RAO, Subic Bay Phillippines
June 30, 2014
Greetings and salutations, please allow me to introduce myself to those who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting. My name is Jack Walker, newly assigned RAO Director. 27 year Vet, USMC and served 10 years with Homeland Security as an Immigration Officer. Have lived in the Subic area for almost 3 years and served as the Freeport Zone Embassy Warden. I have been in the new billet for almost a month now. My goal here at the RAO, is to provide quality support for all of our HEROES. You are the reason we are here and my staff and I, will dedicate our resources and time to ensure you receive the best service possible. You may have seen some of the cosmetic changes we have made and there are a few more in the works. I promise you the best up to date information, and educated answers, even though some you may not agree with or don’t really want to hear some of them.
In these newsletters we will try to dispel rumors and provide info we can reasonably expect is going to happen. To that end let’s begin with the latest rumors and clear them out quickly;
Misinterpreted VA regs:, “ you must have a 50% or higher disability rating to be treated at Baypointe Hospital” FALSE!!!!!
The requisites for treatment at Baypointe, are to have a Letter of Authorization from the VA, and be seeking treatment for a disability that has already been determined to be service connected by the VA. This includes disabilities, which are rated at 0% or higher. Nuff said.
The VA clinic is going paperless. You no longer need an appointment letter to enter the clinic. A list of Veterans with scheduled appointments is provided to the guard, which means Veterans only need to bring with them a picture ID to enter and pass through the US Embassy Security Area.
The clinic is aware that Veterans have a difficult time calling the clinic. This is due in part to staff shortages which are being addressed. Effective June 30, the clinic will send the Veteran a text message if they are unable to contact them by telephone. The message will provide a brief message along with contact name and the staff’s direct number to call.
Effective now, any Vet who has not been seen at the clinic for 18 months will be considered a new patient. New patients will receive a head to toe physical, be advised to submit claims for what may be service connected disabilities and receive a 30 day supply of meds for other ailments which may be considered endangering their health. They will also be advised to seek medical treatment within the civilian community at their own expense.
If you are in Manila and decide to go to the clinic as a walk in, you will not receive Travel reimbursement. The clinic will make every attempt to see you, but remember appointments take priority.
The clinic has established a “Tiger Team” which will focus on providing Letters of Authorization (LOA) to you for treatment at outlying facilities, before you leave the clinic at the completion of your appointment.
Stop the presses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We just got smarter. Based on a widow benefit case we are working, a previously unknown to us benefit came to light. The Veteran passed in early March. The VA deposited his compensation check on 1 April. Based on advice from a less than credible outside source the widow withdrew the money. She then came to us with a letter from VA showing she was indebted to the U.S. government for the amount of the compensation check, and was in tears because she can’t pay it. The payment received was for the month of March and based on the date of death, of the Vet it was not an earned payment, as he was not alive for the whole month. Based on this info and a lot of research we found a little known USC Title 38 Code, which entitles her to the payment. It is called Month of Death Payment which grants entitlement to the surviving spouse for the full month even though the Vet wasn’t alive for the entire month. This payment isn’t automatic but must be applied for. Long story short, this payment will cancel out the indebtedness of the widow. We are currently going through our historical files to find other widows who may be qualified and eligible and will be notifying them to come in and we’ll assist in getting the application completed. Moral of the story, don’t take the advice of the “Joe on the street duty experts”, who simply don’t know what they are talking about. Come in and get the real info.
There may be some changes announced soon on who is eligible for VA travel allowances, as soon as these are available we will be sure to get the word out.
The VA clinic has established “Wellness” visits to Angeles and Subic beginning in July. Wellness visits are scheduled the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. VA staff will be visiting our area on July 24th. The visits will provide basic wellness check-ups (Blood pressure checks, diabetes evaluation etc.) Claims adjusters will also be present to answer generic questions. They will also be available to provide basic status checks on pending claims. Staff will also enroll and authenticate Veterans who choose to set up an Ebenefits and/or MyHealtheVet account. This will not be an opportunity for a “bitch” session, but is designed to provide guidance on basic claims and check the general health of our vets. Our 1st visit from them is scheduled for 24 July and based on projected participation is scheduled to be here at the RAO office. If you plan on attending, please let us know so that in the event we need to move it to a larger facility we can plan accordingly.
The RAO is offering the opportunity for all Vets to establish a Pre-Widows package. This will contain all the claims documents that will be required for your spouse and dependents to file the necessary forms in the event of your demise. We will need certain documents from you as far as SBP, % of disability, LES, and others as required. Come in and see us to get yours started. This will be a great help to your spouse when the time comes and her mind is filled with so many different things she will need to do, and it’s the most confusing time in her life. This will also expedite her receiving the funds needed to take care of all the expenses associated with your passing.
Hopefully you have all seen the posters in the area regarding the U.S. Navy Recruiter visit on 9 July 2014. The recruiter will be at the RAO from 0900 -1800. Prospective sailors should bring their U.S. Passports or “Green Card” and birth certificate, also a copy of their High School Diploma and transcripts. They must be a minimum of 18 years old.
The RAO will be closed for the 4th of July holiday.