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Veterans Services: Eligibility for VA Health Care

Veterans Services: Eligibility for VA Health Care

You may be eligible for VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, naval, or air service and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.

Eligibility for VA Health Care

You may be eligible for VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, naval, or air service and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.

• If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless any of the descriptions below are true for you.

This minimum duty requirement may not apply if any of these are true:

o You were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or

o You were discharged for a hardship or “early out,” or

o You served prior to September 7, 1980

• If you’re a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. If you had or have active-duty status for training purposes only, you don’t qualify for VA health care.

You may qualify for enhanced eligibility status (meaning you’ll be placed in a higher priority group, which makes you more likely to get benefits) if you meet at least one of these requirements.

At least one of these must be true:

• You receive financial compensation (payments) from VA for a service-connected disability

• You were discharged for a disability resulting from something that happened to you in the line of duty

• You were discharged for a disability that got worse in the line of duty

• You’re a recently discharged combat Veteran 

• You get a VA pension

You’re a former prisoner of war (POW)

• You have received a Purple Heart

• You have received a Medal of Honor

• You get (or qualify for) Medicaid benefits

• You served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975

• You served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and November 11, 1998

• You served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987

If none of the above apply to you, you may still qualify for care based on your income. Learn more about how the amount of money your family makes can affect whether you qualify for VA benefits.

Learn more about how to apply login to www.vats.gov

Any veterans with concerns on their claim can contact the VA directly at 1-800-827-1000 and/or for more information on VA and State Benefits Montgomery County Veterans Service at  936-539-7842 or via email at [email protected]

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