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by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,
Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)
Veterans Can Assign Health Care Agent to Communicate With VA
You have the right to accept or decline any recommended medical treatment. Normally, your doctor explains your options for your health care, and you get to decide what is best for you.
But what happens if you are too sick to make decisions for yourself? Who would you want to make decisions for you? Does this person know what you would or wouldn’t want? Questions like these can be hard to think about, but they’re important. That’s why the VA wants you to know about advance directives.
To assign a health care agent with the VA, veterans should complete VA Form 10-0137A . By being proactive, the veteran can be proactive by completing VA Form 10-0137A; the form does not need to be notarized.
An Advance Directive is a legal form that helps your doctors and loved ones understand your wishes about medical and mental health care and make decisions about your care, if you are not able to make decisions for yourself. An Advance Directive is the best way to ensure that your future medical care reflects your wishes.
What should you know about advance directives (VA Form 10-0137A)?
What is an advance directive?
If you are ever too sick to make health care decisions for yourself, your surrogate will make health care decisions for you. You can name a specific person to be your surrogate in an advance directive, and that person is known as your Health Care Agent. An advance directive can also help your surrogate and health care team understand what medical and mental health care you would or would not want.
There are two types of advance directive forms.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a form that you can use to name any adult as your Health Care Agent. This person will have the legal right to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to do so.
A Living Will is a form you can use to state your preferences about treatments you would or wouldn’t want if you cannot make treatment decisions yourself. It can help your surrogate and others know what your preferences are.
You have the right to complete neither, one, or both types of advance directive forms. You will not be discriminated against based on whether or not you have an advance directive, and your decision to have or not have an advance directive will not affect your access to health care or other VHA services.
Who should I choose as my Health Care Agent?
When deciding on a Health Care Agent, it’s best to choose someone you trust and who knows you well, because they will be asked to speak for you if you can’t make health care decisions yourself. When you choose someone, you should talk to that person to make sure they are willing to be your Health Care Agent and willing to carry out your wishes.
If I don’t choose someone to be my Health Care Agent, who will make decisions for me?
If you don’t choose a Health Care Agent to be your surrogate and you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, your surrogate will be identified from this list, in the following order of priority: legal guardian (if you have one), spouse, adult child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or a close friend. If your doctor can’t find anyone from this list, VA staff or a court of law will make health care decisions for you.
Does VA have an advance directive that I can complete?
Yes. VA’s advance directive is VA Form 10-0137. It includes both a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care section and a Living Will section. On the VA advance directive form, you can choose how strictly you want your surrogate and health care team to follow the preferences included in your Living Will.
Does VA recognize other advance directive forms?
Yes. VA recognizes all types of legal advance directives, including VA, state, and Department of Defense (DoD) advance directives. If you have a VA advance directive, you may also have a DoD advance directive and/or one or more state advance directives. Talk with your health care team about which advance directive form is right for you and, if you do have multiple advance directives, make sure they don’t conflict with each other.
Does my surrogate and health care team have to follow my living will?
Most of the time, yes. Your surrogate and health care team must try to respect your wishes. Because your living will can’t cover every potential situation, your surrogate and health care team may have to interpret your wishes, especially if there is conflicting information about your wishes, or if it is unclear how to apply your wishes. Also, your health care team won’t be able to follow your living will if it conflicts with legal or professional standards.
What should I do if I want to complete an advance directive?
You can fill out an advance directive form on your own or get help from a health care provider. This might be a social worker, your primary care doctor, or your mental health professional. You could also talk to your spiritual advisor or attorney.
The VA advance directive is available for download here: https://www.ethics.va.gov/for_veterans.asp. Your health care team can also give you a copy of the VA advance or help you access other advance directive forms.
If you’d like more information about advance directives, or you would like help filling out advance directive forms, please contact a member of your VA health care team.
VA Health Care facilities may include additional contact information here:
What should I do with my completed advance directive?
If you have an advance directive, it’s important to give a copy to your VA health care facility and to your Health Care Agent.
Can I cancel or change my advance directive?
Yes. You can change or cancel your advance directive at any time. If you change or cancel it, give a copy of the new advance directive to your VA health care facility and to your Health Care Agent.
The VA Advance Directive includes sections that allow you to identify the person who would make decisions for you (also called a Health Care Agent) and to specify your treatment preferences.
Those sections are:
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care – the part that says who will make decisions for you
Living Will – the part that details your wishes about treatments.
The VA honors all types of legal Advance Directives, including forms from another state, Department of Defense or VA. The VA form contains more detail than most other forms and allows you the option to attach additional documents. If you do not use an Advance Directive form to choose a health care agent, then your VA health care provider will choose a spokesperson to make decisions for you in this order: legal guardian, spouse, adult child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or close friend. If the health care provider cannot find anyone from this list, VA staff or a court will make decisions for you.
What do I do with my Advance Directive after I complete it?
Now you known the form number the VA lets you use for assigning a health care agent.
Saturday, Nov 20 . Comedy/Dinner show at the Officers Club, Newport RI. ComedyfactoryRI comedians will perform at the Veteran Fundraiser. Tickets are $50 per person, dinner at 5:00. Show starts at 6:00PM. Event is sponsored by the Italian American war Veterans and all veterans residing at the Veterans Home the event will be free, to include a ticket for their guest. Sponsorships for a veteran attending from the Veterans Home, are encouraged for those who can’t attend, $50 (which covers the veteran and a guest).Tickets available on Eventbrite,
If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, firstname.lastname@example.org, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)
Saturday, December 11th , 10am to 3pm Toys for Tots Drop Off, American Legion Post #88, 111 Chapel Street , Harrisville RI, 401-568-0858. Bring a new unwrapped toy and join in at 3:00pm for kickoff of Army-Navy Game. At half time, post will be serving NY style hot wieners.
Applebee’s Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028
Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty. Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain. Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).
Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021
99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID
Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021
Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).
BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021
Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount
Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items.
Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, ID.me.
ID.me is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.
GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through ID.me
Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.
Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.
Jiffy Lube. HONORING VETERANS ALL DAY EVERY DAY!We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:
Tioque Ave, Coventry RI
Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI
Park Ave, Cranston RI
Michaels. Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, Veterans and family members. How to get…
O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.
If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward, email@example.com: the business’s name, location, and military and veteran discount offered
To read all columns in this series go to: https://rinewstoday.com/john-a-cianci/
John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.
Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.
Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.
He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.