Understanding VA Health Care Benefits: A Priority Groups Guide [Video Summary]

Last Updated‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎

Written by

Table of Contents

VA Healthcare Benefits and Priority Groups

In this comprehensive session, we demystify the intricate system of VA health care benefits, focusing on the eligibility criteria and priority groups assigned to veterans.

While this summary provides a glimpse, we always recommend watching the full video for an in-depth understanding.

Delve in to understand the nuances of the priority groups, from service connection percentages to income-based classifications, and what each means for the health care benefits a veteran may receive.

Veterans play a vital role in the history and security of our country, and as a way of honoring their service, various health care benefits are extended through the VA (Veterans Affairs).

However, it’s essential to note that not every veteran is automatically eligible.

Here, we break down the prerequisites and the various priority groups for VA health care benefits.

Who is Eligible?

Contrary to popular belief, not all veterans who served in the military are eligible for VA health care.

The criteria are as follows:

  • You must have served 24 continuous months on active duty or completed your entire active duty period.
  • Alternatively, if you were discharged due to a disability that was caused or exacerbated during your service, you might be eligible.

To apply, you can visit the VA in person, call in, or submit the VA Form 10-10EZ, either electronically or by fax.

It’s beneficial to have your DD214 form (which shows your service duration and active duty period), but if you don’t have it on hand, the VA can request it for you.

Understanding Priority Groups

Once your application is processed, the VA assigns you to one of eight priority groups.

Your placement depends on your military service, any service-connected disability ratings from the VA, and in some cases, your income level.

1. Priority Group 1

Veterans in this group:

Benefits: Full VA health care at no cost, with no co-pays.

Veterans with a 100% service connection can also access dental care free of charge.

2. Priority Group 2

Veterans who:

  • Have a service connection of 30% to 40%.

Benefits: Free health care for service-connected conditions, with potential co-pays for non-service connected conditions.

3. Priority Group 3

Veterans who:

  • Have a service connection of 10% or 20%.
  • Were discharged from the military due to disability.
  • Were Prisoners of War or received a Purple Heart.

Benefits: Free health care for service-connected conditions, with potential co-pays for non-service connected conditions.

4. Priority Group 4

Veterans who:

  • Receive aid and attendance benefits.
  • Are considered catastrophically disabled by the VA.

5. Priority Group 5

Veterans who:

  • Are not service-connected but have an income below the poverty threshold.
  • May be receiving needs-based benefits, such as Medicaid or non-service-connected pension.

6. Priority Group 6

Veterans who:

7. Priority Group 7

Veterans with an income below a certain poverty threshold, with potential co-pays.

8. Priority Group 8

Veterans with an income above the poverty threshold and an agreement for co-pays.

In conclusion, the VA health care benefits system is designed to assist veterans based on their service, disability, and financial needs.

For any additional questions or information, refer to the links provided in this post and watch the video above.

Thank you, veterans, for your service and dedication to our nation.

Visit our YouTube Channel for exclusive video content about VA disability benefits.

Tune in at 1400 Hours EST on Wednesdays to our Live Stream, where our experts answer the questions you have about the process.

YouTube Channel Ad (2)

Written by

More Articles

News and advice about the VA, disability ratings and benefits.


Supporting Veterans Nationwide

  • Thank you to the firm of Hill & Ponton!! Brian Hill and his staff were able to get my 100% disability with the VA for my exposure to herbicides in Thailand. I have been fighting for this for many years and kept getting denied, after consulting with Hill & Ponton I decided to let them help me and it was the best decision I could have made. I found their professionalism to be outstanding.

    – Chip P.

    North Carolina

  • They got my disability rating after I was denied twice. They knew exactly how to format and submit the claim. I was rated 50%, Hill & Ponton weren’t done, they found other medical that related to exposure and submitted additional claims. I could not have received a disability rating without Hill & Ponton. If you need help, choose Hill & Ponton.

    – Thomas D.


  • The service provided by Hill and Ponton was exemplary. The lawyers and staff took care of every aspect with respect and understanding of the clients needs. In my case, as a new widow, they patiently walked me through each step. They kept me informed of the progress. I cannot say enough about the service they provided. Thank you Brian and staff.

    – Judith K Zitzewitz


  • As a Vet you may have filed a disability claim, and if you want to win your claim you need to call Hill and Ponton. I didn’t know what to do about my condition or status until I made the call. At H&P they not only took my case, but made me feel like family. They changed my life and they will change your life too. It’s true! In my opinion you can’t do better and you won’t regret it!

    – Paul K



About Hill & Ponton

Learn about the VA disability law firm, champions for veterans since 1986.