The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making changes to the system it uses to identify rural areas underserved by VA facilities. The new system, known as the Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCA) system, uses data from multiple government departments to determine veterans’ needs in target areas.
The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services developed the RUCA system. The system has been praised for its social science basis and adaptability for special programs such as veteran’s health care and services.
As the RUCA system is implemented, the VA will be able to better analyze the population and resources in areas classified as “rural.” Once an area is identified, the VA will then have a better idea of veterans’ geographic access level to health care in their area. The VA hopes to use this data in order to better allocate resources to serve rural veterans, either through development of new facilities or better use of remote services such as mobile health vans and the Telehealth systems.
According to statistics from the VA, there are about 3.2 million veterans enrolled in the VA system classified as living in a rural area, representing about 36 percent of the veteran population.
All veterans deserve equal access to disability benefits if a service-connected injury or illness causes a disabling condition. The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group help veterans in rural, urban, and suburban areas apply for and obtain the VA disability benefits to which they are entitled. To learn more about VA benefits, contact us today by calling 1-855-855-8992 or use or online contact form.