For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.
In big cities and metropolitan areas, locations are generally closer to one another. Further, mass transit systems exist to get you to point “a” to point “b” faster and at a lesser cost — and vital buildings, services and resources exist — in brick and mortar style — in a greater abundance. Like supermarkets and gas stations and even law enforcement precincts. Not surprisingly, it’s not much different when it comes to the facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) health care system: hospitals, clinics, physician and specialist offices, and more.
However, veterans generally don’t live in these cities and crowded metropolitan areas. They live in less dense communities and rural areas with former service members making up for just 6.4% of the adult population in big, dense metropolises. But, they make up for 11.2% in the areas of the country where it’s more wide open — where subways railways don’t exist, and it takes multiples hours to reach an airport.
So, how do veterans who live in rural areas get VA care — if they’re far from a VA medical center?
Fortunately, there are plenty of other options:
Vets.gov: Through this portal (simply click here), veterans can do a number of things they might’ve done in person, in the past, like check on their G.I. Bill benefits, refill their prescriptions and have them delivered to their home, securely message members of their VA medical team, check the status of claims and appeals, and more.
VA outpatient clinics: Different than larger VA facilities, these are also scattered all over the country — find out near you through the link.
Mobile Vet Center: Veterans can get consultation and help with transition through these moving centers on wheels.
VA community care providers: Veterans can get the VA to pay for care for services not provided by the VA.
Skilled home health care providers: Veterans who are homebound or live far from a VA facility can take advantage of this service as a short-term option.
Veterans Choice Program: Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care can utilize this within their own community, and it doesn’t affect existing benefits.