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Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015: What is it and how does it affect me?


The Veterans Identification Act of 2015 became a law on July 20th, 2015. The law states that new health identification cards will be issued to veterans. The cards will be available in 2017 and will cost a fee. The purpose of the Act is to simplify the check-in and identification process at VA health appointments, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. It is not a credit card or an insurance card, and it does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA facilities.  Due to the ongoing concern of security, the new card does not contain personal identifying information on the card’s face, such as, date of birth, and social security numbers.  The new card replaces the need of veterans to carry their DD-214 discharge papers with them.  

Summary of the Act

The Act itself specifically describes the following:

Previous cards were issued to veterans who completed the time requirement for retirement or who were medical-related discharged.  If that criteria was not met, there was no way to identify veterans, other than with the DD-214 form.  Because of the impracticality of carrying the DD-214 form to identify the veteran’s status, this card was created so as to provide a useful way for veterans to identify themselves so they can participate in promotion sales and discounts of goods and services provided by public and private institutions offered specifically to veterans.   

Home Health Care

Skilled Home Health Care (SHHC) Services

SHHC is a short-term health care service that can be provided to individuals who are homebound or live relatively far from the VA.  Care is delivered by a community based health agency that is under contract with the VA. Generally, SHHC provides services for individuals who need skilled services, case management, and assistance with daily living.

Geriatrics and Extended Care

Hospice Care     

Hospice is a comfort based form of care, for individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition, and only have 6 months or less to live. The service entails treatment that relieves suffering and helps control symptoms- using methods that respect an individual’s personal, cultural, and religious beliefs and practices. In addition, they provide grief counseling for your family.

Cost of Health Care


·         Copay may be required for Veteran’s who require treatment of non-service connected issues.

·         While most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, most must complete an annual financial assessment to determine if they qualify for cost-free services.

Veteran Health Benefit Books

The VA produces information booklets specifically tailored to each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care program.

The booklets provide information in regards to:

·         Contact information for the Veteran’s local  healthcare facility

·         Instructions on scheduling appointments

·         Guidelines for community treatment needs

·         Explanation of Veterans responsibility (i.e. Co-pay) if applicable

Handbooks will be distributed starting in February 2012, and will be based on Priority Group (Starting with Priority Group 1 and ending with Priority group 8).



·         Any individual who has served in the active military and has been separated from the service (excluding a dishonorable discharge) is eligible for health benefits.

·         Current and former members of the Army Reserve and National Guard who were called into duty by a federal order and completed their full period of service are also eligible.

·         Reserves and National Guard members with active duty for training purposes do not meet requirements.

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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