If eligible for VA healthcare, your Veteran client can benefit in several ways. Benefits include direct mental health care or access to VA resources and services that can support the care he or she receives in the community. The first step is finding out if the Veteran you are working with is eligible. From there you can choose to refer or find additional resources that can support the care that you are providing (for example, group treatments, specialty care, housing resources).
Generally, if someone has served 24 consecutive months of active duty service in the military, naval, or air service with an honorable or general under honorable condition discharge they may be eligible. In some cases their eligibility may be based on their income. There are some special conditions, such as:
- Experienced MST (Military Sexual Trauma). All treatment for physical and mental health conditions related to MST is free. Veterans may be able to receive this free MST-related care even if they are not eligible for other VA care.
- Reservists who serve on active duty establish veteran status and may be eligible for the full-range of VA benefits. In addition, reservists not activated may qualify for some VA benefits.
- National Guard members can establish eligibility for VA benefits if activated for federal service during a war (for example, serving in combat) or domestic emergency.
- Veterans who served in combat, such as those who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn, since Nov. 11, 1998 are eligible to receive five years of enhanced enrollment eligibility for VA health care services (from the date of their military discharge/separation). This includes cost-free health care from VA for conditions that are possibly related to combat service. For more information go to the VA's Health Benefits website.
Who should I or the Veteran contact with questions about enrollment in VA Healthcare?
- Telephone: Call the Enrollment Coordinator at your local VA health care facility or (877) 222-VETS (8387).
- Online: Visit the enrollment and benefits webpage to have your client enroll or update their information online.
- Mail: Print the 10-10EZ form or 10-10EZR form or call to have the form mailed to you. Have the Veteran complete, sign and mail their application to their local VA Medical Center or clinic.
- In Person: Your client can visit the VA Medical Center or clinic nearest them to apply for enrollment or if already enrolled, to update their information in person.
- Guide: You can download the general Veterans Health Benefits Guide for 2012.