VA travel pay reimbursement
VA travel pay reimbursement pays eligible Veterans and caregivers back for mileage and other travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments. Find out if you’re eligible and how to file a claim.
File a claim for general health care travel reimbursement online
General health care travel reimbursement covers these expenses for eligible Veterans and caregivers:
- Regular transportation, such as by car, plane, train, bus, taxi, or light rail
- Approved meals and lodging expenses
You can file a claim online through the Beneficiary Travel Self Service System (BTSSS). You’ll access this system through the AccessVA travel claim portal.
Filing a travel pay claim for the first time? Keep reading to find out if you’re eligible and what to know before your file your claim.
Eligibility for general health care travel reimbursement
As a Veteran, you may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet the requirements listed here.
This must be true:
You’re traveling for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a non-VA health facility in your community.
And at least one of these must also be true:
- You have a VA disability rating of 30% or higher, or
- You’re traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition, even if your VA disability rating is less than 30%, or
- You receive a VA pension, or
- You have an income that’s below the maximum annual VA pension rate, or
- You can afford to pay for your travel, as defined by our guidelines, or
- You’re traveling for one of these reasons: A scheduled VA claim exam (also called a compensation and pension, or C&P, exam), to get a service dog, or for VA-approved transplant care
We may pay for transportation and related lodging and meals for non-Veterans if the person meets any of these requirements.
At least one of these must be true:
- The person is your family caregiver under the National Caregiver Program traveling to receive caregiver training or to support your care, or
- The person is your medically required attendant traveling with you to support your care, or
- The person is your transplant care donor or support person
We may also pay for care for an allied beneficiary when the appropriate foreign government agency has authorized their care, or for the beneficiary of another federal agency when that agency has approved their care.
What to do before you file your first claim
Set up direct deposit. We can then deposit your reimbursement into your bank account.
Learn how to set up direct deposit for VA travel pay reimbursement
Keep your receipts for all transportation and approved meals or lodging. And track your mileage to and from appointments.
Find out what expenses we pay for and current mileage rates
Be sure to file your claim on time. You must file within 30 days of the appointment or of when you become eligible for reimbursement. File a new claim for each appointment.
Get step-by-step instructions for how to file a travel pay claim online
Questions you may have about filing your claim
Yes. You can also file your claim by mail, fax, email, or in person at the VA facility where you received care. To do this, you’ll need to fill out a Veteran/Beneficiary Claim for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses (VA Form 10-3542).
Read the statements and certifications carefully. Then sign and date your form. Mail, fax, email, or take your completed form and receipts in person to the VA facility where you received care. If you mail your claim, we consider the postmark date the date of submission.
You may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet at least one of the requirements listed here.
One of these must be true:
- You need in-patient care, or
- You’re getting temporary lodging approved by VA
Note: Special disability rehabilitation centers include facilities such as clinics that provide care for spinal cord injuries, vision loss or blindness, or prosthetics rehabilitation.
If you travel together with another Veteran
You’re eligible for reimbursement only if you meet at least one of these requirements.
At least one of these must be true:
- You’re the owner of the vehicle used for travel, or
- You share a vehicle, like a taxi, with other Veterans and pay your own fare, or
- You pay another Veteran to take you to an appointment
You’ll need to provide a receipt for your expenses. If you’re eligible for reimbursement, we’ll pay the mileage rate or actual expense, whichever is less.
If you use a free transportation service
You’re only eligible for reimbursement for any travel you may have had to get to and from your home to where you were picked up or dropped off by the service.
Free transportation services may include the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) system, VA Veterans Transportation Service (VTS), or other no-cost city or state transportation.
These types of transport are covered under special mode transportation reimbursement. You may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet the requirements listed here.
This must be true:
You’re a Veteran traveling for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a facility in your community.
And all of these must also be true:
- You’re eligible for general health care travel reimbursement, and
- A VA health care provider determines that your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van for travel, and
- We’ve approved your travel in advance, unless the travel is for an emergency situation where a delay would threaten your life or health. If you need emergency transportation, notify us within 72 hours after transport.
For more information, talk with your VA health care team.
We’ll deposit your reimbursement through electronic funds transfer (EFT), unless we’ve made other payment arrangements with you.