Dental Benefits for Veterans
While the U.S. Armed Forces and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pride themselves on offering high-quality health care to its veterans through TRI-Care and CHAMPVA, less is perhaps known about the dental benefits veterans can receive after they are separated from the service. Eligibility and benefits for Veteran Dental Care are limited by law and categorized into VA dental classifications.
You may be eligible for dental care if you meet one of the following requirements below. The easiest way to check your eligibility is to talk to your nearest Veteran Service Officer (VSO), visit your local or Regional VA Office, or use the online 10-10ez form. You can also contact the VA by phone at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
Eligibility for VA Dental Care
You may be eligible for dental care from the VA if you:
Are Recently Discharged (Class II)
If you are within 180 days of a discharge or release (other than dishonorable) from a period of active duty of 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf war era, you maybe eligible for a one-time dental treatment if your DD214 certificate does not indicate that a complete dental exam and appropriate treatment had been rendered prior to discharge.
Are a Former Prisoner of War (Class IIC)
You are eligible for any needed dental care.
Are Rated 100% Service-Connected Disabled/Unemployable (Class IV)
If you have a 100% disability rating from the VA for service-related condition, or are unemployable and paid at the 100% rate due to service-connected conditions, you are eligible to receive any needed dental care. If you are receiving the 100% payment on a temporary rating, however, you are not eligible for these dental services.
Have a Service-Connected Dental Condition, Injury, or Disability (Class IIA)
If you have received injury or trauma to your mouth relating to combat wounds or service trauma, you may be eligible to receive any dental care necessary to repair and maintain dental function. You must receive a Dental Trauma Rating (VA Form 10-564-D) or VA Regional Office Rating Decision letter (VA Form 10-7131) to identify the tooth/teeth/conditions that are trauma-related.
Have a Dental Condition That Aggravates a Service-Connected Medical Condition (Class III)
If a VA dental professional determines that you have a dental condition that has a direct detrimental effect to your service connected medical condition, you may be eligible to receive treatment for that oral condition.
Are Receiving VA Care or Require Dental Care for a Condition Under Treatment (Class VI)
If a VA dental professional determines you have a dental condition that is complicating a medical condition for which you’re seeking treatment, you may be eligible to receive related dental care. This includes your time during inpatient treatment and hospital stays.
Are in a VA Nursing Home or Veterans Home
Veterans receiving nursing home or domiciliary care will be provided dental services that a VA dentist, in consultation with the referring physician, are determined to be essential to the management of the patient’s medical condition under active treatment.
Are Actively Involved in a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Class V)
If you are involved in a 38 USC Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation Program, you may be eligible to receive dental care to assist you entering and completing the program, returning to the program if you are interrupted for a related dental condition, and in gaining and adjusting to employment upon completion of the program.
Are Facing Homelessness and Participating in a VA Program (Class IIB)
The Homeless Veterans Dental Program was established by the VA in 1992. Under VHA Directive 2007-039, homeless veteran enrolled with the VA and participating in an applicable program for at least 60 consecutive days may be eligible for a one-time course of dental care. This care is offered to help them gain employment, alleviate pain, or treat certain ongoing conditions. The veteran receiving care must be participating in one of the following: a domiciliary residential rehab program, a compensated work therapy/transition program, a community residential care program if coordinated by the VA, or a community-based resident treatment program that is part of the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program.
Written by Megan Hammons