© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Combat veterans have until Sept. 30 to apply for VA health care

Alex Proimos CC BY 2.0
Wikimedia Commons

Veterans who deployed to a combat zone and who left the military between Sept. 11, 2001 and Oct. 1, 2013 are eligible to enroll for health care through the VA up until Sept. 30.

The special enrollment period allows combat veterans who never enrolled in VA health care before to get benefits.

"Even if you don’t need this care now, you may need it in the future," said Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough in a press release. "And once you’re in, you have access for life. But don't wait."

An influx of applications ahead of a different deadline a few weeks ago caused some veterans to receive error messages when using the VA's online application tool.

The expansion of veteran benefits is part of the PACT Act, a sweeping piece of legislation first proposed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to help veterans exposed to toxic chemicals.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.