Bozho (Hello),

I have good news for Native American Veterans concerning VA medical benefits. As of Jan. 5, 2022, copayments can be waived. The intent of this policy is to encourage Veterans to seek regular primary care treatment, which can yield better health outcomes. Copayments for more than three visits to community-based urgent care in one calendar year would still be required, as for all Veterans. Follow-up care provided by a VA-authorized primary care provider would be exempt from copays. In addition, VA is proposing to make this copayment exemption retroactive to Jan. 5, 2022. Eligible Native American Veterans would be reimbursed for copayments paid on or after Jan. 5 upon submission of their official documentation to the Veteran Health Administration.

For verification of your military status, you will need the following:

  • An affidavit of Military Service, which is a sworn statement attesting to a person’s enrollment in or separation from the armed forces. This will include your name, date of birth and basics.
  • The DD-215 or DD-214 form. These are given to service members upon their separation from the armed forces.
  • DD-256 form. This form needs to be filled out by Reservists who have finished their military obligations. The National Guard routinely has NG-22 or the improved NG-22a version.
  • VA Verification of Service Letter. This letter can prove their qualification by submitting a statement describing the work they did in the military. It can also verify they were honorably dismissed from the military.
  • Form of Military Orders. Proof of active-duty service can be provided using this document. Financial statements can be used to verify your status as a Veteran.

Keep in mind that neither active-duty military members nor civilian employees of the Department of Defense are eligible for verifications over the phone. The best places to check on the status of active-duty service members are the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service (SCRACVS).

Remember, our monthly meeting of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization is the fourth Tuesday of each month, April 25 (unless otherwise notified due to weather or conflicting events) at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) in the North Reunion Hall on the CPN Powwow Grounds. All CPN Veterans and spouses and their families are welcome. Membership in the Veterans organization is not required; come and visit us and enjoy our socializing. For more information, contact Daryl Talbot.

Migwetch (Thank you),

Daryl Talbot, Commander