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Resources for Veterans

​Welcome to San Francisco VA Health Care System's resource website. ​Each Veteran’s VA benefits package is unique so we encourage all servicemembers and Veterans to apply. ​

VA health care eligibility and services

All Veterans eligible for VA health care will receive care and services to help treat illness and injuries, prevent future health problems, improve your ability to function, and enhance your quality of life.​ ​ Learn more about the health services available through VA by visiting:

There are a number of ways you can apply for VA health care:

By phone: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST​
In person: Visit the San Francisco VA Medical Center or local VA clinic:
        SFVAHCS locations:

​Call our toll-free hotline  or ​
Contact SFVAHCS Member Services at

Step 1: Schedule a primary care appointment by calling . Your initial appointment will include an orientation, visit with your primary care provider, and enable you to be referred to specialty care.​

Step 2: Schedule an appointment with specialty clinics with no referral required including Audiology, Eye Clinic, Podiatry, or Nutrition:

Step 3: Create a My HealtheVet online account by visiting then clicking on "Register"​

There is no requirement that VA become your exclusive provider of care.  If you are a Veteran who is receiving care from both VA and a local provider, it is important for your health and safety that your care is coordinated, resulting in one treatment plan (co-managed care).  If you have other forms of health care coverage (like a private insurance plan, Medicare, Medicaid, or TRICARE), you can use VA health care benefits along with these plans. Learn more about how VA works with other health insurance.

Even if you have other insurance, you may be eligible for low- or zero-cost care through VA. We also offer coverage for health care services that aren't typically covered by private health insurance such as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic care, mindfulness, Tai Chi and Qi Gung, yoga, movement groups, and a Whole Health consult. To learn more about the benefits available through VA focused on improving health and wellness, visit SFVAHCS' Whole Health Offerings

Whether or not you’ll need to pay copays—and how much you’ll pay—depends on which of our 8 priority groups we assign you to when you enroll in VA health care. Learn more about priority groups.

We assign Veterans with service-connected disabilities the highest priority. We assign the lowest priority to Veterans who earn a higher income and who don’t have any service-connected disabilities that make them eligible for VA disability compensation.

We’re committed to providing free health care for conditions related to military service and for Veterans with catastrophic disabilities and disability ratings of at least 50%, as well as for those who can’t afford to pay for care. To learn more about how we’ll determine if you’ll need to pay for any part of your care or find information about current VA health care copay rates

If you are unable to pay your bill, you should discuss the matter with the Patient Billing Office at the VA health care facility where you received your care.

If you’re struggling to pay your copays, you can request help. Options may include a repayment plan, debt relief, or copay exemption. Find out how to request financial hardship assistance.

If you disagree with the charges or amounts on your bill, you can file a dispute. Find out how to dispute your copay charges.

The full list of your covered benefits depends on your priority group, and the advice of your VA primary care provider (your main doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant), and the medical standards for treating any health conditions you may have. 

We cover preventive care services, like health exams (including gender-specific exams), health education (including nutrition education), immunization against infectious diseases (like flu shots), and counseling on genetic diseases (diseases that run in families). We cover inpatient hospital services, including surgeries, medical treatments, kidney dialysis, acute care (short-term treatment for a severe illness or injury or after surgery), and specialized care (including organ transplants, intensive care for mental and physical conditions, and care for traumatic injuries). 

We cover urgent and emergency care services, such as urgent or emergency care at some VA health facilities and urgent care for injuries and illnesses that need attention right away, but aren’t life threatening, at urgent care locations that are part of our contracted network.

We may cover services that your VA primary care provider concludes you need to support your treatment (called ancillary services), like:

  • Tests used to diagnose health conditions, including blood work, X-rays, and ultrasounds
  • Therapy and rehabilitation services, including physical therapy, vision rehab, and therapy for traumatic brain injury
  • Additional services, including prosthetic items, audiology (care for hearing loss), and radiation oncology (cancer care)

VA coverage also includes caregiver support (help for the person who cares for you).

Questions about health conditions and care under VA

The full list of your covered benefits depends on your priority group, and the advice of your VA primary care provider (your main doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant), and the medical standards for treating any health conditions you may have.

VA dental care is a limited benefit. However, if you are enrolled in VA health care, there is a VA dental insurance program (VADIP) that you are eligible for. ​

Learn more about VA dental care.

San Francisco VA Student Veteran Health Program provides assistance with VA health care enrollment, connecting and navigating care, referrals, and mental health services on some college campuses. To learn more contact Artur Akkerman, Program Director at ​

Yes, San Francisco VA Health Care System offers transitional and supportive housing and HUD-VASH services. Our Downtown San Francisco VA Clinic at 401 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 provides walk-in medical and social work services Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ​

Contact Kathleen Mink, Outreach Specialist at or for assistance.

Yes, but not all Veterans qualify. If you meet specific criteria (visit, you are eligible for travel benefits. VA also offers help getting to and from appointments. Learn more about Veterans transportation service

Questions about Veteran benefits (compensation, pensions, and other benefits) ​

Veterans and their families might also be entitled to other VA benefits such as disability compensation, pensions, education, employment, home loans, and burial benefits. ​

W encourage Veterans to contact an VA Accredited representative for help with the VA disability claim process: ​

California County Veteran Services Offices are available to assist with VA disability compensation claims as well as other VA benefits. This is a free service. Find your VSO | CACVSO

Veterans can also go to the closest VA regional office for assistance

To learn more about filing a disability claim, you can play our disability claims video. How to File a VA Disability Claim (

Check Your VA Claim, Decision Review, Or Appeal Status | Veterans Affairs

California County Veteran Services Offices are available to assist with VA disability compensation claims as well as other VA benefits. This is a free service. Find your VSO | CACVSO

​Veterans can also go to the closest VA regional office for assistance

Yes, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) offers a variety of benefits to Veterans and families. Visit the CalVet website to learn more:


More information

San Francisco VA Health Care System's commitment to improving the lives of Veterans and their families every day means that we understand the unique needs of the population we are so proud to serve. We've developed materials specific to Veterans, their survivors, and caregivers to help understand the benefits they've earned and deserve in service to our nation. 

Transportation claim reimbursement

The VA Beneficiary Travel program pays eligible Veterans and caregivers back for mileage and other travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments. Veterans and caregivers can submit and track their beneficiary travel claims by visiting the Beneficiary Travel Self Service System (BTSSS). BTSSS provides a more Veteran-focused experience for beneficiary travel reimbursements, allowing claimants to submit and track travel claims at their convenience. 

Click to access BTSSS through Access VA. 

New Patients​

The goal of the New Patient Orientation program is to provide Veterans with a seamless transition into San Francisco VA Health Care System services. Whether you’re just getting out of the service or you’ve been a civilian for years now, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide you to the benefits and services you’ve earned. Based on where you are in life, your VA benefits and services can support you in different ways.​​