A Summary of Assessment (SOA) from Veterans Affairs can be an extremely useful piece of paper to keep handy. Your SOA has several pieces of pertinent information on it that can assist a veteran in many circumstances, especially medical circumstances. Let’s look at what your SOA is, and why it’s a good idea to keep one on file at home.
Each person who puts in a claim for services or entitlements to VAC is automatically issued a file number. A K Number is your file number with a K in front of it. This number is used to keep track of all paperwork, medical and support services accessed, as well as billing purposes with Blue Cross for things like prescriptions and other insurable items. Think of it as your veteran service number.
We shall now and forever and ever – amen – remember our service numbers. While VAC offers veterans the option of using our service numbers when accessing their services, I prefer to use my File or ‘K’ Number. I’m no longer serving, I no longer refer to myself by rank, why would I continue to use my service number? In working with recently released members, a key point I frequently stress is that they need to find ways, no matter how small, to break with their rank and develop a sense of identity separate from their careers. Using your KN instead of your SN when dealing with VAC is a nice, simple way of reminding your brain that you’re no longer serving.
Finding a New Doctor
You’re released, you’ve done your final move, and you’re ready to get on with this retirement thing. Then you need a new doctor. An SOA is a concise list of injuries and diagnosis that is easy for any doctor to read. And let’s not forget that we forget – a lot. Your doctor needs to know as much about your medical history as possible and a single sheet listing both awarded and non-awarded medical issues is a great place to start.
It’s also good to keep track of when you were diagnosed/awarded for a condition, as most, if not all, conditions can be reviewed periodically for reassessment purposes. Your percentage awarded can never go down, but it may go up depending on the circumstances.
Some Service Providers Require It
We at Spartan Wellness pride ourselves in quick and efficient delivery of services. While there is never any charge to any of our patients, many of the prescription providers we connect our patients to require a copy of your SOA on file. Why? So that they can speed up the direct billing process to get you the medication or other service that you need, faster.
Where Do I Get One of These SOAs?
Your SOA is yours, and you can request one any time you’d like. You can drop into any VAC office, anywhere in Canada and request one. That’s right – you don’t have to speak to your case manager, or even be at your ‘home’ office.
You can also request one be mailed to you if you’re not in a hurry. This request can be made by calling 1-866-522-2122 during regular business hours.
Electronic/email copies are not currently available as your SOA contains sensitive information about you and VAC cannot guarantee electronic security.
We hope this information was helpful, and if you have any questions please feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org