There has been a push to enable increased veterans benefits for those who have served on active duty in combat. The legislation that will help engage that is making its way through the Congress, and now there are additional benefits available. If you have served in Combat since November 11th, 1998, including on active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, then you are eligible for free medical care for five years through the Department of Veterans affairs.
This increase is due to efforts to honor military veterans and their service to America, and to help give support and assistance to those Veterans who might otherwise not be able to afford health care.
“Because of their sacrifice, and their service, Veterans deserve this additional health benefit. The Combat Veterans of America have more than earned this increased eligibility period for their brave service,” said Dr. James B. Peake. Peake is the Secretary for Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.
The five-year deadline is independent of any other medical condition related to military service. After discharge Veterans may apply at any time, even decades or more years later if they have conditions or an illness related to military service. Service related health care problems are always covered. The new law is part of the Authorization and National Defense Act of 2008, and President Bush signed it into law. The new law extends the previous two-year benefit after discharge to five years. It also extends the 90-day VA dental benefit to 180 days after discharge. If you are a combat veteran that was discharged from November of 1998 to January of 2003 and you have never taken advantage of any of the health care benefits available to you from the VA, then you have until January 27, 20011 to qualify for this free VA health care.
This new five-year window is also one that is available to National Guard and Active reservists. The individual in question must have served in a combat theater of operations after November 19998, and discharged under honorable conditions. Veterans can apply and receive this benefit, and when it is up they can continue to receive medical benefits, but such benefits after their time is up will be at considerable cost to themselves. Co-payments exist for Veterans who need medical benefits from the VA after they have exhausted their medical benefits under the law