VA Health Care Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for VA Medical Care

You may be able to get VA health care benefits if you served in the active military and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.


If you enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless you were:

  • Discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or
  • Discharged for a hardship

If you’re a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. If you had or have active-duty status for training purposes only, you don’t qualify for VA health care.

Cost of VA Medical Care

Normally, if you have an injury or disability caused by your military service you are eligible to be treated for that condition by the VA for free. 

If your disability or injury is severe enough for the VA to rate you at least 50% disabled for compensation benefits, all your medical care is free from the VA. 

If you have a lower level of disability rating you may have to pay the VA a copayment depending on what type of medical services you get and what condition you are being treated for. More…

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