Eligibility Guidelines

U.S. Armed Forces veterans may be eligible for a wide range of benefits and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

General Eligibility

Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service is defined by full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Bad Conduct and Dishonorable discharges may bar VA benefits. Incarcerated veterans must contact VA to determine eligibility. VA benefits will not be provided to any Veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.

Certain VA Benefits Require Wartime Service: under the law, VA recognizes these periods of war:

Periods of War

Mexican Border Period May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders or in adjacent waters.
World War I April 6, 1917, through Nov. 11, 1918; for Veterans who served in Russia, April 6, 1917, through April 1, 1920; extended through July 1, 1921, for Veterans who had at least one day of service between April 6, 1917, and Nov. 11, 1918.
World War II Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946.
Korean War June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955.
Vietnam War Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for Veterans who served "in country" before Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975.
Gulf War Aug. 2, 1990, through a date to be set.


How to Apply