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Am I eligible for VA Health Care Benefits?

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. 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
  • 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.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • 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, 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 income limits

Learn more about eligibility, priority groups, and how to apply at  www.va.gov/health-car/eligibility


Return to the Veterans’ Services Page

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