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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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Returning Service Members

The OEF/OIF/OND Program at VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System offers transition assistance, care management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served in combat since Nov. 11, 1998.

The program can help you receive the health care services you may want or need, as well as provide you and your family the following support and service options as you make the transition from active duty to civilian life:

  • Support to you and your family as you readjust to life after military service
  • Individualized care, specific to your unique post-combat readjustment needs
  • Professional and short-term counseling and referrals for mental health services
  • Assistance scheduling and accessing any needed VA medical center services
  • Contact assistance for VA services near your home
  • Information on VA and community services for which you may be eligible
  • Personal assistance finding your way through the VA system
  • Provide information and assistance regarding health care benefits and eligibility

Post-Deployment Health Care

The post-deployment health care process for VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System is dedicated to the specific care needs of Veterans who have served in overseas locations in support of the Global War on Terrorism, whether directly involved in combat operations in Iraq or Afghanistan or deployed to other locations supporting the war effort. Even if you are receiving health care outside of VA, we strongly encourage you to consider coming in for an entry-level post-deployment physical.

After your initial evaluation, we would like to remain in contact and meet at least once a year with more frequent follow-up appointments if requested or necessary. Our staff has extensive experience working with recently deployed Veterans. This experience has led to a greater understanding of the stressors and concerns related to deployment and the challenges associated with post-deployment reintegration.

Formerly deployed Veterans may experience:

  • Common and anticipated changes in physical health, mental health, family health, and occupational and financial stability after returning home from any deployment.
  • Stress reactions and other concerns related to combat deployments or any deployment experiences that were troubling or traumatic.
  • Environmental agents exposures in the various theaters of combat operations.
  • Unexplained medical symptoms following deployment.
  • Any other health concern associated with deployment.

 

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

VA is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation's returning OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers. The VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System has a team ready to welcome OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers and to help coordinate their care. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.

Contact

Jody Ring
Transition Patient Advocate
Omaha VAMC
800-451-5796 Ext. 4714
jody.ring@va.gov

Heather Bojanski
OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager
Omaha VAMC
800-451-5796 Ext. 4149
heather.bojanski@va.gov

Lori Wardlow
OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager
Lincoln CBOC
402-489-3802 Ext. 6606
lori.wardlow@va.gov