Health care is expensive.

This is especially true in the United States, where the cost of health care services and prescription drugs is significantly higher than in most other similarly developed countries. Fixing a broken leg, for example, can cost up to $7,500, while a three-day hospital stay will run you about $30,000.

The majority of U.S. citizens rely on public and private insurance plans to help offset these costs and avoid going into serious debt because of medical bills. However, health insurance premiums keep rising, and so does the number of uninsured Americans.

VA health care coverage is perhaps the biggest and most important perk veterans receive.

According to their website, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the nation’s “largest integrative health system,” with more than 1,200 facilities across the country providing everything from primary and preventative care to emergency services and medical equipment. For many veterans and their families, the health care coverage they receive through the VA is an invaluable benefit.

Under the VA health system, most former servicemembers receive health care services at no cost, provided they served in one of the five branches of the U.S. military and were discharged under anything other than dishonorable conditions. (This also applies to Reserve and National Guard members.)

With the possible exception of individuals who were discharged early or discharged for hardship or disability, veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980 or who entered active duty after October 16, 1981 will need to show proof of 24 continuous months of active service.

What are the application requirements to receive VA health care services?

As with similar government-provided veteran benefits, individuals must first prove they are eligible to receive VA health care services. The three primary application requirements, which can be found on the VA health care site, are as follows:

  • Proof of discharge papers such as DD-214
  • Any additional health insurance information, including coverage through a spouse or domestic partner
  • Wage and financial information, including previous calendar-year gross income for the Veteran, spouse, and dependent children

It was recently discovered that more than 200,000 VA health care applications were abandoned in Atlanta because of missing information, so it’s crucial that veterans have the documentation they need—especially the DD214.

The DD Form 214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, is one of the most commonly requested forms veterans will be asked to provide, primarily because it shows not only proof of service but also the character of service (e.g., honorable, other than honorable, dishonorable). You can read more about the DD214 and its key sections here.

If you never received your DD214, or if it was lost, damaged, or stolen, you will need to request a copy of your DD214 to prove you are eligible for VA health care services and other benefits. The quickest way to do this is to use an expedited service like

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier.

Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.