Resources for Veterans
ALSA-CT works everyday to support people with ALS and their families, including our heroes who have served in the military and who are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as those who have not served.
On September 23rd, 2008 the United States Congress passed a provision approving 100% service connection (disability) benefits to Veterans diagnosed with ALS. This provision was passed because Veterans have an increased risk of being diagnosed with ALS, according to multiple studies, including a 2006 National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) study.
The VA Connecticut (VACT) Health Care System’s Interdisciplinary ALS Clinic, located in West Haven, CT, was established in 2009. A team of clinicians meet weekly to discuss patient needs and coordinate discipline-specific interventions for every Veteran. The team consists of a neurologist who works both at the VA and at Yale (Dr. Huned Patwa, MD), a palliative care nurse practitioner, a primary care provider, a speech language pathologist, a registered dietician, a health psychologist, a nurse case manager, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a respiratory therapist, and a licensed clinical social worker. The VACT ALS Clinic regularly collaborates with the Hospital for Special Care’s neuromuscular clinic – many Veterans attend both clinics.
Every Veteran with ALS followed by the VACT ALS Clinic receives monthly tax exempt monetary compensation, durable medical equipment (including wheelchairs and ramps), home care supports (including visiting nurses and home health aides), caregiver/spousal supports (including spousal health insurance), and assistance with accessing a multitude of VA benefits such as home modifications grants, automobile grants, and life insurance benefits . The VACT ALS Clinic team highly encourages every Veteran to connect to the VA early, shortly after their diagnosis.
Veterans or families can contact the VACT ALS Clinic directly to receive expedited assistance in registering for VA health care and VA service connected compensation benefits.
Please contact the following for more information:
Cristina Birdsall, LCSW 203-932-5711 ext. 14290
The VACT ALS Clinic is honored to care for Veterans with ALS and works closely with the ALS Association CT Chapter to ensure every Veteran and family member receive the care they need.