VA benefit eligibility is determined based on active military service. In most cases, an individual that had active military service and separated under a condition other than dishonorable can qualify for VA benefits provided the veteran served for a minimum of 24 consecutive months.
However, there are exceptions to the minimum duty requirement. For example, a veteran that was disabled due to injury or illness received in the line of duty does not have a minimum duty requirement to qualify for VA benefits. There is also a waiver for those who were called to active duty and served the entire service period. Veterans who served before September 7, 1980 are also exempt from the minimum duty requirement.
There are also advanced VA benefits that some veterans may be eligible for. Veterans that may be eligible for enhanced eligibility status include those who received either the Purple Heart or the Medal of Honor, a former Prisoner of War and those receiving a VA pension. Veterans who served during either the Vietnam War or the Persian Gulf war, or those who served in a Theater of Operations for at least five years after discharge, may also meet eligibility guidelines for enhanced benefits. The VA encourages all veterans to apply for benefits, as each application is looked at to determine benefit eligibility.