VA Eligibility for Healthcare Benefits

VA Healthcare

VA Eligibility for Healthcare Benefits

VA Healthcare

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers healthcare benefits under the TRICARE program. This program is available for Veterans, active military members, reservists and family members. To reap these benefits, you must clear certain VA eligibility criteria defined by the department.

Here’s an overview of VA eligibility and what benefits you will be eligible for.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR TRICARE

The VA offers TRICARE benefits under various programs. Here’s a general overview of the basic VA eligibility required for healthcare benefits.

You are eligible for healthcare benefits if-

  • You are a current/former service member
  • You were discharged on other than dishonor.

To qualify-

You either served 24 continuous months after October 16, 1981, OR any one of the following is true-

  • You were discharged due to a disability, which was caused/escalated due to the service.
  • You were discharged for a hardship or “early-out”.
  • You served before September 7, 1980.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

In addition to satisfying the above-stated VA eligibility criteria, you might be more likely to receive these benefits if any ONE of the following is true-

  • You receive VA pension.
  • You were a former POW.
  • You have received a purple heart.
  • You are eligible to receive financial assistance for your disability.
  • You were diagnosed with a condition caused due to your service.
  • Your condition got worse after joining the service.
  • You are a recently discharged combat Veteran.
  • You have received a medal of honor.
  • You have satisfied VA eligibility for Medicaid benefits.
  • You served during the Vietnam War or Gulf War.

APPLYING FOR HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

After ensuring your VA eligibility for TRICARE benefits, you can apply through any of the following steps-

  • Call VA’s toll-free helpline- 877-222-8387. This helpline is available Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
  • You can get in touch with a trained professional who will not only help you determine your VA eligibility but also help you with the application process.
  • You can visit the VA’s regional office and talk to the officials.
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