Enrolling in Veterans Health Benefits
Online Enrollment. The fastest and easiest way to apply for enrollment and health benefits is online through the VA’s website – VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits.
Telephone Enrollment. You can apply for enrollment by phone, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. A VA representative will send your completed form to you for verification and signature. 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
In Person Enrollment. You can enroll in person at the VA Medical Center or clinic nearest you.
Filing a Claim
Online Claim Application. The Department of Veterans Affairs website provides the latest news and resources available to veterans. To apply for benefits, the VA uses the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP), which enables service members, veterans and their beneficiaries, and other designated individuals to apply for benefits.
Assistance through Veterans’ Organizations. You may also wish to contact one of Virginia's many veterans' service organizations. In many cases, these organizations have service officers who can assist you throughout the claims process free of charge.
Assistance through the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services may also be able to assist a veteran in receiving care at the V.A. For more information, please visit: http://www.dvs.virginia.gov/
Expediting a claim
Terminal Illness. The VA will expedite a claim if the veteran is terminally ill and is able to provide medical evidence illustrating a medical hardship. My office can forward evidence to the VA on behalf of a veteran. The VA can also be contacted at 1-800-827-1000 for more information.
Foreclosure. Veterans can also have their claim expedited if they are at risk of having their home foreclosed. They need to provide a letter from their bank or mortgage company showing that foreclosure proceedings are a real possibility. My office can forward evidence to the VA on behalf of a veteran. The VA can also be contacted at 1-800-827-1000 for more information.
Obtaining a Fee Basis Card
To obtain a fee basis card, you must contact the patient representative at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center where you receive treatment.
The Veterans Affairs Medical Centers' Nursing Services
There are many factors that determine whether or not a veteran qualifies for nursing care. Overall, the VA is moving away from long-term nursing care. However, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center may, in certain situations, help place veterans in private nursing homes. A patient representative can assist with this process.
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services may be able to assist a veteran in receiving care at the VA. For more information, please visit: http://www.dvs.virginia.gov/.
The Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255 — is staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day to help aid in an immediate crisis.
The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans — 1-877-424-3838 — is staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day to help veterans locate food, shelter, and clothing.
Obtaining Service Records
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) contains all service records from World War I to present. Often, veterans will need records to support a VA claim, for Social Security purposes, when applying for employment, and to obtain medals. Although my office cannot normally expedite the request for records, my staff can make these requests on behalf of the veteran.
It is important to note that the NPRC suffered a fire in 1973 in which many service records were destroyed. Because of this, the NPRC is sometimes unable to provide original records. The center does, however, have resources by which a veteran's records can be reconstructed.
Obtaining a copy of discharge papers, service records and/or service medals and decorations
The NPRC's Standard Form 180 (SF-180), can be used to process all of these requests. The length of time for each request to be processed depends on the type of request.
You can also submit a letter by mail or by fax for your military records. The letter should include the veteran’s complete name used while in the service; service number or Social Security number; branch of service; dates of service; date and place of birth, especially if service number is not known. If the request pertains to a record that may have been destroyed in the 1973 fire, also include place of discharge; last unit of assignment; and place of entry into service, if known.
Contacting the National Personnel Records Center