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May 6, 1983

Entitlement to Veteran's Medical Benefits

Author Affiliations

Oregon Health Sciences University Portland

JAMA. 1983;249(17):2330. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330410028019

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To the Editor.—  Economic times have forced many veterans to inquire about their entitlement to medical care through the Veterans Administration. Lack of knowledge about entitlement for VA medical benefits results in expense and inconvenience for the veteran and his physician. Although detailed in VA pamphlets available on request, this information has not appeared in the medical literature.Entitlement to medical care is based on many factors, including time since discharge, percent of serviceconnected (SC) disability, pension rating, period of service, and gender. Claims for disability must be filed by the veteran, whose claim will be evaluated and adjudicated by the VA. The categories of VA entitlement are given in the Table.Veterans are considered to be SC on a prima facie basis for six months after their discharge from military service. A decision is made by a VA physician whether the condition to be treated could reasonably be related