Here is a listing of the priority groups used in order of one through eight with a short description. (Priority Group 1 has the highest priority for enrollment.)
Priority Group 1
• Veterans with service connected disabilities rated 50 percent or more disabling.
• Veterans determined by VA to be unemployable due to service connected disabilities.
Priority Group 2
• Veterans with service connected disabilities rated 30 percent or 40 percent disabling
Priority Group 3
• Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 10 percent or 20 percent disabling
• Veterans who are former POWs
• Veterans awarded the Purple Heart
• Veterans whose discharge was for a disability that began in the line of duty• Veterans who are disabled because of VA treatment or participation in VA vocational rehabilitation program
Priority Group 4
• Veterans who are receiving aid and attendance or housebound benefits
• Veterans who have been determined by VA to be catastrophically disabled
Priority Group 5
• Veterans receiving VA pension benefits
• Veterans who are eligible for Medicaid programs
• Veterans with income and assets below VA Means Test thresholds
Priority Group 6
• Veterans with 0 percent service-connected conditions, but receiving VA compensation
• Veterans seeking care only for disorders relating to Ionizing Radiation and Project 112/SHAD
• Veterans seeking care for Agent Orange Exposure during service in Vietnam
• Veterans seeking care for Gulf War Illness or for conditions related to exposure to during service in the Persian Gulf
• Veterans of World War I or the Mexican Border War
• Veterans who served in combat in a war after the Gulf War or during a period of hostility after November 11, 1998 for 2 years following discharge or release from the military.
Priority Group 7
• Veterans who agree to pay specified copay with income and/or net worth above VA Income Threshold and income below the Geographic Means Test threshold.
Priority Group 8
• New regulations now allow VA to enroll certain Priority Group 8 Veterans who have been previously denied enrollment in the VA health care system because their income exceeded VA’s income thresholds. These Veterans may now qualify if their household income does not exceed the current VA income thresholds by more than 10 percent.
• Veterans with income and/or net worth above the VA national income thresholds and the Geographic Means Test threshold who agree to pay copays may be eligible to enroll under the following conditions:
VA travel reimbursement: Reimbursement for mileage or public transportation may be paid to the following:
• veterans with service-connected disabilities rated at 30 percent or more.
• veterans traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition.• veterans receiving a VA pension.
• veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations.
• veterans whose income does not exceed the maximum VA pension rate.
Mileage reimbursement is made at the current rate of 41.5 cents per mile. The new deductibles are $3 for a one way trip, $6 for a round trip, with a maximum of $18 per calendar month. However, these deductibles can be waived if they cause a financial hardship to the veteran.
The deductible is also waived for veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations.
This information was taken from a government source, and is meant to be only the first step in making veterans aware of how our VA Clinic network determines who gets what and how much. Remember, we now have access to both a wonderful clinic and a full-time State of Georgia Veterans Service Office here in Carrollton. Don’t let these resources go to waste.
Robinson, a Carroll County resident,Vietnam veteran and member of American Legion Post 143, writes a weekly column on veterans issues for the Times-Georgian.