The federal Department of Veterans Affairs is eliminating its requirement for most veterans enrolled in its health care system to report their income information each year. The policy change, which takes effect this month, will ease the burden on veterans and improve customer service, according to the agency.
“Eliminating the requirement for annual income reporting makes our health care benefits easier for Veterans to obtain,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in a statement. “This change will reduce the burden on Veterans, improve customer service and make it much easier for Veterans to keep their health care eligibility up-to-date.”
Vets who are applying for health care benefits for the first time still will be required to submit income information.
There are no changes in the agency’s long-standing policy of providing free care to veterans who are indigent, have catastrophic medical conditions, have a disability rating of 50 percent or higher and who have conditions that are official rated as service-connected.
Vets are urged to continue using the health benefits renewal form to report changes in their personal information, such as address, phone numbers, dependents, next of kin, income and health insurance. For more information, visit the VA’s website or call 877-222-VETS toll free.