Current and former members of the Selected Reserve who served on active duty may establish Veteran status and may therefore be eligible for VA benefits, depending on the length of active military service and the character of discharge or release. Members of the National Guard activated for federal service during a period of war or domestic emergency may be eligible for certain VA benefits, such as VA health care, compensation for injuries or conditions connected to that service and burial benefits. Activation for other than federal service does not qualify Guard members for all VA benefits. Title 38, Section 3.7 of the Code of Federal Regulations identifies individuals and groups considered to have performed active military, naval, or air service.
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and New Dawn (OND) Veterans: VA provides five years of free health care for Veterans who served in certain combat locations during active military service, beginning on the date of separation from active duty. This benefit covers all illnesses and injuries except those clearly unrelated to active military service. For more information call 1-877-222-8387. Every VA medical center has a team standing ready to welcome OEF/OIF/OND Returning Servicemembers and to help coordinate their care.
The VA also encourages Veterans and Servicemembers who believe they may have been exposed to toxins or certain vaccinations with side effects to receive a voluntary medical assessment that will help the VA track data on Veterans’ health. Visit the Military Exposure Registry Examination Program website for more information.