The Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Veterans Affairs strongly advise getting the flu vaccine during 2020­–2021 to protect yourself and those around you, and to help reduce strain on health care systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more at www.prevention.va.gov/flu.

DAV is continuing to work for veterans nationwide. However, all DAV offices are closed to the public until further notice to reduce transmission of COVID-19

You can also speak to a service officer Monday Through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT by calling 1-888-604-0234. We appreciate your patience.

If you have questions or need claims assistance, please contact your local DAV office.

 

 

COVID-19 Veterans Information

Is DAV still serving veterans?
Yes! Now as much as ever, DAV is proud to continue serving America’s veterans, their families and survivors. However, we’ve made some adjustments. Our physical offices are closed, but our benefits advocates are working remotely and available to assist veterans. If you need help with claims assistance, please contact your local DAV office. You can find them by going to benefitsquestions.org. You may also reach a DAV benefits expert at 1-888-604-0234 (M-F, 9 am to 4 pm).

We are currently in the process of securing supplies and equipment to outfit our offices when they do reopen to the public to ensure the safety of clients and staff.

How can I support DAV’s ongoing mission?

All DAV services are provided free of charge. We also 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 patriotic Americans to help us ensure promises are kept to our nation’s veterans, their families and survivors.

We hope you’ll consider donating a financial gift to support our vital mission.

To contribute, please go to dav.org.

Is DAV still hosting job fairs?
Yes, we are. However, all DAV-hosted physical job fairs have been rescheduled as virtual job fairs through 2020. To see the full listing of city-specific, regional and nationwide job fairs, please click here.
Can I still volunteer?
Yes, you can still volunteer to help veterans, but some restrictions are in place. In-hospital volunteerism has been closed or curtailed in nearly all facilities. In rare cases, some essential volunteers who are at low-risk susceptibility to the disease may be allowed in some facilities.

While our transportation network is still operating and has even re-opened in some locations, we are putting extra precautions in place to ensure the safety and well-being of our volunteer drivers and the veterans we serve. Vehicles are being cleaned multiple times daily. And we are limiting the number of people transported for every state where DAV is providing this no-cost service.

Everyone must wear a mask when riding in a DAV Transportation Network vehicle to stop the spread to other passengers. Everyone should use hand sanitizer before and after entering or exiting a vehicle to minimize surface contamination. Each vehicle will be sanitized before and after each use as well.

Hospital Service Coordinators should call the night before and the morning of picking up veterans for rides to appointments. Drivers should only use limited capacity for trips to maintain social distancing. For example, a seven-passenger vehicle should only transport three individuals. Please continue to exercise approved social distancing standards of 6 feet.

If veterans or drivers are feeling sick or have symptoms, they should not use the DAV Transportation Network. Veterans should utilize alternative appointment options such as telehealth and VA Video Connect. If you sneeze, do so into your elbow or a tissue and immediately wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer.

We encourage anyone who is volunteering in any capacity or receiving assistance, to follow strict protocols like social distancing and handwashing.

DAV encourages everyone to continue to give back and volunteer if you feel comfortable. You can check for no-contact opportunities at DAV’s Volunteerforveterans.org.

We hope veterans are mindful of this guidance and practicing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention procedures that could slow the spread of the disease.

If you’re interested in volunteering with DAV, please email vavs@dav.org.

What do I do if I have COVID-19?
It is crucial at this time that patients 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.

You can find contact information for your nearest VA here.

What should I expect if the VA tells me to come in?
You’ll be expected to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose at all VA facilities. If you can, please bring your own.

Upon arriving at VA facilities, all patients will be screened for flu-like symptoms before being permitted to enter. Depending on your answers to screening questions, VA staff will walk you through your visit. Steps such as these are vital to containing COVID-19, and to protect at-risk populations.

It is best to leave home earlier than usual to allow time for screening.

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.

Can I receive VA care virtually?
Absolutely. 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.

Can I receive in-person benefits assistance at VA facilities?
Currently, 11 of 56 VA regional offices are open to the public. Other re-openings are expected; however, they will vary depending on local conditions. Regional offices will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including practicing social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitizer and asking ill veterans to stay home.

You can check availability of a VA regional office near you here.

You can also continue to receive DAV claims assistance for VA benefits by going to Benefitsquestions.org. To speak directly to a DAV service officer, you can call 888-604-2034, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

Is the VA currently hiring?

Yes! Now is your chance to once again serve your fellow veteran while working against the spread of COVID-19. VA has 5,000 available positions it is looking to fill nationwide. You can learn more and apply by visiting www.vacareers.va.gov, or by searching on www.usajobs.gov/.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is also 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).

To learn more about working at VA, please email vacareers@va.gov or apply at www.vacareers.va.gov.

What if I need a COVID-19 test?

VA facilities continue to test veterans free of charge who meet the CDC’s testing criteria.

Both Tricare and the VA are asking patients not to go directly to a medical center without calling first.

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, seven days a week at (202) 745-8000.

Will I continue to receive my VA benefits, including compensation?

Veterans benefits and services, including payments, will continue to veterans, families and survivors through the duration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What if I currently owe the VA and have trouble paying due to the coronavirus?
The VA is suspending all actions on veteran debt including collection efforts.

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.

Regular 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 has stopped collection on newly established veteran debt. If your debt was previously transferred to the Treasure Department, no additional action will be taken.

What if I can't pay my VA home loan?

Veterans facing financial distress due to COVID-19 should call their loan servicer immediately to request forbearance. Remember, it is your loan service provider—NOT VA—that collects your mortgage payments.

Forbearance allows you to pause or reduce your payments temporarily. Veterans may be able to request up to 12-months of forbearance on a VA direct, or VA-backed home loan. Keep in mind that forbearance does not reduce or forgive the amount of money you owe on your mortgage.

Will I still receive GI Bill benefits?
Your GI Bill benefits, including payments, will continue automatically even if your school switches to online classes. You can also expect to receive the same monthly housing allowance through December 2021.
Can I still attend a funeral at a national veterans cemetery?

Yes, VA national cemeteries remain open for interments of veterans and eligible dependents. You can schedule a burial by calling the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117. Families must adhere to the cemetery limits on the number of attendees, which will vary based on state and local guidelines. But nowhere will the number permitted to attend be more than 10 people.

All family members will be required to wear face masks, and at least 6 feet of distance must be maintained between individuals to ensure social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Families and funeral home directors should contact their local cemetery for more details.

What are some best practices to protect me and others?

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Avoid exposure and avoid exposing others to disease 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. You can also sing part of your military service branch song so long as it meets the time requirements.
  • 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 ill 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.
  • Continue to practice social distancing, which the CDC defines as at least six-feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Avoid large groups, mass gatherings and stay away from crowded places.
  • Learn to use VA Video Connect through the VA mobile app store or by contacting your VA care team before any urgent problems arise.
Should I wear a mask in public?

TThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released guidelines recommending that people in the US wear homemade face coverings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.