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Sgt. Shaft

Articles by Sgt. Shaft

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's wife can remain on TRICARE Prime until age 65

Dear Sgt. Shaft: I will be converting to Medicare/TRICARE For Life next year at age 65. (TRICARE is the health care program serving uniformed service members, retirees and their families worldwide.) My wife is 10 years younger. Will she be able to remain on TRICARE Prime until she also reaches age 65? Published April 30, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Reader seeks help getting TRICARE For Life health program restored

Dear Sgt. Shaft: I disenrolled from an HMO on March 23. I was informed to send information of disenrollment from the HMO and TFL (TRICARE For Life) would reinstate my TFL. (TRICARE is the health care program serving uniformed service members, retirees and their families worldwide.) Published April 23, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran asks about his pending medical claim

Dear Sgt. Shaft: My VA claim has been pending in some form or another since November of 1977. It has been remanded back to Detroit from the VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration) in D.C. This remand was sent back in August of 2012. Is there any way to find out if it is in the expedited status as per U.S. Code, Title 38, and Section 5109B? Published April 8, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: How does Reserve time apply in retirement?

Dear Sgt. Shaft: I'm trying to get the straight scoop on military Reserve time and whether or not it can be applied toward federal civil service retirement — (CSRS or FERS) Civil Service Retirement Service or Federal Employees Retirement System. Published April 2, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Vietnam veteran's wife seeks help for disabled husband

Dear Sgt Shaft: My husband is a disabled Vietnam vet. He was awarded total disability effective Aug. 17, 2010, until Nov. 1, 2011, during treatment for Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). He has PTSD and on a VA exam, the doctor said that he was not competent to handle his funds. Published March 26, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran and spouse fight for ailments to be treated

Dear Sgt. Shaft: We have been in combat with the VA for far too long now, since 1987. My wife was injured at boot camp in 1980 and did not receive proper care at that time. She was also the victim of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), which should expedite her claims, but has been ignored thus far. Published March 19, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Medicare cannot be billed for VA health care, except in certain referrals

You should ensure to also advise writers like Genevieve that Medicare cannot be billed for VA health care; and neither can most Medicare supplements, such as TRICARE for Life. Exception: The only situation where Medicare can be billed is quite rare. That would be when VA refers the patient to a private non-VA provider. Only then can Medicare be billed for residuals not covered by the VA. Published March 12, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Girl Scout wants to send cookies to troops overseas

Dear Sgt. Shaft: My daughter, Elise, a fourth-grader in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is in the Girl Scouts for the fourth year. She is the epitome of a Girl Scout. ... Right now is our cookie selling time, and Elise would like to accept your donation on behalf of Girl Scouts for cookies to be sent to our military. Published March 5, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's wife asks about TRICARE for Life (TFL) coverage

Dear Sgt. Shaft: Once a person turns 65, their TRICARE Prime or Standard coverage stops by law as TRICARE Prime and Standard have to stop after age 64. That means to continue TRICARE coverage, a person has to enroll in TRICARE for Life (TFL). TFL is a partnership between Medicare and TRICARE with Medicare acting as the primary payer and TRICARE acting as a Medicare Supplement. My husband is approaching his 65th birthday and with being priority "1" in the VA Heath Care System, I am wondering what your take is on Medicare B? Published February 19, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's daughter seeks info about father's benefits

Dear Sgt. Shaft: My father has applied for VA benefits and is currently waiting for a response. It's been a few months now, and he's starting to worry. If there's any way you could check on the status of the application or find out if there's a processing problem of any kind, we would both be most grateful. Published February 11, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Prescription reader ScripTalk used by veterans, others

Dear Sgt Shaft: I've heard from a veteran friend here in North Carolina that he can get talking prescriptions from the VA hospital. He gets his prescriptions with an special electronic label. They also gave him a free device that reads the electronic labels and speaks the label information out. Published February 3, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's wife seeks info about husband's honorable discharge certificate

Dear Sgt. Shaft: My husband received DD256 when he was discharged from active duty in 1954. It is our understanding that the DD256 form is only for discharge from inactive reserves. He should have a DD214 from active duty according to our information. Could you please clarify? If he sends a copy his DD256 to the proper place, can he obtain the correct DD214? Published January 25, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's wife seeks information on health insurance

Dear Sgt. Shaft: My name is Rochelle, my husband was rated 100 percent about eight years ago, which made me eligible for the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). ... We are now living in Savannah Ga., which seems to me to be a military town. We live up the road from Hunter Army Air force and just a few miles from Fort Stewart, yet I can find no provider willing to accept CHAMPVA. Published January 22, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Vietnam veteran with lung issues seeks Agent Orange benefits

Dear Sgt. Shaft: I am a Vietnam veteran (era 1965/66) and, over the years, have developed problems due to an enlarged prostate and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) issues. During my service, I served in An Khe, Pleiku, Qui Nhon, etc., where heavy concentrations of Agent Orange were sprayed. Will I be eligible to receive compensation/benefits because of exposure to Agent Orange? Published January 15, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Veteran living in the U.K. wants info on benefits

Dear Sgt Shaft: I am way out of touch with possible benefits after being honorably discharged in 1977; I actually enlisted in 1971 after serving in Camp Lejeune and also on the MSG program, serving at the American Embassy in London for some three years inclusive. I currently live in the United Kingdom, where I married here and brought up our two daughters. Please give me some help and guide me on any benefits that I can claim, retirement or some other financial benefit. Published January 8, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Reader offers to help return dog tags to veterans

Dear Sgt. Shaft: Thank you for your service to our country during Vietnam. I am writing to offer my volunteer research services to help your readers return the dog tags they have found. I have done the research to help others return more than 200 WWII dog tags. I do not charge a fee for my services, and I only work with people who are willing to send the tags home, free of charge. Published January 1, 2013

SGT. SHAFT: Caregiver of wounded veteran is thankful for the help

Dear Sgt. Shaft: Thank you so much for all you did to help me. ... I had a wonderful time on my trip. I challenged myself emotionally and physically and was able to sleep and act without focusing on everyone else's welfare — real respite. I'm hoping to use our respite hours again in late January to take out little ones to Disney. Published December 25, 2012