The National Defense Authorization Act-2008 was signed for the first time on January 28, 2008. This law extended the eligibility period of health care from 2 years to 5 years, especially for the combat veterans who had served in various operations in a combat war zone after November 11, 1998. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Department currently provides some health care services free of cost under the authority. The department also provides nursing and home care services for certain health conditions possibly related to military service, as well as enrolling in 6 or higher Priority Group. Recently the department has enrolled veterans, as well as new enrollees, especially those who were discharged from their active duty services after or on January 28, 2003 and who will also be eligible for new enhanced benefits of a duration of 5 years after discharge.
For the veterans who did not enroll with the Veterans Affairs during the extended eligibility period, subsequent care and enrollment eligibility is based on additional factors such as their rating on compensable service connections, their Veterans Affairs pension status, the financial circumstances of the veteran, catastrophic disability determination, etc.
For the reasons stated above, combat veterans, even if they don’t need any medical care, are highly encouraged to apply to enroll within this extended eligibility period.
If you have any questions regarding the completion of the application for health benefits for veterans, please fill out Form 10-10EZ or call the VA at 877-222-VETS (8383) or 800-827-1000.
Service Officers with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) offer free assistance for completing forms as well as understanding the benefits of VA.You can visit http://www.vfw.org/Assistance/ or https://www.dav.org/veterans/ for more information.