You can access Veterans health care services like home health and geriatric (elder) care, and you can get medical equipment, prosthetics, and prescriptions.
When you apply for VA health care, you’ll be assigned 1 of 8 priority groups. This system helps to make sure that Veterans who need immediate care can get signed up quickly.
Your priority group may affect how soon VA signs you up for health care benefits. It may also affect how much (if anything) you’ll have to pay toward the cost of your care.
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You may be able to get 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.
- Were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or
- Were discharged for a hardship or “early out,” or
- Served prior to September 7, 1980
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.
At least one of these must be true.
- Receive financial compensation (payments) from VA for a service-connected disability
- Were discharged for a disability resulting from something that happened to you in the line of duty
- Were discharged for a disability that got worse in the line of duty
- Are a recently discharged combat Veteran
- Get a VA pension
- Are a former prisoner of war (POW)
- Have received a Purple Heart
- Have received a Medal of Honor
- Get (or qualify for) Medicaid benefits
- Served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
- Served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and November 11, 1998
- Served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 198
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