Are you unable to get to a VA facility?

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Are you unable to get to a VA facility?

Are you unable to get care from a VA hospital because the wait time is too long or the hospital is too far away? A law passed in 2014 may help you get the VA to pay for care in your local community.
Photo credit: whereslugo. Photo of a young person in a hoodie and baseball cap sits at a bus stop.

Getting the VA to pay for you to see a community doctor under the new Veterans Choice Act.

People are concerned about wait times in VA Medical Facilities. In response, Congress passed "The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act" in 2014. This law applies to you if you are already enrolled in VA Care.

You can get medical care closer to home. You do not have to wait for an appointment at a VA facility. And you can reduce your travel time. These new VA services are under the "Veterans Choice Program." This program will let you see a doctor at a community clinic or hospital. And not wait to see a doctor at the VA.

The VA may pay for your non-emergency community health care if:

  • You have been told by your local VA hospital that your wait to see a doctor will be more than 30 days; or
  • Your home is more than 40 miles from the closest VA hospital; or
  • You need to travel by plane or boat to get to the nearest VA hospital; or
  • You cannot travel by road to your nearest VA hospital.


Under this law, it is important that you contact the VA before you see a community doctor.

You will need to contact your local VA to get permission to see a community provider. The VA has put together a fact sheet explaining the Veterans Choice Program. This site will provide you with the number to call to get community care paid for by the VA.



Last updated May 2018