Do You Have Service-Connected MS?
- If you are a veteran diagnosed with MS within seven years of your separation from the military, the VA (Veterans Administration) could classify your illness as related to your military service and award you a service-connected disability.
- If you separated more than seven years ago, you might still be eligible. You must have a diagnosis by a healthcare provider, preferably a neurologist, who directly links the symptoms you had during those seven years to your current diagnosis.
- A crucial part of the process is to have copies of all your medical data and records. Don’t hesitate in collecting this information. It will help your benefits application tremendously. Be sure to include all outside [non-DVA, non-DoD] medical records as well.
Questions? Call 757-490-9627 or 1-800 FIGHT MS
Department of Veteran Affairs Caregiver Initiatives
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has launched two new exciting initiatives for caregivers of Veterans, with one specifically for caregivers of Veterans with MS:
- The first is the National Caregivers Support Line, a telephone-based information line for family members and loved ones who provide care for Veterans who are living with the effects of war, disability, chronic illness, or aging. Licensed clinical social workers are available to answer questions, listen to concerns and link callers to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at their local VA Medical Center. The support line is open Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 11:00 pm Eastern Time, and Saturday from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm Eastern Time. For more information call 1-855-260-3274 or visit www.caregiver.va.gov.
- The second initiative is a monthly support and education conference call for caregivers of Veterans with MS, where caregivers can connect and share their experiences. In addition to time for networking, educational topics and resources will also be discussed. The group meets the fourth Monday of every month from 8-9 pm ET. The call-in number is 1-800-767-1750, access code 43157#. For more information on this monthly support group please contact the group’s facilitator, Maggie Kazmierski, LCSW-C at 1-800-464-6295, ext. 6095/410-605-7000, ext. 6095 or email Margaret.Kazmierski@va.gov.