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Resource Navigator Helps NH Veterans Access VA Health Benefits


Friday, October 29, 2021   

CONCORD, N.H. -- More than 113,000 military veterans live in New Hampshire, but fewer than a quarter of them have enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare.

A new Health Benefits Navigator publication from AARP seeks to help more veterans access their benefits.

Amy Goyer, a family and caregiving expert for AARP, said she knows from personal experience how complicated the Veterans Affairs system can be. She helped her father, a veteran of World War Two and the Korean War, enroll in VA health services.

Goyer explained it is partly because there are so many options, and some people use VA benefits in conjunction with Medicare, Medicaid or other insurance.

"It was really arduous," Goyer recounted. "It took a lot of time. It took a lot of phone calls and asking questions and trying to get to the right people, to really get him everything that he deserved. And that was so, so helpful for him."

Goyer pointed out the navigator booklet explains how to find out if you or someone you care for are eligible for VA health services, and what documents are necessary to access benefits. She noted it also contains information about where to reach out if you need help navigating the process.

Todd Fahey, New Hampshire state director for AARP, said not all information on the internet is accurate, and it is important for Granite Staters to have sources they can trust.

"There's also sometimes scams that are targeted at Veterans specifically," Fahey cautioned. "And we want to give them a safe and reliable, trustworthy place to explore and understand the benefits that they have as a result of their service."

Nationally, nearly 60% of all veterans are eligible for VA health services, but fewer than half sign up for them.

The Veterans Health Benefits Assistance helpline can be reached at 877-222-8387 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Disclosure: AARP New Hampshire contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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