Your questions are good ones, but I think they require expert help from a medical lawyer. I would suggest a consult, and then discussing whether or not getting an expert evaluation and written opinion on your behalf would be helpfil with your case with the VA.
Here are several free and low-cost health care resources that may be helpful. If you know of any in your community and want to share the URL (web address) please go ahead and post them here in this thread.
Together, we can help one another through these difficult times.
HRSA.gov--Have you heard of HRSA-supported health centers? They care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. These include dental, immunizations, and mental health care resources.
BenefitsCheckUp.org -- "Many older people need help paying for prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other basic needs. Ironically, millions of older Americans — especially those with limited incomes — are eligible for but not receiving benefits from existing federal, state and local programs."
Free Clinics-- Use the search to find state and local free clinics and see if one is near you.
NeedyMeds.org Clinics--You do not have to provide any documentation to validate your income. You do not have to provide any other form of identification, such as proof of citizenship or "green card."
Other--Please make sure and check local resources for tests PAP smear, mammograms, pregnancy testing, prostate cancer screenings, cholesterol screenings, bone density tests, and blood pressure checks. Drug stores, grocery stores with pharmacies, Planned Parenthood, community health centers, local hospitals, senior centers and women's clinics will often have these tests/exams available at low cost or even free. Keep your eyes peeled!
Note:None of these are WebMD sites, so we cannot guarantee content. Clinics may change requirements and/or services offered. Please contact them directly to find current information.