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Director’s Corner

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Can I Get Travel Costs Reimbursed for VA Health Care?

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Larry D. Moore

Veterans often want to know if they can be reimbursed for travel costs related to VA health care services, and, in many cases, the answer is yes.

The Beneficiary Travel program is designed to help eligible veterans receive travel reimbursement for trips to and from VA health care facilities, or to VA-authorized non-VA health care centers they are eligible to use. When a privately owned vehicle is not reasonably accessible, or when travel by a common carrier such as a plane, train, bus, taxi or light rail is medically necessary, veterans may be reimbursed for their costs. In some cases, the program might even cover the cost of an ambulance or a wheel chair van.

Veterans can apply for travel reimbursement by completing the Veteran/Beneficiary Claim for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses, or VA Form 10-3542. Veterans usually will receive payment via an electronic fund transfer to a bank account or in the form of a debit card. Veterans who are eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses include:

  • Those with a VA service-connected rating of 30 percent or higher, for travel related to any condition;
  • Those with a VA service-connected rating below 30 percent, for travel related to their service-connected condition;
  • Veterans receiving VA pension benefits, for travel related to any condition;
  • Those whose annual income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate;
  • Those who are unable to defray the cost of travel (as defined in the Beneficiary Travel regulations);
  • Those traveling in relation to a compensation and pension (C&P) examination; and
  • Those faced with certain emergency situations.

In addition, certain non-veterans also may be eligible for reimbursement for travel related to care of a veteran. These include caregivers under the National Caregivers Program, medically required attendants, VA transplant care donors and other claimants subject to regulatory guidelines.

VA Form 10-3542 may be presented in person or mailed to the VA health care facility where care was provided. Application for travel reimbursement must be completed within 30 days of travel. For assistance in completing the form, call 1-877-222-8387.

In Appreciation,

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Executive Director

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