Skip to Content


The COMPACT Act guarantees Veterans in suicidal crisis can go to any VA or non-VA health care facility for free emergency health care.

Reach the Veteran Crisis Line by calling 988 and pressing 1

or Text 838255

or Chat online

Veterans in suicidal crisis can go to any emergency room to get medical care.

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.
  • 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

Regardless of VA enrollment status, the following are eligible to have their medical expenses covered by VA:

  • Those 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.

Veterans who were dishonorably discharged may still seek emergent suicidal care at a VA or non-VA emergency room, however, VA will not cover the expenses.

How it works

Veterans or their loved ones should do the following in the event of an emergent suicidal crisis:

  • Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room
  • Notify staff that you’re a Veteran
  • Staff will provide treatment

Emergencies are never planned so it’s important you and your loved ones know where the closest emergency room is located.


Veterans who receive a bill for emergency suicide-related care at a VA medical facility should contact their local VA patient advocate and ask for a clinical review with an appropriate provider. Veterans can also contact the number on their bill to initiate this process. Patient advocates at Milwaukee VA can be reached at .

Veterans who received COMPACT-related care at a community emergency department should submit a signed, written request for reimbursement to their local VA medical facility community care office along with an after-visit summary/medical documentation and a billing statement from the rendering provider showing diagnosis code information and an itemized list of charges.

For more information on the COMPACT Act, visit the VA Emergency Medical Care page.

Period of Care

Emergent suicide care defined by Congress within the COMPACT Act to eligible Veterans through inpatient or crisis residential care will not exceed 30 days. If inpatient care is unavailable, or if such care is not clinically appropriate, outpatient care will not exceed 90 days. 

COMPACT Act guidance for community providers

What should you do if a Veteran presents to your community emergency department in suicidal crisis?

1. Determine if the event is an acute suicidal crisis.

As defined in the COMPACT Act, an Acute Suicidal Crisis means that a trained crisis responder or health care provider determines an individual is at imminent risk of self-harm.

2. Report the episode of care.

Reporting can be done in two different ways:

Emergency Care Reporting 24/7 Hotline: 

  1. Call the VA's Emergency Care Reporting 24/7 Hotline:

              844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

Emergency Care Centralized Notification Center:

 2. VA's Emergency Care Reporting Portal. Below is a list of information that the VA Emergency Care Reporting Portal Asks for in order to submit a completed request.

3. Coordinate follow up care.

Follow up with Clement J. Zablocki VAMC during normal business hours to coordinate care.

Below are Important measures defined by Congress within the COMPACT Act that the Department of Veterans Affairs must follow: 

Emergent Suicide Care

Crisis stabilization care provided to an eligible individual following a recommendation from the Veteran Crisis Line or when such individual has presented at a VA or non-VA facility in an acute suicidal crisis. 

Acute Suicidal Crisis

Individual who is determined to be at imminent risk of self-harm by a trained crisis responder or health care provider.

Crisis Stabilization Care

Care that ensures, to the extent practicable, immediate safety and reduces: 

  • The severity of distress
  • The need for urgent care
  • The likelihood that the severity of distress or need for urgent care will increase during the transfer of that individual from a facility at which the individual has received care for that acute suicidal crisis. 

Crisis Residential Care

Emergent suicide care provided in a residential facility other than a hospital (that is not a personal residence) that provides 24-hour medical supervision. 

For additional information reach out to the Zablocki VA COMPACT Act Care Coordination 695 Team: