Veterans have written a blank check for up to and including their lives for their country, so it makes sense that the country should keep them prepared to serve as long as they live. There's a few hiccups when it comes to getting into Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics and hospitals in a timely fashion, but there are ways around the problem if you do a little preparation research. If you're strapped for cash or just need direction for the right specialists to help with knee pain, back pain, stiffness or other body issues, take a look at a few ways to get help from the VA and civilian doctors.
Veterans Can Get Basic Medical Care
Transitioning from the military is rough, and the VA understands what veterans have to go through in order to get assistance. It's hard to work and earn a paycheck with medical insurance when you're dealing with pain, mobility issues and other problematic conditions. Even if you're forging through life while dealing with the pain, you deserve a medical safety net.
Veterans with an other-than-dishonorable discharge (and some dishonorable veterans on a case-by-case basis) are eligible for medical care at VA clinics and hospitals. The downside is that there's a long wait time for everything, from paperwork filing to scheduled medical visits. Walk-in appointments may take all day, but with the right planning you could get help outside of the VA.
Are your aches and pains related to military service? Do you have no idea where the pain came from? Could you have any medical issues related to your military service? If the answer to these questions is anything but a solid 'no', it's time to put in a disability compensation claim.
The VA's disability system isn't like Social Security--far from it. The compensation from VA disability is a payment that qualifying veterans deserve because of their sacrifice. Aside from some of the highest disability ratings, you can keep on working while getting your monetary compensation--but this advice is for more than payments.
Transferring To A Civilian Doctor's Care
As you wait on the VA to approve, deny or ask for more information with your claim, request a second opinion and a referral. The VA understands that long wait times can have a massive effect on a veteran's health, so it's a simple issue to ask for referral paperwork to the civilian doctor of your choice.
If you have knee pain, look for a knee pain doctor who can assess your condition and provide medical assistance. Explain your situation to the doctor and ask for evidence that could be used to support your claim. The doctor gains a valuable client, and you may be able to receive medication for your knee pain or other issues at little or no cost to you.
If insurance is a financial pain, but you need to take care of physical pain, contact a medical professional and the VA to discuss ways around the issue. You can also reach out to a group like Pottstown Surgical Associates for more information.