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Beneficiary Travel (BT)

The Beneficiary Travel program provides eligible Veterans and other beneficiaries mileage reimbursement, common carrier (plane, train, bus, taxi, light rail etc.), or when medically indicated, "special mode" (ambulance, wheelchair van) transport for travel to and from VA health care, or VA authorized non-VA health care for which the Veteran is eligible.

Beneficiary Travel Benefits

A Veteran may be eligible for Beneficiary travel services if the following criteria are met:

YOU QUALIFY IF:YOU QUALIFY FOR SPECIAL MODE TRANSPORTATION
(Ambulance, Wheelchair Van etc.) IF:
  • you have a service-connected (SC) rating of 30 percent or more, or
  • you are traveling for treatment of a SC condition, or
  • you receive a VA pension, or your income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate, or
  • your income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate, or
  • you are traveling for a scheduled compensation or pension
  • you meet one of the eligibility criteria in the left column, and
  • your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van as determined by a VA clinician, and
  • the travel is pre-authorized (authorization is not required for emergencies if a delay would be hazardous to life or health)

How to Apply

Veterans may apply for travel reimbursement by completing VA Form 10-3542 (Veteran/Beneficiary Claim for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses).

The travel reimbursement form replaces older versions and local forms and improves the process for Veterans applying for mileage reimbursement at more than one VA facility.

Methods to request travel pay:

  • Visit the Beneficiary Travel Office after completing an appointment, or
  • Call the Beneficiary Travel Office (this method will require an added step to complete and sign the travel reimbursement form), or
  • Send the travel reimbursement form via either secure fax or mail to the local Beneficiary Travel Office.

Applications for payment must be submitted within 30 calendar days from the date the travel is completed or the date the applicant is notified he or she is eligible for travel payments if the request is based on a change in eligibility.

Mileage Rates

Mileage Calculations

Effective April 24, 2015, the mapping tool VA uses for beneficiary travel will now calculate the driving distance using the fastest route rather than the shortest route. This is a change to the Beneficiary Travel program that will make the distance determinations consistent with distance calculations under the Veterans Choice Program.

General Travel

The current mileage reimbursement rate is $0.415 (41.5 cents) per mile for general travel.

Scheduled appointments qualify for round-trip mileage. Unscheduled visits may be limited to return mileage only. The reimbursement will be paid for travel to the closest VA facility unless a different location was determined by VA.

Deductible

The deductible is $3.00 one-way ($6.00 round trip).

Deductible requirement is subject to a monthly cap of $18. Upon reaching $18 in deductibles or six one-way (or three round trip) trips, whichever comes first, in a calendar month travel payments for the balance of that month will be free of deductible charges.

Waiver of Deductible

A waiver of the deductible may be provided, if you are eligible for travel and are:

  • In receipt of a VA pension, or
  • A Non-Service-Connected Veteran and your previous year’s income does not exceed (or your projected current calendar year’s income, in the year of application will not exceed) the applicable VA pension rate, or
  • A Service-Connected Veteran and your previous year’s income does not exceed (or your projected current calendar year’s income in the year of application will not exceed) the applicable national means test income threshold or
  • Traveling for a scheduled compensation and pension exam.
    For detailed information visit VA National Income Thresholds and/or Pension income thresholds.