PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The VA is clearing things up after a sign was posted on a door at the Plano VA clinic stating new, more strict enrollment requirements.
The sign said “Attention veterans: Effective 02/27/2019, the following criteria for veterans trying to enroll at VA Plano CBOC are as follows: Veterans must be *75 years or older, living within a 5 mile radius of the the CBOC location. * 50% service connected or greater living within a 5-mile radius of Plano CBOC location.”
A spokesperson for the VA said the sign has now been taken down and called it a mistake.
The spokesperson said as more veterans move to Collin County, the Plano clinic has reached capacity.
However, he stressed the VA will never turn any veteran away from receiving care.
When it comes to new enrollment, if a veteran moves to Collin County and wants to visit the Plano clinic there is still a possibility they can. The VA looks at everyone on a case by case basis. However, it might be recommend that he or she go to another clinic. The next closest is currently more than 20 miles away.
At this time, the VA is not accepting transfers at the Plano clinic. This means if a veteran is already enrolled at another clinic and wants to go to Plano, they won’t be able to.
Veteran Edward Lindman, who lives in Allen, said he tried to sign up for care at the Plano clinic last week. He said he has a 100 percent disability rating, meaning 100 percent of his disability is from his service.
He was in the VA’s system, but had not been to the Plano clinic.
He said he was told the Plano clinic is at capacity and he couldn’t book an appointment there. Instead, he went to the Bonham clinic about an hour away. He wishes he could have gone to the Plano clinic, even if it meant a longer wait.
“If they were at capacity and they couldn’t accept you right away and maybe had to delay you getting in, that would have been okay with me because that’s the way the VA usually works,” Lindman said. “You have to wait awhile.“
The VA is working to expand care and is trying to turn a closed hospital in Garland into a clinic. The hope is to secure it by the summer and then operations would be able to start around 90 days after that.