The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides over 1,875 health care facilities in the 50 states and U.S. territories, accessible for medical care to veterans, dependents and survivors who qualify, at the time of publication. Some veterans receive preference, especially for treatment of service-caused disabilities or illnesses. Length of service, income level and VA resources available are other determinants.
You may qualify for VA medical care if you served in active military, naval or air service with an honorable discharge. This includes Reservists or National Guard members called for active duty by a federal order who completed their tour of duty. The length of your service in the military affects your priority group, along with your present income level. Female veterans receive the same benefits as males.
Non service-related medical care in veteran hospitals and clinics has income threshold guidelines. Geographic thresholds are by metropolitan statistical areas and depend on the number of dependents the service member has as well. Once you apply for VA health care benefits and complete the income information, Veterans Affairs compares your income statistics with the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration records. VA contacts you for verification of any differences.
Complete VA form 10-10EZ, the application for for health benefits with an option to complete it online. You can indicate if you want an appointment at the time of application. Veterans requesting care for a service-connected disability get preference or a higher priority group assignment. A financial assessment considers gross household income, including earned and unearned income. Asset values do not include your homestead, but includes other property, such as stocks and bonds, individual retirement and bank accounts and available cash.
If your income is in excess of the VA national threshold or the geographic threshold for the area in which you live, the VA may lower your priority group assignment. You may be charged co-pays or be billed for non service-connected medical care. Your priority group also determines how quickly you receive an appointment.
The VA assigns veterans into eight priority groups based on multiple criteria. At the top of the list are those who incurred a service-related permanent disability with a rating calculated in percentages. Other groupings include former prisoners of war, purple heart recipients, housebound and catastrophically disabled veterans and those on VA pensions and Medicaid. At the bottom of the list are non-injured veterans with gross income limits below the geographically-adjusted income thresholds and veterans over the income limits with agreement to co-pays.