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Federal Benefits



VA operates the nationís largest integrated health care system with more than 1,400 sites of care, including hospitals, community clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers, and various other facilities.  


All Veterans Are Potentially Eligible


Below are some of the basic factors that go into determining your eligibility for health benefits:

         Eligibility for most veteransí health care benefits is based solely on active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard (or Merchant Marines during WW II), and discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. 

  • Reservists and National Guard members who were called to active duty by a Federal Executive Order may qualify for VA health care benefits. Returning service members including Reservists and National Guard members who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations have special eligibility for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for five years following discharge from active duty. 

         Minimum Duty Requirements: Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980 or entered active duty after October 16, 1981 must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible.

         If your household gross annual income falls within the VA Income Thresholds




For most veterans, entry into the VA Health care system begins by applying for enrollment. VA operates an annual enrollment system that helps to manage the provision of health care by providing an overall population of beneficiaries. Additionally, the enrollment system ensures that Veterans who are eligible can get care and ensures that care is given to Veterans who are eligible.


During enrollment, each veteran is assigned to a priority group. VA uses priority groups to balance demand for VA Health care enrollment with resources. Changes in available resources may reduce the number of priority groups VA can enroll. In January 2003 VA made the difficult decision to stop enrolling new Priority Group 8 (high income) veterans whose income exceeded VA Income Thresholds


You can apply for care by completing VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits or contact your local County Veterans Service Office, and the VA will let you know what health care benefits you may qualify for.   


Covered Services


Standard Benefits

Preventive Care Services


         Physical Examinations (including eye and hearing examinations)

         Health Care Assessments

         Screening Tests

         Health Education Programs

Ambulatory (Outpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment Services


         Surgical (including reconstructive/plastic surgery as a result of disease or trauma)

         Mental Health

         Substance Abuse 

Hospital (Inpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment Services


         Surgical (including reconstructive/plastic surgery as a result of disease or trauma)

         Mental Health

         Substance Abuse

Prescription Drugs (when prescribed by a VA physician)


Limited Benefits

         Ambulance Services

         Dental Care

         Durable Medical Equipment


         Hearing Aids

         Home Health Care

         Maternity and Parturition Services (costs associated with the care of the newborn are not covered)

Updated:   09/05/2014