LVMAC Tidbit: Another VA Healthcare Deadline Appears on the Horizon

Published by Rich Hudzinski on

The Next PACT Act Deadline: Health Care Enrollment for Pennsylvania Veterans who deployed to Combat Zones

On 8 September 2023, the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center released a press release stating,

“Until 11:59pm local time on September 30, 2023, Veterans who deployed to a combat zone, never enrolled in VA health care, and left active duty between September 11, 2001 and October 1, 2013 are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care. This special enrollment period gives Veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zones an opportunity to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits.

“VA encourages all eligible Pennsylvania Veterans to visit or call 1-800-MYVA411 [1-800-698-2411] to learn more and sign up for VA health care before the deadline …

” … Even if you don’t need this care now, you may need it in the future – and once you’re in, you have access for life …

” Although this deadline is written into law for this specific group of Veterans, many other groups of Veterans are able to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits – including many Vietnam Veterans, Gulf War Veterans, Veterans who deployed to a combat zone and transitioned out of the service less than 10 years ago, and more. Veterans who do not meet any of the above criteria can often still access VA health care by filing for VA benefits or based on income. If a Veteran is granted service connection for any health condition, they become eligible for VA care…”

Confused by that last statement?  Speak to an accredited veterans service officer or county director of veterans affairs.  But why not keep things simple and try to register to see if this VA healthcare is in the cards for you?  It costs you nothing.  Remember this is about healthcare benefits administered but the Veterans Health Administrated and not monetary compensation for a service-connected disability administered by the Veterans Benefit Administration, when it is advisable to get professional assistance.  After all, the healthcare part may be the most important of your benefits in the long run.


As of 12 September 2023