On October 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expanded and extended eligibility for VA health care for certain Veterans of the Gulf Wars and post-9/11 era. This expansion has increased health care eligibility for hundreds of thousands of toxic-exposed Veterans. Additionally, VA has already expanded health care eligibility for certain Veterans of the Vietnam War.
Beginning on October 1, Post-9/11 Veterans who did not previously enroll in VA health care will have a 1-year window to enroll if they:
- Served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War, or
- Served in a combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after Nov. 11, 1998, and
- Were discharged or released from active service between Sept. 11, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2013.
Veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War are now eligible for care. This includes Veterans who, in connection with service during such period, received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Service Specific Expeditionary Medal, Combat Era Specific Expeditionary Medal, Campaign Specific Medal, or any other combat theater award established by federal statute or executive order. Eligible Veterans and survivors are encouraged to apply for those benefits now.
In addition, the Department is offering a suspension of debt repayments for Veterans and family members affected by Hurricane Fiona or Hurricane Ian.
For suspension of benefit debt, Veterans and beneficiaries can contact the VA Debt Management Center or call 800-827-0648.
For suspension of medical care and pharmacy copayment debt, Veterans and beneficiaries can contact the Health Resource Center by calling 866-400-1238.
For more information and news from VA, please also visit our website at www.trea.org.
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