“Multifaceted VA rules can lead to deserving veterans unfairly not getting the healthcare they need,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “If you serve this country honorably in any capacity, you shouldn’t be neglected simply because the eligibility rules are too complex.”
Veteran’s groups and studies have found that many veterans often can’t receive health care at the VA despite many years and multiple periods of federalized service in the military. Despite lengthy periods of service, many in the National Guard and Reserve are not eligible for health care and other basic benefits provided by the VA because they have not met complex “active duty” and “length of service” requirements to meet the legal definition of a “veteran.” Veteran status for VA benefits depends on a number of factors, such as whether you served during wartime or peacetime and whether you were called to duty under a state or federal law order. Even those who served in combat settings under a federal order may not be eligible for VA benefits and services. These kinds of barriers to eligibility particularly impact women veterans.
Rep McAuliffe is the Republican spokesperson on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee.