June 1, 2001, 08:00:00 AM
WASHINGTON, DC -- Vietnam veterans now have a new national toll-free hot line to answer their questions about health care benefits for their children who have spina bifida.
The number for the hot line, operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is 1-888-820-1756. Callers can speak to a benefits adviser Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern time.
'This new helpline is part of a continuing effort by VA to reach out to veterans and their families,' said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi, himself a Vietnam veteran.
An after-hours phone message will allow callers to leave their names and telephone numbers for a return call the next business day. The hot line is managed by VA's Health Administration Center in Denver.
Eligibility for VA's spina bifida benefits is limited to Vietnam veterans' children who have been diagnosed with spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta). The veteran-parent must have served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Spina Bifida Healthcare Program covers most health services and supplies that are medically or psychologically necessary for the treatment of spina bifida and related medical conditions.
For general information on VA's spina bifida program, visit the VA Web site at http://www.va.gov/hac.
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