Monday, June 24, 2024
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VA Travel Pay Reimbursement

I recently wrote about a new invention, the internet, and the increasing popularity of online tools and services. If you read that article, then I hope you followed my recommendation and created your va.gov account. Your experience with this week’s topic will be much easier with an existing account.

VA’s beneficiary travel program or travel pay reimbursement, pays eligible Veterans for mileage and other travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments. The most common type of reimbursement is for gener­al health care travel such as trains, planes, and automobiles. General health care travel requires that you are traveling for care at a VA health fa­cility or for approved care in your community (aka VA Community Care). In addition, you also must meet at least one of the following require­ments (not a complete list): 30% or higher dis­ability rating, travel for service-connected con­dition (regardless of disability rating), receiving VA pension, income less than max annual VA pension rate, or traveling for C&P exam. Talk to your VA health care provider about eligibility for special mode transportation.

VA recently introduced their new Beneficiary Travel Self Service System (BTSSS). The solu­tion provides an intuitive interface for claimants such as veterans and caregivers to submit and track their beneficiary travel claims. BTSSS pro­vides a more veteran-focused experience for ben­eficiary travel reimbursements, allowing claim­ants to submit and track travel claims at their convenience. BTSSS also provides capabilities for beneficiaries to receive payments by elec­tronic funds transfer and helps to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.

BTSSS is an online, self-reporting system that eliminates delays created by paper forms and the kiosks. An updated profile is required to file a claim online and to process previously submitted kiosk and paper claims. Filing travel claims elec­tronically with BTSSS and using direct deposit result in the fastest payment possible. You may have noticed the kiosks are no longer available at your VA clinic or medical center. You must now use BTSSS to file a travel reimbursement claim but fear not the good old paper form an available option. Submitting a VA Form 10-3542, instead of using BTSSS, may delay your payment by weeks or a month.

Contact your CVSO for assistance with the pa­per form. For assistance with BTSSS, call VA’s Beneficiary Travel toll-free call center at 855-574- 7292. For more information or to access BTSSS go to www.va.gov/minneapolis-health-care/pro­grams/travel-pay-reimbursement/

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Ser­vice Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Vet­erans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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