ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Don Schimmel, 93, is a Navy World War II veteran who is trying to get a coronavirus vaccine.
The VA in Ann Arbor said that he makes too much money to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. He isn’t looking for benefits, he just wants a vaccine.
UPDATE: Congressman says rule that led VA to deny COVID vaccine to veteran will be fixed
Schimmel received a rejection letter from the VA.
“You are rejected, over the income limit to receive medical treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs,” the rejection letter stated.
The letter informed him that any appointments or medications set for after Feb. 24 would be cancelled.
Schimmel returned from the war, lost a job and started his own company. He is legally blind now and day trades during the pandemic as a hobby. The VA thinks he’s rich. The VA said they will not provide him with the vaccine.
READ: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases
The VA released the following statement:
Veterans are required to enroll with VA in order to receive health care. However, not all Veterans are eligible to enroll in VA health care.
Currently, the department is focusing efforts on the allotment of vaccines we have received for enrolled, eligible Veterans. In addition, VA is working with the White House to explore ways in which VA can further assist with the Nation’s vaccination efforts.
When Veterans apply for VA health care, they are assigned to one of eight priority groups. VA’s goal is to vaccinate as many Veterans possible. Veterans who are not yet receiving care through the VA health care system are encouraged to enroll now. VA enrollees must meet certain eligibility requirements under current law, which may include income limits.
Brian Hayes, VA Public Affairs Officer For more information on eligibility for VA health care, click here .
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