Can the VA cut off prescription drugs if my father hasn't seen a VA doctor in 2 years?

Asked by

My father qualified for VA benefits as a veteran of the Korean conflict. He has some assets, so he pays the VA co-pay for prescriptions. He's in long-term care with numerous medical problems. When I tried to renew prescriptions recently, I was told I couldn't do so until he saw a VA doctor. Apparently they waived the visit requirement last year, so his prescriptions were written by a local doctor this past year and filled by the VA. I've been told that they cannot waive the Doctor visit requirement again, and if he hasn't been seen by a VA Doctor for 2 years his benefits will be terminated.
The nursing home has a van for transport, but we don't think he can handle the trip to the VA. (He has advanced kidney and heart disease and late stage dementia.) There is an outpatient facility about 1 hour away - that's the closest. So ....
- can the VA doctor visit be waived again?
- can we ask the VA doctor to visit him?
- can we request an ambulance for transport?
I seems strange to me that the VA would cut off medication if you aren't well enough to see the doctor.

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
Top Answer
Do you have Power of Attorney for him? I would think you could take his DD214' and the VA enrollment papers which you could help him fill out, and have him sign them, and take them to the VA on his behalf...
call your state and federal members of the House of Reps and Senate;explain your dilemma TP their staff. It's an election year. You'll be amazed how responsive they are to members of their home district
Thanks so much to all of you for responding. I am sure now that the 2-year visit requirement can't be waived, and I certainly understand why.
For once the family is in agreement, and we don't want to put Dad through the travel. We think we can handle the drug cost together since it will probably be a limited time, and the local doctor will work with us on keeping the costs down if possible. We also agree that the VA's resources should go to the young vets returning from combat. Dad has had a long and blessed life, and we are grateful.
Jblong, as a veteran myself and a veteran's advocate, Please call the VA and ask to speak to a Veteran's advocate to help you. The VA is a busy place, but they are not without a heart. I worked extensively with the VA when my dad fell Ill, and as long as I had Power of Attorney, I was able to do everything my dad could have done on his own. If you have POA, you still have hope to get him reenrolled for VA benefits with his DD214 (discharge papers). He does not need to see a doc just to enroll, (the paperwork is just to get him into the system, and once in the system, then a veteran can make appointments). Secondly, after a veteran is enrolled, you can transfer existing prescriptions to the VA and even have them mailed to the facility your dad is in. We did that for my dad without him having to see a VA doc.

Another possibility, is to have your dad fall under Hospice Care. If there is no curative hope for your dad, he falls under the Care and Comfort category. My dad was under Hospice care in his own home for a year prior to his death, and they covered 100 percent of his prescription costs.. Ask to speak to a Palliative Care social worker to see if this might be an option for you.... Blessings to you during this difficult time.
You should visit the VA website at and review the various programs that may be available to your dad. I'm more than certain that he would be eligible for a couple of the programs ie Aid and Attendance and Veterans Pension. Depending on his disability rating he may also be eligible for VA long term care in a VA soldiers home or VA contracted nursing facility. Contact a VA social worker to find out which programs he may be eligible for and apply at Good luck and God bless.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support