Veterans waiting to

When most of my Army buddies ask about their VA health care eligibility, it’s mostly because they have no idea where to begin. The VA system may look too big or daunting to tackle. But it’s a relatively easy process to start.

The easiest way to determine eligibility is to simply submit an application, which can be done online. If you’d rather do it in person or by phone, you can visit the nearest VA medical facility, or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387) during business hours. A representative will fill out the form and have it sent to you for a review and signature. Each process is outlined here.

There are always questions surrounding eligibility, and many assumptions are tossed around. Some Vets may think you have to be injured in a war zone to receive care, or that you can only receive medical attention for issues that already carry a disability rating. I addressed those inaccuracies in the past—along with other myths—but it’s good to keep them handy and pass along to fellow Vets to set the record straight.

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Published on Oct. 31, 2012

Estimated reading time is 1 min.

Views to date: 163


  1. Gary Jordan November 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I have been trying to get help with Hepatitis that in the Navy in 1975. I didn’t have when I went in the navy. I got it from giving blood on a rescue mission, I went on in 75. They asked us to do it to help the people. That is what I get for doing what they asked, I have but in claims for 10 years now and have not got No help from my Government. I have ask for testing for agent orange but have not got it. But I not going to stop. I guess a Lawyer is needed to get it done. Because my government don’t care!!!!!

  2. Virginia November 7, 2012 at 1:03 am

    So, my husband was shot in viet nam………..back in the day by friendly fire. He was discharged from Army with NO disability. They simply sent him a letter when he was home recouping that said………time served, no longer in service………now 45 years later he is disabled from in the long run the gun shot to the leg. Does the VA recognize it today? They gave him 10% disability for this and 30% for PTSD………….WOW what a deal for a vet that served in Korea as well as Viet Nam. We have been fighting for 30 years to get this % but Social Security says he is 100%. We lost our home and everything we own…………I work two jobs and had to quit them to take care of hubby and now we live on very limited income……..where do we turn after all these years for help…………VSO, DAV, been there…… luck.Any suggestions?

  3. ebog November 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I have a younger brother – 34 years old, mentally and physicall disabled since birth. My father retired from North Carolina National Guard after 30 plus years of service. He passed away 5 years ago (colon cancer). We wonder if my younger brother would be entitled to any veteran’s benefits? I have called multiple offices and cannot seem to get an answer.

  4. Mike Young November 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I believe that the biggest problems at most (If not all) of the V.A. Hospitals Facilities, and or clinics is that the employees at many of the facilities are Civilian employees who have never served a sigle day in the military what so ever, and therefore don’t really understand the pain or the aggrivation that either a veteran or active duty mlitary person goes through.
    I think that most of the civilian employees just look at their job as just that a 9-5 job and they don’t appreciate having that job and they don’t really care about the veterans that come through their facilities.
    I would like to see most ( if not all) of the civilians fired and rehire all veterans to take their place as veterans usually are more comnpassionate and understanding towards other veterans because they understand better what a fellow feteran has gone through.

    • laura November 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Absolutely agree with you!

  5. robert middleton November 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    the VA is a joke. they say they care but how can they cut your benefits after ten years. they reduced my benefits of ptsd bc they say i am better. you take over half of my income and i’m suppose to be better. then its been over two years since my reduction and all i hear when i call the board of veterans appeals is the same thing we are backed up to march of 2010. i went from three thousand a month to nine hundred a month. and all i get is the judge has not gotten to your case yet.. bulls@ #t… they want peep to just quit and give up. they don’t care about vets they got their jobs and benefits. then they force peep to work by reducing there disability rating. just a bunch of jokes.

    • chris November 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      you can call your cogressmans office if it has been as long as you say and it is outting you and your family in a financal hardship then i would deffinatly recomend you call the only way to make them change is to force congress to start to recognize how vets are being treated they signed a contract with you when you joined the military they are not honoring their end of it if they are yanking you arround the more people that call the sooner it gets changed for all I know that all you want is for them to get to your case and thats what your congressmans office will make them do quickly if they have a good staff

  6. Eric Sellers November 5, 2012 at 6:53 am

    The VA as we call it is composed of three administrations. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and National Cemetery Administration (NCA) each orperate independent of the others. It seems that the VHA has found you to be eligible and has enrolled you for healthcare, and may have also enrolled you in the Agent Organge Registy. The registy is for veterans who may have been exposed to the substance used as an herbicide in Vietnam and in other places throughout this country. The conditions that have been found to be associated with this exposure are considered to be presumptive conditions for the VBA. That means that if you are diagnosed with any of thses conditions and file a claim for service-connected disability with the VBA, the VBA will presume the those conditions are caused by your environmental exposure in the military. It sounds like you would benefit from working with a veterans service organization such as the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The website is .

  7. Joseph Manny November 4, 2012 at 5:12 am

    I was wondering if anyone at the VA could cut off my leg, so I could live a pain free life?

    • chris November 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      I’m not trying to judge you god only knows how much pain you are in outside of yourself but before you go and have your leg cut off I know this may seeem crazy but have you tried accupunture? I have pain every single day of my life in my legs some that narcotic pain meds dont even dull however for the most part pain control has been key (keeping pain levels low) and after four years of fighting the staff at my va and demanding a new PCP twice i found out that my local VA has an accupunctureist I am seeing her for other health issues that contribute to my pain greatly and an amazing thing happened when I started seeing her. MY PAIN WENT DOWN, I am hopeing that you wont give up the fight for treatment that reduces your pain and is narcotic free or reducesthe need for narcotic pain meds it can be daunting and some PCPs would try to send you to mental health insead of allowing you to get effective non-prescription pain relief fight for your leg god gave it to you if you have tried all treatment regimnes then you will know you tried everything remeber that when they cut the leg off if you were in extreme pain at that time once those nerves are severed they may be turned on in the pain state for life giving you phantom pain wiuch can be worse

  8. Charles Emerson November 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    After being approved and being treated at the VA for over a year I was just told the I’m not enrolled any longer because of income limits. My income has changed and I have COPD and am unable to work. I have been approved for SSD. I need my medication for COPD. How do I request a review of this decision?

  9. Glenn Koehler November 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I am 65 years old and I am currently on Medicare and have VA Health Care. My question is, can the VA Health Care system be the supplement for Medicare or do I have to buy additional supplemental insurance?

    • thomas f corbett November 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Please let me know the answer. I will be 65 in March and this is a question I have also. Thanks !!

    • Roxanne November 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Since the VA health care is a health care system and not an insurance it can never be used like a supplemental insurance. So, if you have an emergency and go to the ER at a private non VA hospital the VA is not going to cover any of it. You will be responsible for what is left after Medicare pays its share. The exception to this is if the emergent care is for a service connected disability. In which case, the VA will cover it 100%.

      So, you have to make the choice for yourself if a supplemental insurance is a good idea. Just know that a any care you recieve at a private hospital will not be covered at a VA without prior authorization.

      As a user of the VHA, you can continue to get your perscriptions through the VA just as you do now. So a perscription supplement may not be entirely necessary. You have to look at your specific situation and see if the amount you pay for your supplemental perscription costs are offset to know if it is the right choice for you.

  10. Rob Popkey November 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

    The information in the blog is ok and we can submit the forms online there is no issue for the inconvenience if you are as per the terms and conditions. If still there is a problem you may visit the nearest VA medical facility.

  11. John Birch November 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Why when the VA diagnosed me with PTSS (for runner to PTSD) in 1973 they didn’t allow my claim until 96?

    • Rob November 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      The VA will only consider you for service connected compensation from the time you submit your compensation application. Your date of diagnosis only occurred on the health side of the VA. The VA actually keeps a firewall between Veterans Benefits and Veterans Health. This means that when your Doctor diagnoses you with a injury that he says is service connected, the Benefits side is not notified and no claim is started.

      For more information on the culture of the VA I would check out VA Watchdog Jim Strickland has been helping vets with claims for years and knows the VA in and out.

  12. alvin e thomas November 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I am elgible and approved by the Minneapolis VA Hospital, but still disapproved by the Wisconsin VA, for Agent Orange, because I was in the US Navy!

  13. Chris Osborne November 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I like to know why the VA says we go case by case on eligibility ? If I get cancer or have a heart problem, or major surgery how much will they pay or how much do I pay, I can’t seem to get an answer to this question.

    • Patricia November 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

      1. Are you service connected for heart problem or cancer? Most time if you are been seen at a VA hospital or clinic and the VA perform the surgery you will not have to pay any of the cost on the other hand if you are been seen a VA clinic or hospital you might be on the hook for the total cost of the surgery. I had surgery done a few years ago by the VA I was service connected but not for the reason I had to have surgery but I did not have to pay any of the bill. The VA send me to an army hospital to get the surgery done. Hope this help you out.

      PS: The reason I believe why the VA says that its on a case by case bases. because it you do not have a service connected disability and is working make more that what allowed by the financial guideline then you might not be eligibility for free care you might limited care but have to pay a co-pay for you medicine. Also if it has been more than five years since you left service then your five year of free medical care as expire.

      Thanks for you service.

Comments are closed.

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