During a medical emergency, Veterans should immediately seek care at the nearest medical facility. A medical emergency is an injury, illness or symptom so severe that without immediate treatment, you believe your life or health is in danger. If you believe your life or health is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department (ED) right away.
Veterans do not need to check with VA before calling for an ambulance or going to an ED. During a medical emergency, VA encourages all Veterans to seek immediate medical attention without delay. A claim for emergency care will never be denied based solely on VA not receiving notification prior to seeking care.
In general, VA can pay for emergency medical care at a local ER for a Veteran’s service-connected condition, or if the care is related to a Veteran’s service-connected condition. VA can also pay for emergency medical care for a Veteran’s non-service connected condition.
However, there are specific requirements in federal law and regulation that detail the conditions for eligibility for both service-connected and non-service connected conditions.
Eligibility requirements notwithstanding, Veterans should always seek care at the nearest medical facility during a medical emergency, and never delay emergency medical care.
About the author: VA’s Office of Community Care (OCC) operates two main service lines, Delivery Operations and Revenue Operations, that support medical care delivery and services for Veterans and their families. OCC is also responsible for functions that support these service lines such as administration, planning, oversight and stakeholder relations.