Are you eligible for VA health care benefits? This is definitely a question that you need to answer. With the VA operating the nation’s largest health care system, spanning more than 1,400 facilities from coast to coast, being able to receive this type of care could go a long way in ensuring your good health.
You may qualify for VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, air, or naval services and were discharged under any condition other than dishonorable. Members of the National Guard and Reserves who were called to active duty and completed their full duty will also qualify for these benefits.
Minimum Duty Requirements
Note: veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980 or entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981 must have served 24 continuous months or the entire period for which they were called to duty.
These requirements do not always apply to veterans discharged due to an injury sustained in the line of duty or another hardship.
Just because you qualify for VA health care benefits does not mean you are automatically enrolled. Instead, you must go through an application process. You can get started by completing an Application for Health Benefits – VA Form 10-10EZ. This form can be obtained at any local benefits office or VA health care facility. It can also be requested via phone by calling 1-877-222-VETS or online at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/.
Although enrolling is suggested, those who fit into one of the following categories are not required to do so in order to receive care:
1. Those with a service-connected disability greater than 50 percent.
2. Those who are seeking care for a disability that was determined to have occurred or made worse while in the line of duty, which the VA has yet to rate, within one year of discharge.
3. Those who are seeking care only for a service-connected disability.
4. Those in need of registry examinations, including: Agent Orange, Depleted Uranium, Gulf War/Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Ionizing Radiation.
Once your enrollment is approved, you can receive care at any VA facility in the United States.