In general, only about 50% of veteran men and women have signed up for benefits from the Veterans Health Administration. This means that many Veterans are either seeking primary care and behavioral health care elsewhere, or they are not accessing any health services.
When Veterans do seek services outside the VA system, it is important for healthcare and behavioral health care providers to be knowledgeable about military culture as well as the challenges facing these Veterans and their families.
Information offered here is meant to assist you as you provide services to servicemembers, veterans and their families in NC.
Enrolling Former Servicemembers in the VA
The VHA is the health services arm of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VBA, Veterans Benefits Administration is the benefits arm.
If your client is willing to enroll, doing so is just a couple of clicks away. He or she may apply for benefits, figure out the cost and access benefits on this web page.
If the Veteran is reluctant to seek help, the VA has implemented a program called Coaching into Care, especially for Veterans who may be hesitant to seek help for mental health or adjustment issues. It provides assistance to family and friends who are trying to get the Veteran to go to the VA. If you are in contact with family or friends, you might direct them to this program:
The “Coaching Into Care”service offers free coaching to callers, with no limit to the number of calls they can make. The goal of these sessions is to connect a Veteran with VA care in his or her community with the help and encouragement of family members or friends. Callers will be coached on solving specific logistical problems and ways to encourage the Veteran to seek care while respecting his or her right to make personal decisions.
The service is available toll-free at 1-888-823-7458, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, and online by clicking here. There are materials on the website to download and give to the Veteran’s family and friends.