Health Care


I served as an active Reservist from May 1970 to May 2001. I spent 23 months on active duty, 12 months in Korea from Nov. 1970 thru Nov. 1971. I know I am a Vietnam Era veteran. I recently applied for VA medical benefits, providing my DD Form 214. I was rejected without an explanation. Can you provide me with an explanation as to why I was rejected?


Jim's Reply:

You were rejected because in the 2006-2007 time frame the rules that address eligibility for health care changed. Prior to this, anyone with an honorable discharge was eligible for a full array of health care services. During this time America's "forever wars" were taking a toll on VA health services...we were making too many disabled vets for the system to handle. The Bush administration put a temporary limit on how many vets were eligible for care so as to lighten the load and that is still in effect.

The rules changed so that the only folks eligible were those who were already enrolled, those who have VA pensions, those veterans who have rated disabilities and the newer vets as they came home and even they were limited to abbreviated periods of care before their eligibility would run out.

If you want to pursue health care benefits as a Vietnam era veteran you'll need to file a claim for a disability benefit and prevail so that you have a rating that insures eligibility.

Good luck sir.