Now, more than ever, DAV is proud to continue serving America’s veterans
As of March 19, 2020, DAV service offices are available exclusively online. Benefits advocates will be working remotely. Contact them for assistance through benefitsquestions.org.
For further information about claims assistance, veterans can request information by calling the VA directly at 1-800-827-1000. Keep in mind that wait times may be extended due to the volume of calls received.
All DAV-hosted physical job fairs have been canceled through May and are being rescheduled as virtual job fairs. To see the full listing of city specific, regional and nationwide virtual job fairs, please click here.
Supporting DAV’s ongoing mission
All of DAV’s services are free of charge, and we receive no government funding. In light of the economic uncertainty caused by this crisis, DAV must continue to raise funds to help sustain our mission at current levels through the year and into the future.
DAV relies on the generosity of truly patriotic Americans to help us ensure promises are kept to our nation’s veterans, their families and survivors. Please consider donating a financial gift to support our vital mission.
To contribute, please go to dav.org/relief or text relief to 484848.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19
DO NOT GO TO ANY VA FACILITY WITHOUT CALLING FIRST. This includes clinics, urgent care or emergency rooms, especially if you have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. Calling ahead allows VA employees to provide you with the latest information, and to protect medical staff, you and other patients.
Upon arriving at VA facilities, all patients will be screened for flu-like symptoms before being permitted to enter. Steps such as these are vital to containing COVID-19, and to protect more at-risk populations.
Any veteran with a fever, cough or shortness of breath should contact their local VA facility immediately. You can find contact information for your nearest facility here.
VA patients will receive information on the next steps for testing by downloading the VA’s Telehealth app—VA Video Connect—or calling VA’s nurse advice line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (202) 745-8000.
The VA is now encouraging all of its patients to receive care by phone or video, instead of an in-person visit for non-emergency needs.
For additional information about how the VA is responding to the ongoing pandemic, visit the department’s coronavirus FAQs page.
How to get tested for COVID-19
Military retirees covered under Tricare and veterans using VA care can receive a free test for COVID-19, if they meet certain conditions:
- You live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
- You have symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath
- You have traveled to one of the affected areas (i.e., Italy, China or South Korea)
- OR you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
According to Tricare, COVID-19 testing is free for all beneficiaries. While there will be no cost if the test was ordered by a network or non-provider, copays or cost-sharing will still apply for the doctor’s visit.
Both Tricare and the VA are asking patients not to go directly to a medical center without calling first.
Attention Retired VA Employees
Now is your chance to once again serve your fellow veteran while working against the spread of COVID-19.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking retired VA clinicians and federal health care providers. Please consider re-employment with the VA to help in the battle against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Specifically, the VA is looking for health care professionals with interest and expertise in Tele/Virtual Care, National Call Center, Travel Nurse Corps and Direct Patient Care/Support (at VA Medical Centers).
Veterans Benefits Processing
Veterans benefits and services, including payments, will continue to veterans, families and survivors through the duration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Managing VA Debt
Veterans having difficulty making payments to the VA for benefit debt should contact the VA Debt Management Center toll-free at 1-800-827-0648 to request assistance. International callers should dial 1-612-713-6415.
Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CT). The best times to call, according to the VA, are Tuesday through Thursday between 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (CT) and 1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CT).
VA Home Loans
If you are in the loan application process, the VA is working to conduct all requisite meetings by telephone or other electronic methods, including meetings with lenders, appraisers, title companies and VA employees.
To help ease the financial burden placed on veterans nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, the VA is urging lenders to work with affected borrowers. To allow veterans to remain in their homes during this unprecedented national emergency, the VA is asking borrowers to offer flexibility to veterans unable to make mortgage payments at this time, remove late fees and suspend credit bureau reporting of delinquent loans.
Veterans experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak are urged to contact their lenders directly. If a lender is not cooperative, veterans should contact the VA for further assistance.
The VA has worked with Congress to approve emergency legislation designed to protect GI Bill recipients from being negatively impacted by school closures and other changes due to COVID-19. President Trump has signed legislation allowing the VA to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies, such as the current coronavirus pandemic. Students whose program shifted to online mid-term will continue to receive the same monthly housing allowance payments they received for residential learning until January 21, 2021, or until the school resumes normal operations.
New restrictions are in place at all veterans cemeteries. Effective March 23, committal services and rendering of military honors will discontinue. Families can still attend burials, but groups will be limited to no more than 10 people.
How to Protect Yourself
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 infection and no medication to treat it. CDC believes symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Avoid exposure and avoid exposing others to an infection with these simple steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to mark the time is to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice while scrubbing.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick or becoming sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands) and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Getting a flu shot is recommended.
- Learn to use VA Video Connect through the VA mobile app store or by contacting your VA care team, before any urgent problems arise.