Kauai Veterans Corner: News You Can Use: Updates on ID cards, VADIP

Presumptive diseases update

The VA has delayed a decision on whether or not to add bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, Parkinson-like symptoms without diagnosis of that particular disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and stroke to the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange. VA previously announced a decision could be expected in November. That date has now passed with no further action or explanation. Further updates will be provided as available.

Shelter renovation begins

County Parks and Recreation officials have announced the state-funded $1.1 million plan to renovate the Committal Shelter at the Veterans Cemetery has begun with expected completion in April. In the interim, all on-site memorial services will be held in the cemetery maintenance building. The public is requested to avoid all construction areas for their personal safety. This state tax-payer funded project is just one of many improvements planned over the coming years.

ID program halted

In last month’s Veterans Corner, the VA announced plans to begin issuing veterans ID cards to honorably discharged veterans beginning in November. The purpose of the card was to simplify proof of service status to non-federal agencies such as businesses and restaurants who offer veterans discounts. To prove honorable service and apply for this new card, veterans were guided to a specific VA website where they must sign up electronically.

The VA recently announced that they have halted this project due to system problems and do not have a new projected date of release. Updates will be provided as available.

Security job positions

Security job positions open on Kauai; veterans preferred. Must be able to obtain “Guard Card” from the state of Hawaii. Call Roger Jensen at (808) 284-1543.

Emergency housing

U.S. VETS announces emergency housing accommodations for a maximum of five veterans. For eligibility and availability information, contact Marina Buenrostro at (808) 476-0457.

Free yoga class

Kalaheo Yoga announces free yoga classes each Friday from 5-6 p.m. Sign up at (808) 977-0213.

VADIP

The VA has announced that once again Delta Dental of California and MetLife have been selected to offer private dental insurance plans as part of the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP).

Veterans enrolled in the VA health-care system and beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA) can enroll in the program with coverage to start soon after.

VADIP offers eligible individuals the opportunity to purchase discounted dental insurance coverage, including diagnostic services, preventive services, endodontic and other restorative services, surgical services and emergency services.

Individuals who enroll in one of the dental insurance plans are responsible to pay the entire premium in addition to the full cost of any copayments. Enrollment is voluntary and does not affect eligibility for VA outpatient dental services and treatment.

For more information, visit www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/vadip/ or call (877) 222-VETS (8387).

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SgtMaj Tony Elliott USMC (Ret) is a member of the Hawaii Office of Veterans Services on Kauai.

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