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Understanding VA Community Care

Expanding Access to Quality Healthcare for Veterans

As advocates for veterans' rights and benefits, United Veteran Benefits Agency is committed to helping veterans navigate the complex landscape of VA healthcare. One important program that expands access to care for many veterans is the VA Community Care program. This article will explore the key aspects of community care and how it can benefit eligible veterans.


demystifying the VA Community Care

What is VA Community Care?

The VA Community Care program allows eligible veterans to receive healthcare services from community providers outside of VA facilities when VA cannot provide the needed care. This program was established to improve access, quality, and timeliness of care for veterans.

Increased Access to Care: 

Wider Network:  Community Care allows veterans to access a broader network of healthcare providers, including specialists and facilities that may not be available within the VA system. This expands your options and can reduce wait times. 

Geographical Convenience:  Community Care allows veterans to seek care closer to their home or work, eliminating the need for long commutes or travel. This is especially beneficial for veterans living in rural areas where VA facilities may be limited.  

Specialty Care:  It can help veterans access specialized care more easily. For example, if you need a neurosurgeon or a specific type of therapy, finding these specialists within the VA system can be challenging. Community Care allows you to see a qualified specialist in your community.    Enhanced Choice and Control: 

Provider Selection:  Community Care gives veterans more choice in selecting their healthcare providers. You can choose a doctor you trust and who understands your needs. 

Flexible Scheduling:  Community Care often offers more flexible scheduling options, allowing veterans to schedule appointments that fit their busy schedules. 

Personalized Care:  You can receive care tailored to your individual needs and preferences.     Streamlined Process:    Simplified Authorization:  VA Community Care simplifies the authorization process for accessing non-VA care, making it easier to receive the care you need quickly.   

Overall, VA Community Care helps to improve veterans' access to healthcare, expands their choice of providers, and offers greater convenience and flexibility. It's a valuable program that empowers veterans to take control of their healthcare journey. 

Eligibility for Community Care

Veterans may be eligible for community care if they meet any of the following criteria:


  1. VA doesn't offer the required service

  2. Veteran lives in a state or territory without a full-service VA medical facility

  3. Veteran qualifies under the "grandfather" provision related to distance eligibility

  4. VA can't provide care within designated access standards

  5. It's in the veteran's best medical interest

  6. A VA service line doesn't meet certain quality standards


How to Access Community Care

To access community care, veterans must generally receive approval from VA before obtaining care from a community provider. The process typically involves:


  • Confirming eligibility with VA staff

  • Receiving a referral for community care

  • Scheduling an appointment with an approved community provider


Veterans can either have VA staff help schedule their appointment or use VA Online Scheduling to request an appointment directly.


Benefits of Community Care

The Community Care program offers several benefits to veterans:


  1. Increased access to specialized care

  2. Reduced wait times for appointments

  3. More convenient care options, especially for veterans in rural areas

  4. Access to a network of over one million community providers

Community Care

Costs and Billing

Veterans may be responsible for copayments for non-service-connected care received through community care, similar to care provided directly by VA. It's important to understand potential costs before receiving care.


The Role of United Veteran Benefits Agency

At United Veteran Benefits Agency, we understand that navigating the VA healthcare system can be challenging. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping veterans understand their eligibility for community care and other VA benefits. We provide personalized guidance to ensure veterans receive the care and support they've earned through their service.


Community Care Take Away

The VA Community Care program represents an important expansion of healthcare options for eligible veterans. By understanding this program and working with advocates like United Veteran Benefits Agency, veterans can ensure they're accessing all the benefits and care options available to them.


For personalized assistance with VA benefits, including community care eligibility, contact United Veteran Benefits Agency today. Our team is committed to supporting veterans in maximizing their benefits and accessing the quality healthcare they deserve.



Additional Reading

Veteran Community Care - General Information Fact Sheet -

Fact Sheets for VHA Office of Integrated Veteran Care Programs

VA Community Care


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This information is made available for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for legal or medical advice. United Veteran Benefits Agency makes no guarantee of the outcome on VA rating decisions. 


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