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Thu Feb 27, 2014, 03:52 PM

Veterens Health Care ID Card Snafu? Anyone with any info?

Last edited Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:36 PM - Edit history (1)

(Important on edit update: fellow DUers A-Schwarzenegger and pinboy3niner have the whys and wherefores in their responses, please read their links. I will leave this OP up for our fellow Vets who may not already know about this material.)

Veterans participating in the VA Health Care system are issued ID Cards. I am now on my third card since first starting in the program a couple of decades ago. Last summer I applied for a new card, mine being old and in need of up-dating. Usually we waited only a week before the new cards would arrive by mail but this time there is some sort of snafu. When a month went by I went back to the VA Hospital desk where I applied for the card and was given a number to call and a STRONG suggestion to call it to voice a complaint. I was not told why this needed to be done just that it was what we should do if we had any complaints. When I asked if anyone else was having this problem I was told that ALL of the applicants for those cards were having that problem.

When I called the number given I got a recording instructing me to leave a name and number and that they would get back to me. They got back to me in a day informing me that the problem was a technical glitch that should be cleared up in a week or so. A month more went by and still no card in the mail so I asked at the VA Hospital application desk again. This time the person I spoke to informed me that all of my info was still stored in their data system but NOBODY had received a new card in months. Last week I tried there again and got the same story.

Those cards are highly useful to us vets. They work pretty good as a secondary form of picture ID, one I have put to good use at my bank. If it lists a disability the card is good for discounts at many places, I've used mine at Home Depot/Lowes for a 10% discount often. For those with 100% disabilities it gets the Vet into on-base Commissaries and Base Exchanges. Mostly though it is our primary ID at Veterans Hospitals handed over as ID at the pharmacy and at pretty much every single reception desk we go to.

It's getting on close to 6 months and still nothing. I have looked around online and I found nothing regarding any snafu surrounding the issuance of our VA Health Care ID Cards. So what is up? Does anyone here know what the snafu is?

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Reply Veterens Health Care ID Card Snafu? Anyone with any info? (Original post)
chknltl Feb 2014 OP
A-Schwarzenegger Feb 2014 #1
chknltl Feb 2014 #4
A-Schwarzenegger Feb 2014 #2
A-Schwarzenegger Feb 2014 #5
chknltl Feb 2014 #7
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2014 #3
pinboy3niner Feb 2014 #6
chknltl Feb 2014 #8

Response to chknltl (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 03:58 PM

1. Sorry this is happening.

When I got mine (which I still have many years later)
the guy took the picture & made the card & handed it to
me right there on the spot, boom, my first visit to the VA.
This sounds nuts, what's happening to you. 6 f'ing months
for a card?!

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Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:05 PM

4. The VA Medical Center at American Lake has been VERY GOOD to me over the decades.

That said, the people at the desk where one applies for new cards and/or renewals are not telling me what is up. There is no question that they too are frustrated. I suspect that they are not allowed to say what the problem is.

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Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:07 PM

5. It looks like this may be it.

http://www.legion.org/veteranshealthcare/218582/va-issues-new-id-cards

Last September, VA suspended the issuing of VICs to allow time for changing its systems to read the new card. However, VA has continued taking veterans’ requests for cards – the requests have been put on hold but will be produced and issued as soon as the final system changes are ready.

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Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:22 PM

7. Bingo! THAT has to be it, thanks. SSN's should NEVER have been accessible through our cards!

Alarming news indeed! This begs the simple solution of deleting any SSN accessibility from our cards. I get asked for my final 4 numbers each time I use it at the VA hospital. I have no problem with that number being in the VA data files already. I see no reason that it should be accessible through our cards. Thank you very much for the info.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:05 PM

3. Send a registered letter

so you can document. You need to document everything you can that leads a paper trail.

Good luck.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:08 PM

6. VA has just started issuing a new ID card

But current ID-holders won't begin receiving the new card until April.

The VA site has info on this:
http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic/

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:30 PM

8. Thank you. Did you see upthread what the snafu was?

I am more than a bit alarmed to find out that our SSN was easily accessed through the bar code on our cards! Boggles the mind! I am glad to know that the problem is being addressed and I can wait till April for the new card.

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