This office has extensive information on current VA programs and stands ready to help military veterans, their families, or a veteran's survivors with all services for which they are qualified. Please feel free to call, email, or set up a appointment for one on one assistance to see what you qualify for within the VA programs.
The Veterans Services Department provides assistance to qualified military veterans and their families, or a veteran's survivors, in applying for and in obtaining U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Program Assistance, Benefits and claims. The applications include enrollment into health care, compensation and pension claims as well as burial and memorial benefits. This assistance is provided within the guidelines, policies, and procedures established by the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.
Archuleta County is proud to provide the Veteran Service Office for our veterans.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Am I Eligible for VA (Veterans Affairs) Benefits?
A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, may qualify for VA Benefits. There are minimum duty requirements such as; twenty-four (24) continuous months or the full period for which the veteran was called to active duty, in order to be considered eligible. Any Benefits obtained through the VA, requires applications for compensation, pension or medical care. Medical benefits may also be based on set income standards if a veteran does not have a VA rated service-connected disability.
2. How much does it cost for VA medical Benefits?
The costs for Medical Care are based on income, and/or whether a veteran in receiving compensation or pension payments from the VA. A financial assessment upon initial application, is used to determine eligibility for medical care, medications and other benefits. This financial information also may be used to determine the Veteran's enrollment priority group. Copay payments will be determined when income exceeds the VA income limits, or veterans choose not to complete the financial assessment.
3. I cant find my discharge papers (DD214) to apply for benefits. What should I do?
The Veterans Service Office can send a request for Military Records, either with the veterans' parent service archives or National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis MO. The request for replacement records may take a lengthy amount of time to obtain. The request can also include military service records, medical treatment records and discharge records. In come cases, the records are not available due to fire or other incidents and must be reconstructed from other military records.
4. I had personal/professional issues while I was in the military, and I did not get an honorable discharge. Am is till eligible for any VA benefits?
Each case must be handled individually. In most instances, veteran is still entitled to most VA benefits as long as discharge was determined to be other than dishonorable.
5. I served in the military and have health problems. What should I do?
If you served in the military and were in country during the Vietnam conflict, you are presumed to be exposed to the Agent Orange Herbicide. You may be entitled to VA benefits based on certain health issues. If you exposed to atomic bomb testing, served in the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, or other special circumstances during your military service, you may be considered at risk for service-connected disabilities. These may be considered presumptive health conditions and require filing claims to enroll into VA programs and benefits.
6. Is my spouse or family members eligible for medical benefits?
Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of benefits and services provided by the VA. This means any benefits to spouses and/or family members are based on the benefits for which the veteran is qualified for. A spouse may be eligible for medical benefits if:
- Veteran is 100% service-connection disabled.
- Veteran is deceased from service-connected disability or disabilities.
- Veteran died on active duty as a result of service-connected injuries.
7. My spouse died recently and was a veteran. As their surviving spouse, do I have any benefits?
We need to determine what benefits the veteran was eligible for, then determine what claims can be filed on surviving spouse's behalf. This could include accrued benefits, widow's/ widower's pension or compensation. Income can also have an impact on eligibility for benefits. There is also a headstone application for a veteran's gravesite.
8. Where is the nearest VA medical facility?
The nearest VA facility is the outpatient clinic in Durango, CO. Another VA outpatient clinic is in Farmington, NM. The controlling VA Hospital for these clinics is VA Medical Center Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM. The Veteran Services Office has access to transportation vehicles, with or without volunteer drivers, for use by veterans to make appointments at these and other facilities. These vehicles are on a first come first serve basis, if the veteran does not have adequate or reliable transportation. The Veteran Service Office coordinates vehicles and drives as needed, along with any specific requirements.