As a Veteran, you may be eligible for healthcare travel reimbursement. In addition to veterans, the VA also pays for transportation, related lodging, and meals for non-Veterans caregivers.
I’m a Veteran, how do I know if I’m eligible?
As a Veteran, there are two (2) requirements for reimbursement eligibility.
- You must be traveling to receive healthcare at a VA Health Facility or for VA-approved care at a non-VA health facility in your community.
In addition to the above, at least one (1) of these must be true:
- You have a VA disability rating of 30% or higher, or
- You’re traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition, even if your VA disability rating is less than 30%, or
- You receive a VA pension, or
- You have an income that’s below the maximum annual VA pension rate, or
- You can’t afford to pay for your travel, as defined by our guidelines, or
- You’re traveling for one of these reasons: A scheduled VA claim exam (also called a compensation and pension, or C&P, exam), to get a service dog, or for VA-approved transplant care
I am caring for a veteran, am I eligible for reimbursement?
The VA reimburses the following caregiving expenses if the below requirements are met.
- Related Lodging
To Qualify for Reimbursement as a Veteran Caregiver, at least one of these must be true:
- The person is your family caregiver under the National Caregiver Program traveling to receive caregiver training or to support your care, or
- The person is your medically required attendant traveling with you to support your care, or
- The person is your transplant care donor or support person
The VA may also pay for care for an allied beneficiary when the appropriate foreign government agency has authorized their care, or for the beneficiary of another federal agency when that agency has approved their care. Consult your provider at your local VA for more information about reimbursements incurred by allied beneficiaries.
Ok you qualify - now what?
Before you file your first claim
- Set up direct deposit. The VA will deposit your reimbursement directly into your bank account.
Learn how to set up direct deposit for VA travel pay reimbursement
- Keep your receipts for all transportation and approved meals or lodging. And track your mileage to and from appointments.
Find out what expenses we pay for and current mileage rates
- Be sure to file your claim on time. You must file within 30 days of the appointment or of when you become eligible for reimbursement.
- File a new claim for each appointment.
Get step-by-step instructions for how to file a travel pay claim online
- Can I file a claim by mail, email, or in person?
Yes. You can also file your claim by mail, fax, email, or in person at the VA facility where you received care. To do this, you’ll need to fill out a Veteran/Beneficiary Claim for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses (VA Form 10-3542).
Read the statements and certifications carefully. Then sign and date your form. Mail, fax, email, or take your completed form and receipts in person to the VA facility where you received care. If you mail your claim, we consider the postmark date the date of submission.
- Can I get reimbursed for traveling to get treatment at a special disability rehabilitation center?
You may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet at least one of the requirements listed here.
One of these must be true:
- You need in-patient care, or
- You’re getting temporary lodging approved by VA
Note: Special disability rehabilitation centers include facilities such as clinics that provide care for spinal cord injuries, vision loss or blindness, or prosthetics rehabilitation.
- If I travel with another Veteran or use a free transportation service, am I still eligible for reimbursement?
If you travel together with another Veteran
You’re eligible for reimbursement only if you meet at least one of these requirements.
At least one of these must be true:
- You’re the owner of the vehicle used for travel, or
- You share a vehicle, like a taxi, with other Veterans and pay your own fare, or
- You pay another Veteran to take you to an appointment
You’ll need to provide a receipt for your expenses. If you’re eligible for reimbursement, we’ll pay the mileage rate or actual expense, whichever is less.
If you use a free transportation service
You’re only eligible for reimbursement for any travel you may have had to get to and from your home to where you were picked up or dropped off by the service.
Free transportation services may include the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) system, VA Veterans Transportation Service (VTS), or other no-cost city or state transportation.
- What if I need transport by ambulance, wheelchair van, or other special type of vehicle?
These types of transport are covered under special mode transportation reimbursement. You may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet the requirements listed here.
This must be true:
You’re a Veteran traveling for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a facility in your community.
And all of these must also be true:
- You’re eligible for general health care travel reimbursement, and
- A VA health care provider determines that your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van for travel, and
- We’ve approved your travel in advance, unless the travel is for an emergency situation where a delay would threaten your life or health. If you need emergency transportation, notify us within 72 hours after transport.
For more information, talk with your VA health care team.
- How can I get help with my claim?
Call your VA health facility’s Beneficiary Travel contact.
Find the travel contact for your facility
Or call our BTSSS toll-free call center at 855-574-7292 (TTY: 711). We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
- What happens after I file my claim?
We’ll deposit your reimbursement through electronic funds transfer (EFT), unless we’ve made other payment arrangements with you.