Determining Your Eligibility for Veteran Medical Benefits


iStock_000007575715SmallAs a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides you with certain medical and health care benefits. The VA has several benefit packages that cover a variety of different health care services, including preventative services, outpatient and inpatient hospital services, diagnostic and treatment services. Certain care plans also cover in-home elder care and long-term care services.

The VA health care system provides over eight million enrollees with medical and health benefits. In order to enroll in the VA’s health care system, you must first determine your veteran medical benefits eligibility. The VA uses a list of requirements to determine which benefit packages you are eligible to receive. The basic edibility requirements include:

  • You must not have been dishonorably discharged from the military.
  • Most veterans must have served 24 months of continuous active duty, if they enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981.

If you are a veteran who has a service related disability, you do not need to be enrolled in the VA health system in order to receive benefits. Veterans who fit into one of the following categories will receive veteran benefits without enrolling in the VA health system.

  • You are seeking care for a VA rated service related disability.
  • It has been less than one year since you were discharged for a disability that was caused or aggravated by your service, but the disability has not yet been rated by the VA.
  • You are 50 percent or more disabled from a service related disability.

Because the number of veterans who can be enrolled in the VA’s health care system is determined by funding awarded by Congress, the VA has established Priority Groups. Priority Groups are used to qualify veterans with certain medical needs before others. Veterans are placed into these groups through the VA’s patient enrollment system.

If you have questions about your eligibility for veterans benefits or need assistance obtaining the benefits you are entitled to, please contact Newman Elder Law.

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