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VA Health Care Expands to Millions of Veterans

All Veterans exposed to toxins while serving can enroll in VA health care.

A person fills out a form at an information booth.Beginning March 5, millions of Veterans are eligible for VA health care years earlier than called for by the PACT Act. Specifically, all Veterans who meet basic service and discharge requirements and who were exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving our country—at home or abroad—are now eligible to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits.

Who is eligible?

In one of the largest-ever expansions of Veteran health care, 3 new groups of Veterans are now eligible to enroll directly in VA health care. You are eligible if you meet basic service and discharge requirements and if any of the following applies to you:

  • You served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other combat zone after 9/11.

  • You were deployed in support of the Global War on Terror.

  • You were exposed to toxins or hazards while training or on active duty. This includes working with chemicals, pesticides, lead, asbestos, certain paints, nuclear weapons, x-rays and more.

You don’t need to be sick or file a claim to become eligible. All you have to do is show that you served in a location or operation—or participated in an activity—that could have exposed you to hazards. You can view more military exposure categories on VA’s Public Health website.

Even if none of these descriptions match your service, you may be eligible based on your income. Bottom line: it’s now quicker and easier than ever for you to enroll.

Why should you apply for VA health care?

VA provides the best and most affordable health care for Veterans in America. Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care are proven to have better health outcomes than those who get their care elsewhere. That’s because our clinicians know Veterans and often are Veterans. And they know exactly how to help.

So, don’t wait. Apply for the care you deserve at Even if you don’t need this care today, you might need it tomorrow, or the next day, or 30 years from now. It’s quick and easy to apply. And once you’re in, you have access for life. 

My HealtheVet and your care

If you’re new to VA health care, there are many ways that My HealtheVet can help you manage your care. Refill prescriptions, manage appointments, message your health care team, and more. VA health care is the best care for Veterans. And we want to help you stay engaged in your care and access the many resources available to you.

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