Returning Service Members - VA New Jersey Health Care System
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VA New Jersey Health Care System


Returning Service Members

Welcome Home!

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are working as partners to meet the needs of our newest veterans by creating a pathway which encourages a seamless transition from military duty to civilian life. Together, VA and DoD are finding ways to move records more efficiently between the two agencies; quickly share critical medical information electronically; protect the health of troops stationed in areas where environmental hazards pose a threat; process benefit claims in one shared system; and, in every way possible, hold open the doors to an uncomplicated passage from soldier to citizen.

Building on that, the staff at your VA New Jersey Health Care System Transition and Care Management Program value your service to the country and state, as well as the sacrifices that you and your family have endured. As you make your transition from the military back to civilian life, our focus is to make sure that you have access to the resources that you need to continue to be happy, healthy, and successful.

Your NJ Transition and Care Management (TCM) Team 

Robin Baptiste Robin Baptiste, TPA (Bio) 
Transitional Patient Advocate
Lyons: Building 4
(908) 647-0180 x4094
Rachel Swiecicki  Rachel Swiecicki, LCSW, LCADC (Bio)
Polytrauma Care Manager
Lyons: Building 4
(908) 647-0180 x5039
Joe Diacheysn Joe Diacheysn, LSW (Bio)
Polytrauma Care Manager
E Orange: 7th Floor
(973) 676-1000 x1463
Jennifer Garcia Jennifer Garcia, LCSW (Bio)
Care Manager
Brick & Hamilton CBOC
(732) 206-8900 x6106
Janie Meadows Janie Meadows, MSA (Bio)
Medical Support Assistant
E Orange: 7th Floor
(973) 676-1000 x2033
Meredith Fleece Meredith Fleece, LSW (Bio)
Care Manager
E Orange: 7th Floor
(973) 676-1000 x1576
Germaine Ogiste Germaine Ogiste, LCSW (Bio)
Care Manager
Lyons: Building 4
(908) 647-0180 x4533

Transition and Care Management Services for Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan
At VA, our goal is to ensure that every seriously injured or ill Veteran returning from combat receives priority consideration and world class service in our VA Medical Centers, Community Based Outpatient Clinics, and Vet Centers. With your wellness in mind, your Transition Care Manager can guide you through your reintegration or rehabilitation needs to help you take advantage of the benefits you have earned while serving our country.

If you served overseas in either of the two most recent conflicts you can receive cost-free medical care for any condition related to your service in the Iraq or Afghanistan Theater of Operations for 5 years after your discharge or release from active duty. After your initial 5 year period expires, your enrollment in the VA Health Care System will continue uninterrupted. You may continue to receive care for your service-connected and non-service connected conditions, however; a small co-payment status for some non-service connected care may apply. Speak to your Transition Care Manager for more information about co-pays.

Active Duty Service Members, Reservists and Members of the National Guard returning from Active Duty
TCM was originally called the OEF/OIF/OND Veterans Program and was established to transition military personnel returning from theaters of combat. However, as the country transitions from a time of war to a time of peace, our focus has broadened to include any Service Member or Veteran who served on or after September 11, 2001 who is ill or injured and transitioning to VA care. Transition and Care Management Services are provided to Service Members and Veterans as clinically indicated, based on assessment, or as requested by the Service Member, Veteran, their family or caregiver. We encourage all recently discharged Veterans to speak with a Transition Care Manager, who can assist with determining transitional needs.

VA offers a range of health care and benefit programs for veterans, including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, prosthetic services, life insurance, pension, education benefits, specially adapted housing and automobile grants, and survivor and burial benefits. Your Transition Care Manager can help you determine your eligibility and apply for these benefits and services.

For more information about the various programs available for recently returning service members, log on to the VA's National Returning Service Members site or speak with your NJ Transition Care Manager. Welcome home. We're proud to serve you.

Additional Resources

VA Location Finder
VA NJHCS Phone Directory
Accredited Veterans Service Officer Search
Search VA Forms

Mental Health
VA Mental Health Program
National Center for PTSD
VA Polytrauma (TBI) Program
VA Vet Centers
VA Substance Abuse Resources
VA Support for Families
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Education and Employment
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Post 9/11 GI Bill
VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service Employment Search Tools

Housing and Community Services
VA Homeless Resources
Military Homefront
New Jersey 2-1-1 (Community Resources)
Social Security Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors
VA Veterans Transportation Program

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.