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After You Apply for Health Care Benefits

After you’ve applied for VA health care, we’ll send you a letter in the mail to let you know if your application has been approved. Find out when to expect your letter—and what to do next.

When will I hear back about my application?

In less than 1 week If more than a week has passed since you gave us your application and you haven’t heard back, please don’t apply again. Call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387).

If you approve my application, what do I do next?

  1. Wait for your welcome call from VA. We’ll call you to welcome you to the VA health care program, help you with scheduling your first doctor’s appointment, and answer any questions you may have about your health care benefits.

  2. Read your Veterans Health Benefits Handbook. We’ll send this to you by mail. Your handbook will explain your specific health care benefits (based on the priority group we assigned you), how much you’ll pay in copays, and other helpful information.
    Download a sample handbook.
    Learn more about priority groups.

  3. Get your Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). This is the card you’ll use for ID and to check in at your VA health care appointments. To get your card, contact your local VA medical center and speak with the enrollment coordinator. Ask the coordinator to help you arrange to have your picture taken for your new VHIC. Or, you can request your VHIC at your next VA health care appointment.
    Learn more about the VHIC.
    Find a VA medical center near you.

  4. Go to your first VA doctor’s appointment. You may have requested a doctor’s appointment when you applied (either in person or on your application). If you did, we’ll set up an appointment for you with a VA doctor or provider and send you a notice with your appointment time in the mail. If you didn’t ask for a doctor’s appointment when you applied, we’ll help you set up your appointment during your welcome call.

More about what to do after you apply

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What if I need to see a doctor before my scheduled appointment?

Contact your local VA medical center or clinic and ask for:

  • The enrollment coordinator, or
  • The urgent care clinic, or
  • The emergency room

Find a VA health facility near you.

What if I need help understanding my benefits or accessing services?

If you want to know more about your VA health care benefits, your health care team, and where you’ll go for care, we can help. Learn more about your VA health care coverage.

If you’re signed up for VA health care, you can manage your VA health and benefits online through
Refill your prescriptions.
Send a secure message to your health care team.
Check the status of a disability or pension claim.

If you need help accessing services, call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET).

What if I need to update my personal information?

To update your personal information, such as income, address, and insurance, fill out a Health Benefits Update Form (VA Form 10-10EZR). Download VA Form 10-10EZR.

Mail this form and any supporting materials to:

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Road, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329

You can also get help updating your personal information by visiting your local VA facility. Find a VA facility near you.

What if my application isn’t approved and I disagree with the decision?

If you disagree with the decision, you can file an appeal. We’ll send you a letter with the reason we’re not approving your application. This letter will include instructions on how to appeal the decision. Download our “How Do I Appeal?” booklet.

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