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Health & Safety

Veterans Health AdministrationHealth Care Illustration

Originally known as the VA's Department of Medicine and Surgery before the 1980s, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is a part of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Health System serves America's veterans health care needs. Veterans can receive primary care, specialized care, and medical and social services based on income level and available resources.  

Eligibility and Enrollment

Returning service members from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom can start their quest for information on the VHA's Welcome Home website. This website lists the health care and dental programs available. The page also contains a list of frequently asked questions.   Generally eligibility for VA health coverage depends on a few factors which include a veteran's nature of discharge from the service, their length of service, and their service connected disabilities.

To be able to access the appropriate level of care for the veterans, the VHA uses priority groups or levels. Veterans are placed into one of the eight different priority groups based on the factors used to determine the vet's eligibility.

Using the enrollment calculator found on the VHA website a vet can next determine their eligibility. Once eligibility is established, a vet can find information on procedures, requirements, and general VHA publications by visiting the VHA Forms, Publication and Record Management page. To officially request enrollment in the VHA a vet is required to fill VA Form 10-10EZ.

Veterans Health Administration Programs

Once a vet is enrolled in the VHA system, many different programs become available. These Clinical Programs and Initiatives include a cancer program, Gulf War Veterans Health, HIV/AIDS Program, Homeless, Mental Health, and a Center for Women Veterans. A veteran can monitor their healthcare online by registering for MyHealtheVet.  Through this online program a veteran can perform different tasks such as refill their prescriptions and keep a personal health journal.   In the future the VHA has plans to allow vets to have access to their electronic medical records.

Family members of veterans are eligible for limited benefits such as bereavement counseling, services for Care Givers, and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA).

Other VHA Resources

The Facility locator allows veterans to search for VHA health care facilities. The online career center for the VHA offers careers within the VHA healthcare system.

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