Ann Arbor Veteran Denied, COVID-19 Vaccine by VA, Inspires Congressman To Help Change Rules

Apr 29, 2021

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 29, 2021 – The VA denied a 93-year-old World War II veteran from Ann Arbor a COVID-19 vaccine because he made too much money.
In a rejection letter from the VA, Don Schimmel was told that he could not receive health care through the VA because he was over the income limit. Schimmel was not allowed to be vaccinated because veterans must be enrolled in VA health care to get a COVID-19 vaccine from a VA facility.
Schimmel said that he only wants a vaccine, not benefits. He fought in WWII and is now legally blind. Because his income is over the eligibility limit, he is not included in any of the groups currently given priority for vaccination by the VA.
Schimmel started his own business after he returned from WWII. After retirement and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has done day trading as a hobby, income which counts against him in this instance. 
Schimmel’s plight caught the attention of Michigan Representative Tim Wahlberg, who contacted the Ann Arbor VA health facility to discuss the issues that led to the denial. He blames Congress for not anticipating this loophole. He and other Congress members are figuring out a way to make all veterans eligible for vaccination through the VA. 
Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), encouraged Schimmel and anyone else facing a similar situation to get vaccinated by local health clinics or pharmacies. In Michigan, anyone over the age of 65 or the age of 50 with another health condition is eligible to be vaccinated currently.
According to the department, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System has administered nearly 40,000 COVID-19 vaccinations as of March 3. A total of 2,765,577 doses have been administered across the state of Michigan thus far. 
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