Become a Patient
All veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA health care system. To begin the process, please complete an Application for Health Care Benefits (Form 10-10EZ). You can submit the form online, or you may print the form and mail or bring it to your local eligibility office.
Please note the following list of documentation and information that you might also need:
- Copies of your military discharge papers (DD214, Report of Separation or Record of Enlistment). While providing them at the time of application is not mandatory, doing so can help speed the processing of your application, as such paperwork may contain vital details regarding your military service.
- If you have been awarded a service-connected disability rating, copies of any service connected disability award letters received from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
- For Non-Service Connected Veterans and 0% Service Connected Veterans – previous calendar year income information. Veterans may choose whether or not to provide this information. However, while not mandatory, for Non-Service Connected or 0% service connected Veterans this information can play a role in determining eligibility for enrollment, and if eligible, what level of copays the Veteran will be responsible for paying.
- Copies of current health insurance cards (including Medicare or Medicaid).
For detailed information about your benefits, you can download a copy of the Information Booklet for Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors.
VHA Health Eligibility Center is an online resource for Veterans, family members and care givers to learn about eligibility, enrollment options and benefits offered by VHA. It also provides detailed information about how to apply for VHA health services, cost of care, accessing VA health care and VA's Medical Benefits Package.
If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who 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 may be eligible for VA health care as well.
Minimum Duty Requirements
Most Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 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 who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, were discharged for a hardship or received an “early out.” Since there are a number of other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all Veterans to apply in order to determine their enrollment eligibility.
Veterans Health Benefits Handbook
VA produces a personalized “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” for each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system. The handbook provides a current and accurate description of VA health care benefits and services. Your handbook will be tailored specifically to you with personal identifying information, and should be safeguarded as you would any other sensitive personal document.
The “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” includes:
- Eligibility and health care benefits,
- Contact information for your preferred facility,
- Information regarding copayment responsibilities,
- Instructions on how to schedule appointments,
- Guidelines to communicate treatment needs,
- Patient rights,
- Ways to obtain copies of medical records and
- Other important information.
You will receive your personalized handbook via U.S. mail; therefore, you should have a current address on file with VA. Handbooks are mailed based on Priority Group, beginning with Priority Group 1 and ending with Priority Group 8. For more information, go to www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhbh. You may also call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) if you need to update your address or receive more information.
Health Care Benefits Overview
VA publishes the "Health Care Benefits Overview" booklet, which provides general information and frequently asked questions about VA’s medical benefits package available for all enrollees, and other information such as eligibility for enrollment.
The publication is available and can be downloaded at https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/epublications.asp.
We encourage you to refer to it whenever you have questions about your eligibility for specific health care benefits. More information is available at the following resources: