Returning Service Members - VA San Diego Healthcare System
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VA San Diego Healthcare System


Returning Service Members

Welcome to VA San Diego Healthcare System!

We thank you for your service to our country. We look forward to assisting you in your transition from active duty to Veteran status.

Transition and Care Management Team

The Transition and Care Management Team, previously known as Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Care Management Team, helps to ensure a smooth transition of health care services is provided for all Post 9/11 Veterans. The Transition and Care Management Team also provides case management and care coordination for all severely ill, injured and impaired combat Veterans, including those suffering from:

  • Mental illness
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Blindness
  • Burns
  • Amputation
  • Terminal Illness/Injury
  • Polytrauma
  • Other conditions not mentioned above that cause significant impairment to daily living

For more information, please contact our Transition and Care Management Team at the following locations:

  • San Diego VA Medical Center, (858) 642-3615
  • Mission Valley Clinic, (619) 400-5271
  • Oceanside Clinic, (760) 643-2079

Healthcare Eligibility for 5 Years

Veterans have five years from their date of discharge to receive free VA medical care for any service related condition. You may be eligible, call (858) 642-6284 for details.

Research Opportunities for OEF/OIF/OND Combat Veterans

The VA San Diego Healthcare System is conducting several Combat Veteran research studies. Benefits for participating in the research include state-of-the-art medical diagnosis and care and for some research studies, monetary compensation.
For more information, call (619) 400-5176.

VA Benefits

To file a disability claim or to get more information about other VA benefits, please call: 1-877-222-8387.

Student Veterans

By enrolling in VA health care, student Veterans, including active Reservists and members of the National Guard, may:

Be eligible to receive five years of low-cost health care for any condition related to their active duty or military service. Visit for details of eligibility requirements for this benefit.

Meet the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and avoid any tax penalties.

Supplement Medicare, Medicaid, and private or school health insurance to address service-related injuries and Veteran-specific needs.

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.