What does COMPACT Act, mean for Veterans?
We want all Veterans and former service members to know that they can get free, emergency suicide care when they need it, no matter where they are. .
Below we break down what this means for you and your loved ones should you need emergent suicidal care.
What it is
- Any Veteran – whether enrolled in VA or not – can go to a VA or non-VA emergency room for emergent suicidal care.
- We strongly recommend Veterans in suicidal crisis call 911 or visit their nearest emergency room for expedited care. Veterans may go to a Wilmington VA community outpatient clinic however, our clinics are only open Monday – Friday during normal business hours.
- VA will provide the treatment or cover the costs for treatment including transportation, inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days, and outpatient care for up to 90 days
Who is eligible for COMPACT Act related services?
Regardless of VA enrollment status, COMPACT-eligible individuals are:
- Former members of the armed forces who were discharged or released from active duty after more than 24 months of active service under conditions other than dishonorable.
- Former members of the armed forces, including reserve service members, who served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation either directly or by operating an unmanned aerial vehicle from another location who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
- Former members of the armed forces who were the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces.
Q3 Does a Veteran need to be enrolled in the VA system to receive COMPACT-related emergency care when in an acute suicidal crisis?
- No, any Veteran who was discharged from the armed forces with more than 24 months of active duty;
- any former active or reserve service member who served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable;
- or any former member of the armed forces who was the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces is eligible
What information do Veterans need to provide to emergency department staff to let them know they are eligible for VA to pay for or provide their care?
- If a Veteran is enrolled in VA health care, they should let the emergency department staff know they receive their care from VA.
- If a Veteran is not enrolled, they should tell the emergency department staff that they are not enrolled in VA healthcare, thus then allows the VA to still provide care to the Veteran regardless of his /her enrollment status. But, then allows for proper eligibility for types of care to be provided for the Veteran according the COMPACT Act guidelines after being seen in a VA emergency department.
Does a community emergency department need an agreement with VA to be paid for COMPACT-related care?
No. COMPACT ACT does not require an existing contract or agreement between VA and a community emergency department for VA to pay for authorized treatment and follow-on care. Veterans are encouraged to immediately seek care at the nearest emergency department during a medical or mental health emergency. During a suicidal crisis, time taken to find an “approved” community emergency department could endanger the Veteran.