Veterans Helping Veterans & Others Newsletter
"Keeping You Informed"
Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a board range of
programs and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
These benefits are legislated in Title 38 of the United States Code. This booklet
contains a summary of these benefits effective Jan. 1, 2009. Gor additional
information, visit the VA Web page at http://www.va.gov/.
La version en espanol de este folleto se encuentra dispoinible en formato Adobe
Acrobat a traves de el link: http://www1.va.gov/opa. feature/index.asp.
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than
dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a
member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the
Public Health Service. Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Generally, men and women veterans
with similar service may be entitled to the same VA benefits.
Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans
in prison and parolees must contact a VA regional office to determine eligibility. VA benefits will not be
provided to any veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.
|Certain VA Benefits Require Wartime Service
Certain VA benefits require service during wartime. Under the law, VA recognizes these war periods:
Mexican Border Period: May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917, for veterans who served in
Mexico, on its borders or in adjacent waters.
World War I: April 6, 1917, through Nov. 11, 1918; for veterans who served in Russia,
April 6, 1917, through April 1, 1920 extended through July 1, 1921, for veterans who had
at least one day of service between April 6, 1917, and Nov. 11, 1918.
World War II: Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946.
Korean War: June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955.
Vietnam War: Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for veterans who served "In country" before
Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975.
Aug. 2, 1990, through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.
|Important Documents Needed to Expedite
VA Benefits Delivery
In order to expedite benefits delivery, veterans seeking a VA benefit for the
first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214,
DD-215, or for World War II veterans, a WD form), which documents service
dates and type of discharge, or give their full name, military service number,
and branch and dates of service. The veteran's service discharge from
should be kept in a safe location accessible to the veteran and next of kin or
The following documents will be needed for claims processing related to a
1. Veteran's marriage certificate for claims of a surviving spouse
2. Veteran's death certificate if the veteran did not die in a VA
health care facility.
3. Children's birth certificates or adoption papers to determine
4. Veteran's birth certificate to determine parents; benefits.
VA Health Care 1
VA Health Care Benefits
VA operates the nation's largest integrated health care system with more than 1,400 sites
of care, including hospitals, community clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries,
readjustment counseling centers, and various other facilities. For additional information on
VA health care, visit, Visit: http://www.va.gov/health.
A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or
released under conditions other than dishonorable may qualify for VA health care benefits.
Reservists and Nation Guard members may also qualify for VA health care benefits if they
were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a Federal order and completed
the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty.
Minimum Duty Requirements: Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or who entered
active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period
for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty
requirement may not apply to veterans discharged for hardship, early out or a disability
incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
For most veterans, entry into the VA health care system begins by applying for enrollment.
To apply, complete VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits, which may be
obtained from any VA health care facility or regional benefits office, on line at
http://www.va.gov/1010ez.htm or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Once enrolled,
veterans can receive health care at VA health care facilities anywhere in the country.
Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system are afforded privacy rights under federal
law. VA's Notice of Privacy Practices, which describes how VA may use and disclose
veterans' medical information, is also available on line at
The following for categories of veterans are not required to enroll, but are urged to do so
to permit better planning of health resources:
1. Veterans with a service-connected disability of 50 percent or more.
2. Veterans seeking care for a disability the military determined was incurred or
aggravated in the line of
duty, but which VA has not yet rated, within 12 months of discharge.
3. Veterans seeking care for a service-connected disability only.
4. Veterans seeking registry examinations (lonizing Radiation, Agent Orange, Gulf
Freedom and Depleted Uranium).
During enrollment, each veteran is assigned to a priority group. VA uses priority groups to
balance demand for VA health care enrollment with resources. Changes in available
resources may reduce the number of priority groups VA can enroll. If this occurs, VA will
publicize the changes and notify affected enroll. A description of priority groups
Group 1: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 50 percent or more and/or
veterans determined by VA to be unemployable due to service-connected conditions.
Group 2: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30 or 40 percent.
Group 3: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 10 and 20 percent; veterans
who are former Prisoners of War (POW) or were awarded a Purple Heart medal; veterans
awarded special eligibility for disabilities incurred in treatment or participation in a VA
Vocational Rehabilitation program; and veterans whose discharge was for disability
incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
Group 4: Veterans receiving aid and attendance or housebound benefits and/or veterans
determined by VA to be catastrophically disabled.
Group 5: Veterans receiving VA pension benefits or eligible for Medicaid programs, and non
service-connected veterans and non-compensable, zero percent service-connected
veterans whose gross annual household income and net worth are below the established
VA means test thresholds.