy-Vee make this program a great success!


The VA Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care is expanding home-based primary care, medical foster home, and veteran-directed care programs at VA medical centers, with completion at all medical centers by end of 2026. VA will add 58 medical foster homes and 70 veteran-led care programs and add 75 home-based primary care teams in areas of greatest need. These programs have been shown to enable veterans to age in place, avoid or delay retirement home placement, and choose the most appropriate care environment to meet the needs of each veteran. Browse “primary home care” on your computer for more details.

Jerry Vogler is superintendent of the McLean County Veterans Aid Commission.

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