The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides monetary allowances, vocational training and VA-financed health care benefits to the children of Vietnam veterans diagnosed with spina bifida. For the purpose of this program, spina bifida is defined as all forms or manifestations of spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), including complications and associated medical conditions related to spina bifida.
Children must have been conceived after the date on which the veteran first entered the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, or in Korea during the period September 1, 1967 – August 31, 1971. The veteran must have served in the active military, naval or air service and have been exposed to an herbicide agent during such service in or near the Korean demilitarized zone.
Vocational Training Spina Bifida Benefits
VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service is available if it is reasonably feasible for the eligible child to achieve a vocational goal. The applicant must be a child to whom VA has awarded a monthly allowance, and for whom VA has determined that achievement of a vocational goal is feasible.
Beneficiaries may select the provider of their choice as long as the provider is appropriately licensed/certified and is practicing within the scope of that license/ certification. An alternative source to VA financed health care is cost-free health care available through the Shriners Hospitals for Children-a nonprofit charitable corporation offering comprehensive services to children under the age of 18. Some services require pre-authorization.
Eligibility for VA spina bifida health care benefits is limited to Vietnam veterans’ and certain Korean veterans’ birth children diagnosed with spina bifida and awarded VA spina bifida benefits. In general, the program covers most health care services and supplies that are medically or psychologically necessary for the treatment of spina bifida and related medical conditions.
NOTE: Health care benefits available under this program are limited to that necessary for the treatment of spina bifida and related medical conditions. Beneficiaries should be aware that this program is not a comprehensive health care plan and does not cover medical services unrelated to spina bifida. Beneficiaries are advised to maintain their comprehensive health care plan for unrelated health care needs.
How to Apply for Spina Bifida Benefits
We strongly recommend that you enlist the services of a Veteran Service Officer before you submit your application. They will review your application, helping ensure it has all the information the VA requires. If you do not have a VSO yet, the NVF will help you find one. Simply call us at 888-777-4443.
Spina bifida benefits are based on eligibility determinations made by the Denver VA Regional Office. VA will determine the current level of disability upon receipt of both medical and lay evidence and a completed VA Form 12-0304, Application for Spina Bifida Benefits. The completed form and competent medical evidence should be returned to: Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Service Center (339/21) Box 25126 Denver, CO 80225
Detailed program material addressing covered and non-covered services and supplies, preauthorization requirements, and claim filing instructions will be automatically furnished to all program beneficiaries after the Denver VA Regional Office awards benefits.