The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will begin providing mental health services to eligible veterans in Napa County later this year. This is the first step in what is hoped will become a full service VA Clinic.
The services are expected to be located at the Napa County “South Campus” at 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive.
Efforts have been made for many years to bring VA health care services to Napa County. Many veterans in the county have been unable to make use of the VA due to transportation and time of travel issues.
Enrollment in VA health care is free to eligible veterans.
“Blue Water” Update
The VA will begin processing compensation claims in January for veterans who served on board ships off the coast of Vietnam.
This is a result of Public Law 116-23, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. The law was signed on June 25, 2019, and takes effect on January 1, 2020.
This means that the VA now presumes those who served off the coast of Vietnam were exposed to the herbicide known as Agent Orange.
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Any veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange will be eligible for treatment and potential compensation for the following conditions:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)—Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset—Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
Also, the surviving spouse of a veteran whose death was caused or hastened by any of these conditions would likely be eligible for monetary, education and health benefits.
If a veteran previously filed a claim for benefits and was denied because they did not go ashore in Vietnam, we can file a new claim based on this change in the law, and in some cases the VA will grant the claim retroactive to the original date of filing.
Claims may be filed immediately, but those for “blue water” will be held by the VA until January for processing. Call the Napa County Veterans Service Office at 707-253-4558 to schedule an appointment for assistance.
Napa County Veterans Commission
The Napa County Veterans’ Commission serves as an advocate for veterans and their families by increasing awareness of the issues facing Veterans in Napa County and by influencing public policy through regular reports to the Board of Supervisors. The commission is charged with educating and raising awareness of the public, county staff and the county Board of Supervisors regarding issues affecting veterans and their families, including, but not limited to veterans’ physical and mental health, transportation, benefits, and ways to generally improve the lives of veterans.
The commission meets the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Silver Lupine Room at 650 Imperial Way Napa from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Veterans and the general public are invited to attend and their input is encouraged and valued. The commission website is https://www.countyofnapa.org/2324/Veterans-Commission. Their Facebook page can be found under Napa County Veterans Commission.