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VA Seeks To Remove Net Worth Reporting For Healthcare Benefits

A visitor leaves the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., on April 2, 2015. Rich Pedroncelli/AP
A visitor leaves the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., on April 2, 2015. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The VA has proposed removing the net worth reporting requirement for veterans seeking VA healthcare.

In a proposal scheduled to be filed in the Federal Register on October 20, the VA seeks to make permanent its temporary practice of not requiring a veteran to submit a net-worth statement when they apply for healthcare. The VA will also no longer require annual net-worth statements from veterans who are currently enrolled in its healthcare programs.

When a veteran is determined eligible for VA healthcare they are assigned a priority group based on the severity of their disability and ability to pay for care. There are 8 possible priority groups with group 1 being the highest. See our VA Health Care Eligibility page for details. The priority groups determine what types of care veterans are eligible for and whether or not they are required to pay co-pays for treatment and prescriptions.

When making a priority group determination, the VA puts the veteran in the highest category possible after examining several factors including:

  • the type of disability
  • the severity of the disability
  • service-connection of the disability
  • combat service
  • yearly income
  • net worth

In 2013, the VA stopped requiring annual net-worth financial statements from veterans who were receiving healthcare and only required a net-worth financial statement as part of an original application for VA healthcare. In March of this year, the VA announced it would stop requiring net-worth financial statements from new enrollees as well, citing wording in the law that says VA can "use its discretion when requiring financial statements of a veteran's net worth".

The VA now seeks to remove any wording in the law related to its collection of net-worth data to prevent any confusion and make it permanently easier for veterans to receive free healthcare.

The VA estimates that removing the net-worth reporting requirement will move 53,000 veterans to a higher priority group this year. Over five years, the VA expects that 135,000 veterans who previously were ineligible for healthcare would be able to enroll in the VA health care system because of this change.

Depending on public comments received by the VA, the change is scheduled to become effective December 19 of this year.

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