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Eligibility for VA health care

Find out if you can get VA health care as a Veteran.

Can I get VA health care benefits?

You may be able to get VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, naval, or air service and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.

  • If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless any of the descriptions below are true for you.

    This minimum duty requirement may not apply if any of these are true. You:

    • Were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or
    • Were discharged for a hardship or “early out,” or
    • Served prior to September 7, 1980
  • If you’re a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. If you had or have active-duty status for training purposes only, you don’t qualify for VA health care.

What should I do if I received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge?

If you’ve received one of these discharge statuses, you may not be eligible for VA benefits.

There are 2 ways you can try to qualify:

Find out how to apply for a discharge upgrade
Learn about the VA Character of Discharge review process

Is there anything that will make me more likely to get these benefits?

Yes. You may qualify for enhanced eligibility status (meaning you’ll be placed in a higher priority group, which makes you more likely to get benefits) if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Receive financial compensation (payments) from VA for a service-connected disability
  • Were discharged for a disability resulting from something that happened to you in the line of duty
  • Were discharged for a disability that got worse in the line of duty
  • Are a recently discharged combat Veteran
  • Get a VA pension
  • Are a former prisoner of war (POW)
  • Have received a Purple Heart
  • Have received a Medal of Honor
  • Get (or qualify for) Medicaid benefits
  • Served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • Served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and November 11, 1998
  • Served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987

If none of the above apply to you, you may still qualify for care based on your income. Learn more about how the amount of money your family makes can affect whether you qualify for VA benefits.
Learn more about income limits

Checking your application status.
Obtenga instrucciones para esta solicitud en Español.

Llene la solicitud para Beneficions de Salud (Forma 10-10EZ).
Obtenga la Forma VA 10-10EZ
Usted o alguien con poder legal para representarlo tiene que firmar la forma, e incluir la fecha en que fué firmada.

  • Si esta usando un poder legal, tendra que incluir una copia de la forma con su solicitud.
  • Si firma con una X, 2 personas que usted conoce tienen que tambien firmar acertando que lo vieron firmar la forma.

Puede mandar su solicitud por correo a esta dirección:

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329

Para llenar su solicitude en persona, encuetre el Centro Médico de Veteranos mas cercano en esta liga:
Encuentre el Centro o Clínica de Veteranos mas cercano a usted
O reciba ayuda por medio del Departmaneto de Veteranos de su estado.
Encuentre el Departamento de Veteranos de su estado

What if I need help filling out my application?

You can get help in any of these ways:

More about VA health care eligibility

  • When you apply for VA health care, you’ll be assigned 1 of 8 priority groups. This system helps to make sure that Veterans who need immediate care can get signed up quickly.

    Your priority group may affect how soon we sign you up for health care benefits. It may also affect how much (if anything) you’ll have to pay toward the cost of your care.

    Learn more about priority groups

  • No. Whether or not you have other health insurance coverage doesn’t affect the VA health care benefits you can get.
    Learn more about how VA works with other insurance

  • If you’re retiring, you’re eligible for TRICARE. You may also qualify for certain VA health care benefits.

    If you’re separating from service due to a service-connected illness or injury, you may be eligible for VA health care benefits and certain TRICARE benefits.

    If you’re an OEF/OIF/OND combat Veteran who has just returned from service, you can receive free medical care for any condition related to your service in Iraq or Afghanistan for 5 years after discharge.

    Learn more about health care benefits for transitioning service members

  • Visit healthcare.gov to find out if you qualify for health insurance.
    Go to healthcare.gov

  • Yes.

    Find out how you may still be able to get care for:

    Or, call our general VA hotline at 800-827-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET to find out what your care options may be.

  • We cover routine eye exams and preventive tests under VA health care benefits. In some cases, you may get coverage for eyeglasses or services for blind or low vision rehabilitation.
    Learn more about vision care through VA

  • In certain cases, you may receive dental care as part of your VA health benefits.
    Find out if you can get dental care through VA

  • If you have an illness or injury that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, you may be able to get disability compensation.
    Find out if you qualify for disability benefits

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