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Old 06-09-2003, 04:21 PM
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Gimpy Gimpy is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Baileys Bayou, FL. (tarpon springs)
Posts: 4,498
VOM Contributor 
Default Well I guess I'm the "odd" man out


Now don't get me wrong. I truly believe that IF the $$$$$$$ are (or were) available to offset the costs for this program---that would be a totally different story. But, with the VA in the shape it's currentlt in----hundreds of thousands of vets (disabled or otherwise) having to wait sometimes up to a YEAR for a medical appointment/treatment, disablity compensation claims taking YEARS to be adjudicated, disabled vets and their dependents & survivors receiving "token" compensation increases LOWER than the rate of inflation---I fail to see the "urgency" of this new proposal. ESPECIALLy when they (former POW's) already receive MORE benefits and have better access to medical treatment than the overwhelming majority of most military veterans now.

Check THIS out!

Benefits and Services for Former Prisoners of War
Definition of a Former Prisoner of War (POW)
Period of War
Peacetime-Comparable to Wartime
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Disability Compensation
POW presumptive disabilities
Health Care
Other Benefits
Where to Go for Assistance
POW Partner Links
Definition of a Former Prisoner of War (POW)
Period of War
A Former POW is a veteran who, while on active duty in the military, air, or naval service, was forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by an enemy government or its agents or a hostile force during a period of war.

Periods of war include: World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
Peacetime-Comparable to Wartime
A Former POW also includes a veteran who, while on active duty during peacetime, was forcibly detained or interned by a foreign government or its agents or a hostile force, if the circumstances of the internment were comparable to wartime internment (for example: Somalia or Kosovo).
Health Care
Former POWs receive priority treatment for VA health care.

If you have a service?connected disability and are a Former POW, you?re eligible for VA health care. This includes hospital, nursing home, and outpatient treatment.

If you don?t have a service-connected disability and are a Former POW, you?re eligible for VA hospital and nursing home care ? without regard to your ability to pay. You are also eligible for outpatient care on a priority basis ? second only to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

While you are receiving treatment in an approved outpatient treatment program, you are eligible for needed medicines, glasses, hearing aids, or prostheses.

If your POW internment lasted 90 days or more, you are eligible for all needed dental care. Veterans who were POWs for less than 90 days should check with their nearest VA medical facility to determine if other criteria would apply to establish eligibility for dental care.
Disability Compensation
Former POWs are eligible for VA service-connected disability compensation to the same extent as other veterans.

If you were a POW for at least 30 days and are diagnosed with any of the conditions below, the condition is presumed to be related to service. Presumptive disabilities are based on studies of the long-term effects of captivity, deprivation, trauma, and cold injury on former POWs. For first-time claimants, there must be a special POW Protocol Examination conducted at a VA medical facility to help determine if you have any of these disabilities.
POW presumptive disabilities
POW presumptive disabilities fall into the following categories:
Nutritional. These disabilities result from the long-term effects of the malnutrition suffered as a POW. While you may not be suffering from malnutrition now, it is possible to have residual disabilities from malnutrition during captivity. These include:
Avitaminosis ? a disease resulting from lack of vitamins.
Beriberi ? a disease marked by inflammatory or degenerative changes of the nerves, digestive system, and heart caused by a lack of thiamin.
Malnutrition (including atrophy associated with malnutrition).
Pellagra ? a disease marked by dermatitis, stomach disorders, intestinal disorders, and nerve symptoms associated with a lack of niacin.
Any other nutritional deficiency.
Helminthiasis. Infectious residuals from any type of parasitic worm.

Neuro-Psychiatric. Disabilities in this category are normal consequences of POW captivity. Some of these disabilities can show up many years following captivity and can produce mild to severe symptoms. Irritability, anxiety, restlessness, sleep disorders, and unsociability are only a few of the symptoms. These disabilities include:
Dysthymic Disorder (Depressive Neurosis)
Any of the Anxiety States (e.g., PTSD)
Gastrointestinal Disabilities.Including:

Peptic Ulcer Disease? ulcerations of the digestive tract
Irritable Bowel Syndrome ? symptoms can include pain and constipation, chronic diarrhea, or both.
Chronic Dysentery ? frequent, watery stools with rectal/abdominal pain, fever and dehydration.
Cold Injury. The freezing of tissue. The extremities farthest from the heart are usually affected, primarily the nose, ears, hands and feet. This usually produces long-term side effects such as numbness, discoloration, excessive swelling, pain, and possibly arthritis in the affected areas.

Traumatic Arthritis. This disability looks and is treated like degenerative arthritis (arthritis associated with age) except it is caused by severe trauma to specific joints.

Peripheral Neuropathy. A neurological disorder characterized by numbness and tingling of the extremities. It can be caused by nutritional deficiency and will be evaluated by VA as a separate disability for each extremity affected.

Ischemic Heart Disease. A heart disability which may be related to service. Also called coronary artery disease, this disability is characterized by the narrowing of arteries which supply vital oxygen to the heart. Often treated by angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, this is a disability which is commonly found in the aging population; however, this disability can be presumed to be related to service if a diagnosis of this type of heart disease is made and the veteran indicates swelling of the legs (edema) during captivity on his/her POW Protocol Examination.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
DIC is payable to survivors (spouse, parent or children) of:
service members who died on active duty
veterans who died from service-related disabilities
certain veterans who were being paid 100% VA disability compensation at time of death
Surviving spouses of former POWs qualify if the veteran:
died after September 30, 1999, and
was continuously rated totally disabled for a service-connected condition for at least 1 year immediately preceding death.
DIC ends if the surviving spouse remarries.

But if that marriage ends by death or divorce, DIC benefits may start again.
Other Benefits
Eligible Former POWs and their surviving spouses may be entitled to other benefits available through VA such as disability pension, death pension, loan guaranty, insurance, burial benefits, etc. To obtain information about these benefits see section below.
Where to Go for Assistance
A Former POW Coordinator has been designated at each VA regional office who can provide you information about and assistance in applying for the benefits and services available to you.
I agree---These folks DESERVE all we can award them. BUT---let's get the "system" funded properly BEFORE we start awarding things in addition to the "stuff" ALREADY in need of "fixing".

That's just my two-cents worth.



"I ain't no fortunate son"--CCR

"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war..........We have felt - we still feel - the passion of life to its top.........In our youth our hearts were touched with fire"

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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