Army medical discharge benefits

Updated March 23, 2017

Upon discharge, Army veterans are entitled to a number of benefits guaranteed by the United States Army in exchange for their service. The purpose of these benefits is to help veterans readjust to civilian society comfortably, and to them opportunities and medical help.

Ongoing Medical Attention at VA Hospitals

Army veterans can take advantage of free or low-cost medical care at a VA hospital in their area. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides these medical services to eligible veterans. The medical care includes assistance with injuries, illnesses, surgeries, rehabilitation, and even substance abuse problems. The VA provides prescription medications free or at a discounted rate, depending on the veteran's eligibility. This eligibility is usually determined by the magnitude of the veteran's disability or illness, how they were discharged (honourably, other than honourable, or dishonourable), income, and how long they served.

VA Travel Reimbursement

Veterans who have to travel to a VA Hospital or Veteran's Affairs appointment regarding medical benefits may be reimbursed for travel costs. This is true for veterans who have disability ratings of 30% or higher. These reimbursements are based on a mileage rate that usually corresponds with the tax mileage rate.

Veteran's Disability Pension

Army wartime veterans who are unable to work due to permanent and total disability and have a limited income may be eligible for a pension after being discharged from the Army. The Army pays a Veteran's Disability Pension to eligible veterans, even if they are under 65. The veteran must have served in active duty for at least one day during a time of war. The pension is calculated based on the veteran's income, dependents, and situation.

Veteran's Disability Compensation

The Veteran's Disability Compensation program is for honourably discharge veterans with injuries related to their service in the Army. The amount of the pension is determined based on the severity of the injury. For example, someone with a minor injury would receive 10 to 20% disability, while someone with a much more serious problem might receive 70% to 100% disability and be paid accordingly. To qualify for Veteran's Disability Compensation, the disability must be the result of harm experienced during active duty. A veteran with children or a spouse receives higher payments.


Medical discharge benefits were established to help veterans in need. According to a January 2008 article in USA Today, veteran's affairs officials have confirmed that many eligible veterans never apply for benefits because they either don't know the programs exist or they don't think they are entitled to benefits. Apply at your local VA office to be completely sure about your status.

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