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001. Who Is Eligible To Receive Health Care Through The Va System?
Posted 21 November 2005 - 07:38 AM
Determining Your Eligibility
Eligibility for health care through VA is a two-step process:
VA must determine your eligibility status as a veteran by reviewing your
Character of Discharge from active military service, and your
Length of active military service
VA must determine whether you qualify for one of the eight enrollment priority groups.
NOTE: Effective January 17, 2003, VA suspended NEW enrollment of veterans assigned to Priority Group 8 (VA's lowest priority group consisting of higher income veterans). If you are a veteran enrolling for the first time on or after January 17, 2003, and your income exceeds the current year income threshold, you are not eligible for enrollment at this time. Veterans enrolled in Priority Group 8 on or before January 16, 2003, will remain enrolled and continue to be eligible for the full-range of VA health care benefits.
Step 1. Determine your qualifying military service
The character of discharge you received from the military can be a factor. It is not an issue if you received:
An honorable discharge
A general discharge
A discharge under honorable conditions
The length of your service may also matter. It depends on when you served. There’s no length of service requirement for:
Former enlisted persons who started active duty before September 8, 1980, or
Former officers who first entered active duty before October 17, 1981
All other veterans must have 24 months of continuous active duty military service or meet one of the exceptions described below.
If you have a different character of discharge, you may still be eligible for care. Contact your Enrollment Coordinator at your local VA health care facility to see if you qualify.
Minimum Service Requirement
You do not have to meet the 24 continuous months of active duty service requirement if you:
Were a reservist who was called to Active Duty and who completed the term for which you were called, and who was granted an other than dishonorable discharge, or
Were a National Guard member who was called to Active Duty by federal executive order, and who completed the term for which you were called, and who was granted an other than dishonorable discharge, or
Only request a benefit for or in connection with:
a service-connected condition or disability; or
treatment and/or counseling of sexual trauma that occurred while on active military service; or
treatment of conditions related to ionizing radiation; or
head or neck cancer related to nose or throat radium treatment while in the military.
Were discharged or released from active duty for a hardship , or
Were discharged with an “early out”; or
Were discharged or released from active duty for a disability that began in the service or got worse because of the service; or
Have been determined by VA to have compensable service-connected conditions; or
Were discharged for a reason other than disability, but you had a medical condition at the time that
Was disabling, and
In the opinion of a doctor, would have justified a discharge for disability (in this last case, the disability must be documented in service records)
Step 2. Enrollment in VA Health Care System
Generally, you must be enrolled in VA health care system to receive benefits offered in the Medical Benefits Package.
Certain veterans do not need to be enrolled to receive medical care benefits.
You do not have to be enrolled if you:
Have been determined by VA to be 50% or more disabled from service-connected (SC) conditions
Are seeking care for a VA rated service-connected disability only
It is less than one year since you were discharged for a disability that the military determined was incurred or aggravated by your service, but that VA has not yet rated
However, enrolling will assist VA in planning and budgeting resources.
Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:55 PM
Priority 7 & 8 at the Veterans Affairs may be required to pay an ANNUAL fee of $250, $700 based on their FAMILY income. Keep an eye out for news about the new Budget for VA.
Posted 29 September 2007 - 05:57 PM