Program DescriptionThe Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) may authorize a non-VA health care facility to provide necessary medical care services when such services are not feasibly available at a VA health care facility, or VA determines that such services can be obtained outside the VA more economically or more appropriately due to geographic inaccessibility.
VA community care must be authorized by VA in advance - unless the medical event is an emergency. Emergency events may be reimbursed on behalf of the Veteran in certain cases. See the Emergency Care Fact Sheet for information.
General Program RequirementsYou must be enrolled in the VA health care system (or qualify based on one of the exceptions in the law). Go to "Basic Medical Benefits for Veterans" to see the program requirements.
Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services the Veteran/Servicemember's character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general). However, individuals receiving undesirable, bad conduct, and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.
Application ProcessTo inquire about authorized hospital care and medical services in non-VA health care facilities, contact your nearest VA health care facility. Visit the directory to locate your nearest VA health care facility.
Program Contact Information
If you have questions:
- Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information Systems (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question online
- Call 1-877-222-8387