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Travel Pay Changes


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#1 COOL BREEZE

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:26 PM

I thought I would share the new travel pay changes that took effective in July. After an appointment the other day I was advised that the group I am now has the $ 6.00 co-payment subtracted giving me the difference of $2.50. After the 3rd appointment in 1 month you get the full pay. This is per month. For vets receiving pension from 30-100% they will now have to pay the co-payment. The VA was waiving this for years-however no longer .
Also, I saw something on the VA website about them automatically sending the travel pay vs standing in line. That is a new directive and the VA in my area is waiting to see how they will carry this out.

I just called the travel pay section in Tucson so they could better explain this issue. Quite a few unhappy folks there as I don't believe nothing official has been mailed out yet.

Edited by COOL BREEZE, 05 August 2011 - 04:36 PM.


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#2 cooter

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:50 PM

Something don't sound right cause they been deducting a fee from my travel pay for a long time now. My RO is Phoenix. Is this another deduction their adding to it?

#3 COOL BREEZE

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:11 PM

Something don't sound right cause they been deducting a fee from my travel pay for a long time now. My RO is Phoenix. Is this another deduction their adding to it?


When I went to collect my travel pay on the other day they informed me of this. Last year they were going to deduct the 6.00, then they changed there mind. According to the new guide lines that they say took effective a few weeks back, those 30-100 % now have the 6.00 deducted. Perhaps they were already doing this as they said they were doing this at one time, then it was suspended. They have been advised to start subtracting the co-payments from the travel pay for those in that category.

#4 cooter

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:22 PM

They might of stopped it right after the last time I was there, which was about a year ago. Oh well, out of sight out of mind.

#5 USNDW

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:07 PM

I requested reimbursement after 4 trips in one month, and at 100% I was told I had to give the $6,00 per trip, no problem, but never got any money at all. I am so disgusted with so many of the VA departments I said screw it, not worth the enrgy anymore.

#6 Stretch

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:17 PM

My round trip to the VA is 50+ miles, round trip. I get $3.21 each visit.

#7 halos2

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:10 AM

I always get $6.00 deducted but once had a 4th appt and they gave me THAT $6.00 that day extra.

#8 COOL BREEZE

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:19 AM

They probably had made a mistake on a few folks and now am following the proper procedure. It looks like each VA site runs thing a little differently. Not worth the 1 hour wait for 2.50 anymore. That would buy me a soda pop for 1.50 and a candy bar at the the mini mart for my trip home,

#9 evandc

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:55 AM

I think nothing has changed. Just the way some person decided to explain the rules. Have you noticed this never happens just someone says that someone said & etc...After making the 160 mile trip for $11.38 for years & now getting the $59 plus after the $6 deduction I'm just fine. I've heard people that live 20 minutes away have problem with amount or whatever. I understand that the $6 wipes out your travel pay...I don't know what I'm suppose to do about that. What concerns me is that other people travel 300 & 400 miles for special treatment & you want to get them all upset & make them think they can't get travel because you don't get thousands of dollars for you inconvenience. Relax, I've finished venting & I (ain't) mad...

Don

Sorry my PTSD is showing this morning

#10 SonnyBurnett

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:21 AM

Bay Pines, Florida VA. When it was finally made aware to the majority, that travel pay is authorized for visits there, the line increased 1000%. So instead of opening additional windows, if you had more than one visit in a 30 day period, they told you AFTER you stood in line at the pay window, to go put your name on a clip board hanging on door (with no markings for this door) and wait in another line to get paid. The look on these people working there is pathetic. You would think you are taking money out of their own pockets.

#11 SonnyBurnett

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:23 AM

All designed to frustrate Vets, so the say screw it and leave.

#12 SonnyBurnett

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:26 AM

I have been going there for 15 years and never knew travel pay is authorized until I received a letter explaining it last year. They will only go back 30 days. BS.
Sorry for the multiple post, this issue really aggravating me, and others too.

#13 cooter

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:12 AM

I have been going there for 15 years and never knew travel pay is authorized until I received a letter explaining it last year. They will only go back 30 days. BS.
Sorry for the multiple post, this issue really aggravating me, and others too.



No Kidding! 15 years and never knew it, wow. I don't know what your RO procedure's are, but the Phoenix RO gives you a voucher (form) at the end of your appointment that proves you showed up, and that's what you take to get the travel window to get your pay. I would think that would be SOP for all RO's, but maybe not.


#14 COOL BREEZE

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:40 AM

Now it appears each VA hospital does its own thing. In Tucson, when you are done with your appointment it is up to you (no vouchers) to go to the travel pay section which is where you get your medicine(pharmacy) as well as the cashier cage..
You get a ticket and wait for a very long time 30 minutes-1 1/2 depending on the time of the day. When your number is called you go to the window where they verify you had an appointment that day. You can you also collect any pay not picked up for the month.. After they verify, then you get another ticket to wait for another long time to get your cash.
I asked about the new procedure where they just mail you a check in the mail so you no longer have to wait in line-they have to find out how they are going to put this in place.
All this years I had been thinking this was the same procedure used at all sites-quite wrong.
This area is always packed. You are correct, lots of Vets don't know they could have been collecting travel pay. This is word of mouth since no voucher is given, and also lots of folks hate the long wait.
It will be much better when they implement the new policy of just mailing the check to you. Of course there will be a cost associated by this . However they won't need employees to man the travel pay or cashier cage . When I go to my own satellite VA clinic, they would mail the check to you from back east-takes about a month.


#15 hawkfire27

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:31 PM

I think the Tucson hospital is great in the way it dispenses its travel pay....Always a pretty quick line.

In El Paso It is shocking. You wait around 2 hours for travel pay there, while the people behind the window debate whose break it is next. There is the option to have the check mailed to you though...There is a form you fill out, and hand in to the travel window (its actually a box). Then you wait for them to send the voucher, which you then sign and send back, and then they will send you the check. At least that is what they told us. We are still waiting for the check for February and March 2011. We have completed three sets of vouchers which they continue to lose or claim that we never sent them etc etc. So I personally am a little worried about the mailing out of checks, It doesn't work now, whats it going to be like when it is thousands more veterans???




Now it appears each VA hospital does its own thing. In Tucson, when you are done with your appointment it is up to you (no vouchers) to go to the travel pay section which is where you get your medicine(pharmacy) as well as the cashier cage..
You get a ticket and wait for a very long time 30 minutes-1 1/2 depending on the time of the day. When your number is called you go to the window where they verify you had an appointment that day. You can you also collect any pay not picked up for the month.. After they verify, then you get another ticket to wait for another long time to get your cash.
I asked about the new procedure where they just mail you a check in the mail so you no longer have to wait in line-they have to find out how they are going to put this in place.
All this years I had been thinking this was the same procedure used at all sites-quite wrong.
This area is always packed. You are correct, lots of Vets don't know they could have been collecting travel pay. This is word of mouth since no voucher is given, and also lots of folks hate the long wait.
It will be much better when they implement the new policy of just mailing the check to you. Of course there will be a cost associated by this . However they won't need employees to man the travel pay or cashier cage . When I go to my own satellite VA clinic, they would mail the check to you from back east-takes about a month.



#16 Flatbroke

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:45 PM

I have been going to the Va Hospital in Columbia, MO for 20 years now.
Until I got servie connected I paid my own travel.
Now I got to the travel pay window and I think that the longest I have had to stand in line was 20 min.
After I get my voucher I walk about ten feet to the pay window and it takes about 2 min to get paid.
Columbia has been good about getting us through the pay lines.
There are two windows for the travel vouchers and I have been there when it was crowded and a third clerk has helped fill out the vouchers.
Usualy there is only one at the pay window but he is good about getting our money out to us.


#17 navydoc2

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:29 AM

Wow, this is interesting to me. My RO in Muskogee, OK requires that you tell the person when you check in for your appt that you are eligible for travel. You have to show receipts for tolls or bring your pike pass in with you. Then after your appt is over They give you a form to take to the cashier, who then gives you your money. I don't think I've ever waited longer than 15 minutes. I do have a problem with one cashier who just rubs me the wrong way because she is so rude. She always seems to have a scowl on her face. I live about 55 miles away round trip and my travel pay is 36.00 after the co pay.



/doc

#18 COOL BREEZE

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:36 AM

Wow, this is interesting to me. My RO in Muskogee, OK requires that you tell the person when you check in for your appt that you are eligible for travel. You have to show receipts for tolls or bring your pike pass in with you. Then after your appt is over They give you a form to take to the cashier, who then gives you your money. I don't think I've ever waited longer than 15 minutes. I do have a problem with one cashier who just rubs me the wrong way because she is so rude. She always seems to have a scowl on her face. I live about 55 miles away round trip and my travel pay is 36.00 after the co pay.



/doc


It is interesting how each Ro has there own method for issuing the travel pay. Since this is run by the Federal Government I expected all to confirm to the same format. They must have lee way on how they do it. Otherwise the co-payment issue would have been the same for them as well. It is obvious for all the confusion of why some were charged a co-payment and some weren't. Perhaps an audit caught this at my Varo. Surprised if a bill isn't issued for all the years they should have been charging me a co pay.

#19 Interested

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:53 AM

Your "Ro has there (sic) own method for issuing the travel pay ... Perhaps an audit caught this at my Varo. " is an incorrect statement.

Other than the indirect issue of assigning disability percentages, your friendly neighborhood VA Regional Office - a part of the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) - has nothing to do with the payment of any travel pay for medical purposes. The VA Medical Center - a part of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) - manages the travel pay.

It is interesting how each Ro has there own method for issuing the travel pay. Since this is run by the Federal Government I expected all to confirm to the same format. They must have lee way on how they do it. Otherwise the co-payment issue would have been the same for them as well. It is obvious for all the confusion of why some were charged a co-payment and some weren't. Perhaps an audit caught this at my Varo. Surprised if a bill isn't issued for all the years they should have been charging me a co pay.



#20 Philip Rogers

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:33 AM

The best way to avoid waiting in line is to mail in the mileage claim forms. I have weekly counseling sessions, so once a month I mail in the four(sometimes 5) forms. I make a master form and just date & sign each one, before mailing. About 4-8 wks later I get my payment checks, in the mail. No waiting in line.

The travel office "will" go back more than 30 days but it is not considered an approved claim and they'll make you go thru the appeal process to get your money. Unfortunately, the travel pay program is run at each RO's discretion(sp) and there is no uniformity.

pr

#21 ks1k

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:44 AM

My round trip to the VA is 50+ miles, round trip. I get $3.21 each visit.


The way I figure it is 50 miles time 41.5 cents per mile = $20.75. That minus the $6.00 deduction = $14.75. You have been short changed.

#22 71M10

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 12:13 PM

Ever notice that most every department/clinic at your VAMC has a waiting room with chairs except the travel/cashiers window?

Was talking with someone in line once that indicated one of the hospitals he used to go to had a device like an ATM that dispensed travel pay. Now that would make a lot of sense!

Best regards,

#23 sharon

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:08 PM

I went to the VA hospital today and got my full travel pay. I guss the timing was right, it took 3 minutes.

#24 Shellback-

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:34 PM

I think the Tucson hospital is great in the way it dispenses its travel pay....Always a pretty quick line.

In El Paso It is shocking. You wait around 2 hours for travel pay there, while the people behind the window debate whose break it is next. There is the option to have the check mailed to you though...There is a form you fill out, and hand in to the travel window (its actually a box). Then you wait for them to send the voucher, which you then sign and send back, and then they will send you the check. At least that is what they told us. We are still waiting for the check for February and March 2011. We have completed three sets of vouchers which they continue to lose or claim that we never sent them etc etc. So I personally am a little worried about the mailing out of checks, It doesn't work now, whats it going to be like when it is thousands more veterans???
I also know the agravation on dealing with the El Paso Va- Probably the only Va in the Nation where a Foreign third world language/ spanish is as likely to be spoken as english- and as far as I know they pay there-not the check is in the mail ?? sounds like they pulled some of that pinche gringo stuff on You !!