VA Healthcare

Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,293 health care facilities, including 171 VA Medical Centers and 1,112 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million veterans enrolled in the VA health care program.

Nevada County veterans receive their services through the VA's Northern California Health Care System.  Veterans can receive their primary care through the VA's Outpatient Clinic located in Auburn, CA.  For specialty appointments or services veterans are usually seen at either the Mather or McClellan VAMC's located in the Greater Sacramento area.

Eligibility for VA Health Care

You may be eligible for VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, naval, or air service and did not receive an honorable discharge.  If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless any of the descriptions below are true for you:

  • Were discharged for a disability that was caused - or made worse - by your active duty service
  • Were discharged for a hardship or "early out"
  • Served prior to September 7, 1980

If you are a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty.  If you had or have active duty status for training purposes only, you do not qualify for VA health care.

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Is there anything that will make me more likely to get these benefits?

Yes. You may qualify for enhanced eligibility status (meaning you'll be placed in a higher priority group, which makes you more likely to get benefits) if you meet one of the requirements below:

  • Receive financial compensation (payments) from VA for a service-connected disability
  • Were discharged for a disability resulting from something that happened to you in the line of duty
  • Were discharged for a disability that got worse in the line of duty
  • Are a recently discharged combat veteran
  • Get a VA pension
  • Are a former prisoner of war (POW)
  • Have received a Purple Heart
  • Have received a Medal of Honor
  • Get (or qualify for) Medicaid benefits
  • Served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • Served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and November 11, 1998
  • Served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987

If none of the above apply to you, you may still qualify for care based on your income.  

Annual Income Limits - Health Benefits

Veteran with:VA National Income ThresholdVA Priority Group 8 Relaxation ThresholdVA Housebound Threshold VA Pension with Aid & Attendance ThresholdVA Pension ThresholdMedical Expense Threshold
0 Dependents$34,616 or less$38,078 or less$17,024$23,238$13,931 or less$688
1 Dependents$41,539 or less$45,693 or less$21,337$27,549$18,243 or less$900
2 Dependents$43,921 or less$48,313 or less$23,719$29,931$20,625 or less$1,018
3 Dependents$46,303 or less$50,933 or less$26,101$32,313$23,007 or less$1,136
4 Dependents$48,685 or less$53,554 or less$28,483$34,695$25,389 or less$1,253
For each additional dependent add:$2,382$2,382$2,382$2,382$2,3825% of the maximum allowable pension rate from the previous year


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Enrollment Priority Groups

Priority Group 1

  • Veterans assigned a total disability rating for compensation based on unemployability.
  • Veterans with VA Service-connected disabilities rated 50% or more.

Priority Group 2

  • Veterans with VA Service-connected disabilities rated 30% or 40%

Priority Group 3

  • Veterans awarded the Medal of Honor.
  • Veterans awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
  • Veterans awarded special eligibility classification under Title 38, U.SC., § 1151, “benefits for individuals disabled by treatment or vocational rehabilitation.”
  • Veterans who are former POWs.
  • Veterans whose discharge was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
  • Veterans with VA Service-connected disabilities rated 10% or 20%.

Priority Group 4

  • Veterans determined by VA to be catastrophically disabled.
  • Veterans receiving increased compensation or pension based on their need for regular Aid and Attendance or by reason of being permanently Housebound.

Priority Group 5

  • Non-Service-Connected Veterans and non-compensable Service-Connected Veterans rated 0%, whose annual income and/or net worth are not greater than the VA financial thresholds.
  • Veterans eligible for Medicaid benefits.
  • Veterans receiving VA Pension benefits.

Priority Group 6

  • Compensable 0% Service-connected Veterans.
  • Project 112/SHAD participants.
  • Veterans exposed to ionizing radiation during atmospheric testing or during the occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
  • Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia Theater of operations from August 2, 1990, through November 11, 1998.
  • Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, as follows
    • Veterans discharged from active duty on or after January 28, 2003, for five years post discharge

Priority Group 7

  • Veterans with incomes below the geographic means test (GMT) income thresholds and who agree to pay the applicable co-payment.

Priority Group 8

  • Veterans eligible for enrollment Non-Service-connected and:
    • Sub priority c Enrolled as January 16, 2003, and who remained enrolled since that date and / or placed in this sub priority due to changed eligibility status
    • Sub priority d Enrolled on or after June 15, 2009 whose income exceeds the current VA National Income Thresholds or VA National Geographic Income Thresholds by 10% or less
  • Veterans eligibility for enrollment Non-compensable 0% service-connected and
    • Sub priority a Enrolled as of January 16, 2003, and who have remained enrolled since that date and / or placed in this sub priority due to changed eligibility status.
    • Sub priority b Enrolled on or after June 15, 2009 whose income exceeds the current VA National Income Thresholds or VA National Geographic Income Thresholds by 10% or less
  • Veterans not eligible for enrollment Veterans not meeting the criteria above
    • Sub priority e Non-compensable 0% service-connected
    • Sub priority g Non-Service-connected
  • Veterans with gross household incomes above the VA national income threshold and the geographically-adjusted income threshold for their resident location and who agrees to pay co-pays
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