The Veteran Choice Program (VCP), a Veteran’s Administration program with helps veterans get access to care, began in early November 2014. As part of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA), the VCP helps connect qualifying veterans that are enrolled in the VA healthcare with non-VA care.
Who qualifies for the VCP?
If you fall into one of the following four categories, you should qualify for the Choice Program.
- You have to wait more than 30 days for an appointment at your local VA facility.
- You live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility.
- You have to travel by boat or plane to get to the nearest VA facility.
- You have a “geographical challenge” that presents a travel hardship, e.g., extensive distances around water, mountains, etc.
Three Phases of Choice Card Issuance
Veterans who qualify for the VCP will receive a letter, a Choice Card, and instructions on how to get started in the mail. The VA explains that it will issue the Choice Cards in three phases.
- Phase 1: Veterans who may live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.
- Phase 2: Veterans who have been waiting for an appointment more than 30 days.
- Phase 3: Any remaining veterans currently enrolled for VA healthcare and who may be eligible for the Choice Program sometime in the future.
There are a few important things to note. First, the VCP does not impact your existing health care or VA benefits in any way. Second, using the VCP and non-VA care is optional; if you are currently satisfied with your care and don’t mind the distance or wait, you can continue using you’re your local VA facility. Lastly, the VCP only covers VA-approved health needs.
If you are having difficulties getting the veterans’ disability benefits you need, don’t hesitate to call our disability attorneys at Veterans Help Group®. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation: 1-855-855-8992.