There have been a number of different attempts for veterans who have been in combat and served on active duty. The different types of legislation have been began started that continues to make its way through the United States Congress, and slowly additional benefits are becoming available. If you have been on active duty since 1998 or served in Iraq or Afghanistan, then you are eligible for free medical care for five years from the Department of Veteran Affairs. This is in addition to current medical benefits that you have now, and is the result of recent legislation. It was the result of additional efforts on the part of Congress and the American people to give recognition to the Servicemembers in America, and to give assistance and support to Veterans that may be especially in need and not able to afford health care otherwise.
The members of our Veterans are very deserving of this type of military and Veteran health benefit. The Veteran Affairs Secretary, Dr. James B. Peake spoke out about this issue recently and talked about the importance of medical support for Combat Veterans. ?Veterans are very deserving of their benefits and health support because of their service and their sacrifices for their country,? said Dr. Peake. After they are separated or discharged from service, Veterans can apply for this benefit, even if they were separated from the service a decade ago, especially if they have an illness or condition that is related to service in the military. Health care problems that are related to military service are always covered.
The Deadline of five years is independent of other medical qualifying factors that may be related to service in the Military. The National Defense and Authorization Act of 2008 was passed and then signed into law by President Bush. The new law extends the two-year benefit to a five-year benefit after discharge. It gives a Veteran a 180-day benefit that was previously only 90 days upon discharge from the service.
If you were discharged from November 1998 to January 2003, and are a combat Veteran, and if you have not yet taken any advantage of any health care benefit previously, then you have until January 27th, 2011 to take advantage of the VA free health care benefit.