Thanks for your question. I emailed the Department of Veterans
Affairs and here is the response I received:
"Information regarding all of VA's benefit programs can be found in
our booklet entitled "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents"
located at http://www.va.gov/opa/fact/index.htm. Once at that site,
scroll down the page to "Federal Benefits for Veterans and
If you would like to speak with someone regarding VA benefits, please
contact us toll-free at 1-800-827-1000 and a Veterans Service
Representative will be happy to assist you.
If your father is not entitled to receive service connected VA
compensation, he may possibly be entitled to pension (an income based
program). Be sure to review information about these two programs
when visiting the above mentioned website.
He may be eligible to receive healthcare at a VA Medical Center.
Please visit http://www.va.gov/vbs.health to review the eligibility
requirements. You may also call
1-877-222-VETS to speak with a healthcare representative.
Rita Rice for
L. W. HENDERSON
Service Center Manager"
"Who's Eligible. Eligibility for most VA benefits is based on
discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable
conditions for a minimum period specified by law. Active service
generally means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air
Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the
Public Health Service, the Environmental Services Administration or
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Completion of at
least six years of honorable service in the Selected Reserves also
provides for home-loan benefits for those not otherwise eligible.
Persons serving in the reserves may be eligible for education
benefits. Men and women veterans with similar service are entitled to
the same VA benefits. Service in 28 organizations during special
periods that include World Wars I and II has been certified as active
military service by the Defense Department. Members of these groups,
listed in this booklet, may be eligible for VA benefits if Defense
certifies their service and issues a discharge under honorable
Department of Veterans Affairs
As this states, various benefits have varying degrees of eligibility.
For Medical Benefits:
"The primary factor in determining a veteran's eligibility to receive
VA health care benefits, is "veteran status." "Veteran status" is
established by active duty service in the military, naval, or air
service and a discharge or release from active military service under
other than dishonorable conditions."
My recommendation is that you contact both numbers above regarding
benefits in general and medical benefits is particular. Being that I
do not have the details of your father's service and other details
that may help, it would probably be best that you contact them
I hope the above information is helpful. If you need any additional
clarification, please let me know.
service period eligibility for VA benefits