Who is eligible to receive health services from VA hospitals?


Quick Answer

Anyone who is considered a veteran can receive services from Veterans Administrationhospitals. A veteran, by the VA's definition, issomeone who served as an active duty military member and retired, or was released without being dishonorably discharged. Current and former Reserve and National Guard members may also be eligible for services.

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Full Answer

Most Veterans will be individuals who have served at least 24 months, continuously, after enlistment in the military. If a Veteran served before the 1980's, this will not apply to them, nor will it apply to any individual who may have been discharged from the military early for disability, hardship or a similar reason. There are a number of exceptions to the standardized definition of veteran, which is why the VA urges anyone who thinks they may be qualified for treatment to apply and allow their case to be reviewed.

Some veterans can obtain enhanced eligibility when applying to the VA for treatment. Examples of these individuals are Purple Heart recipients, former Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor awardees.

Once a veteran enrolls in the VA, they are able to maintain their enrollment without further question of eligibility. Veterans who are enrolled are immediately placed into a Priority Group, and informed of the health benefits available to them.

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