Explaining VA dental benefits
BY TAMMY WALTERS
Oneida County Veterans Service Officer
The eligibility for dental care through the VA is not the same as it is for most other medical benefits. Below is a list of the only veterans and situations where VA dental is allowable.
• Are rated 100 percent service-disabled either schedular (all their disability ratings add up to 100 percent) or 100 percent IU (Individual Unemployability) are allowed any needed dental care. This does not include veterans who are temporary 100 percent due to extended hospitalization or convalescence.
• Have been discharged from active duty within the past 180 days and received a discharge other than dishonorable: One-time dental care if DD 214 indicates a complete dental examination wasn’t administered prior to discharge.• Have a compensable (10 percent or greater) service-connected dental condition: Any needed dental care.
• Have a non-compensable (0 percent) service-connected dental condition: Any dental care necessary to provide and maintain a functioning dentition. The treatment is only allowed for the tooth/teeth/condition(s) that are trauma related.
• Have a dental condition clinically determined by the VA to be associated with and aggravating a service-connected medical condition: Only treatment for the condition that has a direct and material detrimental effect to a service-connected medical condition.
• Are in the vocational rehab program (Chapter 31): Only dental treatment needed to gain entrance into the vocational rehab program; help the veteran achieve their goal in the program; prevent interruption of the program; hasten the return into the program if interrupted by leave status or if veteran stopped because of illness or injury (including a dental condition); or to secure employment during the period of employment assistance.
• Are enrolled in a VA homeless program: One-time course of dental care that is determined medically necessary to relieve pain, assist the veteran with obtaining employment, or treat gingival and periodontal conditions.
If you believe you are eligible for dental treatment, your VA health care provider will have to do a consult for you before you can be seen.
Tammy Walters can be reached at (715) 369-6127 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason Dailey, Assistant CVSO, can be reached at the same number or email@example.com.