To qualify for nursing home care, a veteran must either have a disability due to time in the service, a combined disability rating of 70 percent or a disability rating of 60 percent and be unemployable. Veterans with disabilities that are relevant to their time in the service are given first priority. Other veterans who require nursing care but do not meet these standards may qualify if there are additional resources available.
The VA offers nursing care at community living centers and state veteran homes. They may also offer contract nursing home care. To qualify for community living centers, veterans must enroll themselves in the VA health care system, be mentally and physically stable and provide documentation on whether they need short or long term care. They must also meet the priority requirements. Admitting veterans into community living centers is only possible when there are enough available resources.
State veterans homes usually have their own eligibility requirements in addition to the VA requirements. Any veteran with a service disability or who is already receiving veteran care qualifies for admission in to contract nursing home care, as long as a doctor determines it is necessary. There is a limit on how long a veteran can stay if not in one of the priority groups.