The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) run a variety of benefits programs to help qualified veterans pay for healthcare. If you are a veteran or family member of a veteran, you may be able to get some or all your dental care costs covered by VA dental care benefits. In 2020, more than 490,000 American veterans received some level of dental coverage through this system.
Even if you do not qualify for free dental care, you may still be able to save money by using the VA dental insurance program to secure discounted private coverage.
What Do VA Dental Benefits Cover?
There are different levels of VA dental care coverage. Your military history and current financial and health situation will determine what dental benefits you receive, if any. The VA will assess this information to decide which “benefit class” you should be placed in. Changes to your circumstances may affect your benefits eligibility, so it is essential to report changes as they occur.
According to the VA dental care guidelines, you may qualify to receive “any needed dental care” free of charge, if one of the following statements apply:
- You have a service-connected compensable dental disability or condition;
- You are a former prisoner of war, or;
- You have a service-connected disability rated 100 percent or are unemployable and paid at the 100 percent rate due to service-connected conditions.
You may be eligible for limited VA dental care if one of the following statements apply:
- You have a service-connected non-compensable dental condition or disability resulting from combat wounds or service trauma;
- You have a dental condition which is deemed to be aggravating a service-connected medical condition;
- You are actively engaged in a Title 38, USC Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, or;
- You are receiving VA care or are scheduled for inpatient care and require dental care for a condition which complicates a medical condition currently being treated.
Finally, you may qualify for a “one-time course of dental care” if any of the following statements apply:
- You request dental care within 180 days of discharge — under any condition other than dishonorable — or release from a period of active duty spanning 90 days or more, or;
- You are enrolled in a qualifying VA sponsored homeless residential rehabilitation program for at least 60 days.