You could get paid to travel to your next VA appointment

November 20, 2017 - 11:59 am

A dog named "Face" of the Alano Espanol breed sits behind the steering wheel of a parked car. (LUKAS SCHULZE/AFP/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Kaupanger

How would you like to get paid to go to your VA medical appointment? With the VA’s Beneficiary Travel program, veterans who are eligible can be reimbursed for mileage or get special modes of travel when medically indicated.

As with most things in life, there are a few qualifications needed to use this program. You need to have at least a service-connected rating of 30 percent or more, or be able to prove your travel is for treatment of a SC condition.  You also qualify if you get a VA pension, if your income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate, or if you are traveling for a scheduled compensation or pension.

You’ll want to apply for reimbursement by using VA Form 10-3542.  And this can be done in person at the Beneficiary Travel Office, by phone or you can fax or mail your requests to your local travel office.  Applications for payment need to be submitted within 30 calendar days from the date the travel is completed or the date that the applicant is notified they are eligible for travel payments.

Check with your local VAMC to find your Beneficiary Travel Office.

The VA uses its own mapping tool to calculate the distance using the fastest and shortest routes available using Bing maps. Right now the mileage reimbursement rate is 41.5 cents per mile.  Scheduled appointments qualify for round-trip mileage.  Unscheduled visits might be limited to return mileage only.  Reimbursement is paid for travel to the closest VA facility, unless a different location is determined by the VA.

There is a deductible of $3 for one-way trips or $6 for round trip travel. Once you hit $18 in deductibles each month, or you have six one-way trips, the rest of the month will be deductible-free.  You can get a waiver for the deductible if you are in receipt of a VA pension or you’re a non-service-connected vet and your last year’s income doesn’t exceed the applicable VA pension rate.  If you’re a service connected vet and your previous year’s income doesn’t exceed the applicable national means test income threshold.

Here are the links to get more information on the Annual Income Limits and/or Pension Rate Table.


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