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Are you eligible for VA health care benefits?

Many people in Florida have proudly served the country through military service at some point in their lives. Though they may gladly have done it all again, numerous individuals develop serious disabilities due to their time in service. As a result, they often need benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but unfortunately, receiving health care benefits is not always easy.

If a person served in an active duty capacity and was not dishonorably discharged from service, he or she may qualify for VA health care benefits. Additionally, the person must have served the full time required for an active duty assignment or at least 24 continuous months. These stipulations may be waived if the person suffered a disability or had a disability made worse by active duty and was discharged because of it, another hardship resulted in a discharge, or if the individual served before Sept. 7, 1980.

An applicant could receive a place higher on the priority list for receiving benefits if any of the following factors apply:

  • Currently receiving a VA pension
  • Received a Purple Heart or Medal of Honor
  • Currently receiving VA payments due to a service-related disability
  • Was a prisoner of war
  • Was recently discharged from combat duty
  • Currently receiving or qualifies for Medicaid benefits
  • Served in the Gulf War in Southwest Asia between Aug. 2, 1990, and Nov. 11, 1998
  • Served in Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975

Unfortunately, even if Florida residents believe that they qualify for VA health care benefits due to any of the above factors, they could still have difficulties obtaining the benefits they deserve. This can be immensely disheartening, but it is important not to give up hope. With the right help, veterans may be able to assess their situations and determine their best courses of action for working toward a favorable outcome.