Veteran Administration (VA) offices in Germany

Where to report to collect U.S. military pension

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gptfreight
Hubby says he doesnt qualify for tricare.
But if there are VA Doctors in Frankfurt, that'd be great, because we wont be living too far from there.
And thanks for the phonenumber, we are definitely write it down!
hzoi
There aren't VA doctors anywhere outside the US, to my knowledge, let alone in Frankfurt. There certainly aren't any US government services in Frankfurt that I know of, other than the Consulate.

You're on the right track with the website you posted. Call the VA now, before you leave, and get specifics on what you and your husband will need to do. Then have the VA put it in writing, because odds are you will have to educate the appointment clerk at whatever military clinic you end up going to for services (I'd presume here in Wiesbaden, if you're going to be close to Frankfurt, as the next closest military communities these days are in Mannheim and Heidelberg).

I have a contact who is the head of a military retiree group in Darmstadt. If you send me a private message with your email, I'll see if I can get you in touch with him.
RevImmigrant
I've had 100% service-connected disability for 20 years (actually the percentage is 80%. but I get paid at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability) and haven't lived in the US for 16 years. I use the VA Foreign Medical Program to pay for medical care in the civilian sector. Normally I pay the bills, then send the claim to the VA FMP Office, which is in Denver. The FMP only pays for diagnosis and treatment of service-connected disabilities. The advantage is that you can see private doctors instead of going to the VA, which I very much prefer as I do not like the VA doctors or American doctors in general, even those in the private sector. I haven't had any problems finding doctors to provide reports in English. It takes about 2 months for the VA FMP to process your claim and send the reimbursement checks.

If the VA wants to review someone's disability, they just send a letter to the person's physician requesting updated information.

I have the VA FMP reimbursement checks sent directly to my bank officer in Texas. My pension check has been on direct deposit for many years, so this is not a problem.

As a disabled veteran I do not have Tricare coverage; we are not eligible for it. I am not retired from the military, but got a medical discharge in 1987.

If you have 100% SC disability, you are eligible for an ID from the military (DD Form 2765, a brown ID card like military dependents get) and can use the base facilities (commissary, PX, library, vet clinic, thrift shop, etc).

Good luck.
JennyMominRI
Hi RevImmagrant. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind. My husband and I would like to move to Germany in a couple years. I too am 100% disabled, 80% with IU like you. I am also on Tricare as I am medically retired. MY husband and I both also receive SSDI . We would like to live in Germany but would not have to work. I wondered if you had any trouble(visas etc.) being allowed to live there as a retiree? I need to look into the Va program that you speak of as my Tricare would only pay 75% of our medical costs, which are quite extensive. Any advice would be appreciated.
RevImmigrant
Hi, Jenny,

Do you have regular Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income disability? Regular Social Security disability pays irregardless of where you live (I think they might make exceptions for certain states, i.e. Iran, N. Korea,etc). It is my understanding that Supplemental Security Income disability only pays when you live in the US. I would sugggest you verify this with Social Security before you move.

If you have sufficient income and health insurance coverage, it is not difficult to get a residence permit (visa) to live here. I do not know how much income is required, but my VA disability, SSD and small German government widow's pension qualified. They will accept the VA Foreign Medical Program has health coverage. I think the VA FMP is covered on the VA website.

If you live outside the US, Social Security will send you a form every year or so to verify your country of residence, country of citizenship, etc. You are required to keep them advised of your address. As you undoubtedly know, the VA now is requiring a form every year for those of us getting 100% based on IU, so they will also need to have your correct mailing address. I've been going through 10k kinds of hell because they hadn't sent me anything in the mail in 8 years and didn't have my current address, so, of course, I idn't get the form to complete and return and they reduced my check to the 90% rate which is almost $1,100 a month less than the 100% rate. I think I've finally gotten the problem resolved, but still hven't received the money.

Good luck with everything.
JennyMominRI
It is SSDI,not SSI, so I know I have the income needed when you add in my VA Pansion. MY biggest worry is insurance
RevImmigrant
You mean yours is regular Social Security disability that you receive from your own Social Security contributions. It's normally called SSD.

I wouldn't worry about health insurance if I had both Tricare and the VA FMP, particularly if you can still go to the military clinics as an outpatient to get most or all of your medicine. It is my observation that medications are less expensive here than they are in the US, although I haven't lived there in 16 years. Check out the cost of Nexium, 40 mg. I am paying a little over 51 Euros for 30 tablets, but the VA FMP will reimburse me, so that's not a problem. I live on the German-Polish border and get almost everything in Poland where it's less expensive, except for the ones they don't have there like the Nexium. Medications are more expensive in the US than almost any other country.
JennyMominRI
The I at the end is for Insurance. I've seen it both ways, SSDI and SS Disability
I'm also concerned about my husband. He had an Aortic dissection a couple of years ago and had open heart surgery. He has a replacement valve that has to be monitored and probably replaced every 15 years ago. He would only be covered for 75% unless we go to a military facility. I'm considering trying to stay within 2 hours of so of a major military hospital, or in a city with a lot of doctors who have agreements with Tricare. Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Heidelberg are good optio, I think
RevImmigrant
The medical care over here is excellent. There is a medical school in Heidelberg. Others' postings indicate that it is difficult for retirees to get inpatient care in the military hospitals because of the active duty war casualties so it sounds like civilian care undrr Tricare would be more likely.

I don't know how active you're able to be, but there are many things to do and see over here: museums, historical sights, zoos. The food is excellent, both the food products available in the groccery stores and in the restaurants. I didn't like the meat in the commissaries when I lived in Hessen and was within a 45 minute drive to about 4 bases so I bought meat in the local stores. The cuts are different, but the meat is excellent. Germany is centrally located as you know, so you have easy access to other European countries. I took alot of day trips in Hessen and got to see quite a bit in that area. Since I've been here, I've traveled some in Poland (I live on the German-Polish border and shop in Poland) and go to Berlin once or twice a month to visit a friend and get books in English.

I'm going back to Mexico within the next month or so. I can't take the winters over here anymore.
Killer_Bee_67
Good Morning, I can tell you how it worked and currently works for me. I am a disabled vet. I did a europeon retiremnent. I contacted the VA administration office in Landstuhl, I was called for an evaluation at Landstuhl and filled out a ton of paperwork. After months of review, I recieved a letter from the US Consulate in Frankfurt that they were working as a "go-between" for the VA and that I must set up an appointment with a Dr Baron in Frankfurt. Dr Baron is one of a couple who are prefered by the Consulate and VA. My VA Benefit goes into my direct deposit. I have recently, and will go back in a couple weeks since my last appointment a month ago for another re eval.

Another issue of interest. Since my retirement, I am authorized 5 years worth of deduction free medical care from using military medical facilities. My family is still under Tricare but deduction still applies.
danyellgg
we found something here

http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Foreign/Medical.htm

I'm posting this link because it might be of interest for someone else.

So there healthcare for disabled veterans abroad
wow, I'm so glad I stumbled upon this page, thank you for that link, I am a disabled vet and none of this had even crossed my mind. Thanks again!
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