Many are under the false impression that because you served in the Armed Forces, you automatically qualify for VA Healthcare as long as you were honorably discharged. This is simply not true. Here are the basic requirements you must meet:
Either of these must apply:
- You served in the active military, naval, or air service and were honorably discharged or released
- You were/are a Reservist or National Guard member and you were called to active duty by a Federal Order (for other than training purposes) and you completed the full call-up period
And one of these must apply:
- You were discharged or separated for medical reasons, early out, or hardship
- You served in theater of combat operations within the past 5 years
- You were discharged from the military because of a disability (not preexisting)
- You are a former Prisoner of War
- You received a Purple Heart Medal
- You receive VA pension or disability benefits
- You receive state Medicaid benefits
If you do not meet the above, VA health care benefits may be based on other special factors such as service in Vietnam, other military history factors or even household income. The best way to find out if you qualify is to apply for VA health care benefits.
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