Atlanta VA Medical Center
Become a Patient
All Veterans are encouraged to submit an application for enrollment in the VA Health Care System. The fastest way to begin the application process is to complete the online Application for Healthcare Benefits and clicking the Apply Now tab. Please Note: There is a 5 days processing time for applications submitted online. You can submit the form online, or you may print the form and mail it to us at:
Atlanta VA Medical Center
Business Office - Eligibility
1670 Clairmont Drive
Decatur, GA 30033
You may bring the completed form to the Medical Center. The Eligibility Office is located near the Out Patient Services, across the hall from the Patient Advocate office.
Whether mailing or bringing your application, please include the following items —
- a copy of both sides of your current insurance card (including Medicare or Medicaid)
- a copy of your DD214, 'Armed Forces Report of Transfer or Discharge'
- (Purple Heart recipients only) a copy of your award letter if 'Purple Heart' is not noted on your DD214
To speak to someone in our eligibility office, please call 404-321-6111, extension 6455.
Are you already enrolled and wish to update your information, i.e. financial assessment, address changes and/or insurance information? On September 9, 2011, VA implemented an online form to update VA healthcare enrollment information. You may update your information by accessing the Application for Healthcare Benefits website and clicking the Renew Now tab.
If you require assistance completing the online forms, there is a "Web Chat" function available on the VA website, where VA representatives are on hand to provide assistance. If more convenient, you may obtain telephone assistance by contacting VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
PLEASE NOTE: For information regarding VA compensation and disability, educational and home loan guaranty benefits, please access the Veterans Benefits Administration "ebenefits" website at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/
While the application process for enrollment examines additional eligibility criteria; the basic Eleigbility Requirement for Enrollment in the VA Healthcare System is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable discharge. A representative from our eligibility staff, a State Department of Veterans Affairs employee, or a staff member at the Veterans Affairs Regional Office will be able to provide additional information pertaining to the determination of eligibility for VA Healthcare Benefits.
The basic eligibility for potential enrollment in the VA Healthcare System, dictate that you must:
- Been discharged from active military service under honorable conditions;
- Served a minimum of 2 years of active military service if discharged after September 7, 1980 (prior to this date there is no time limit)
- Members of the National Guard or Reserves must have had honorable active duty service. The active duty service must have been by Presidential Order or Directive, and the individual must have served the full period for which they were called. Active duty service for training purposes does not qualify a member of the National Guard or Reserves for VA healthcare benefits.
** Once your application is reviewed and processed, you will receive written notification of your enrollment status.**
If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health care as well.
Minimum Duty Requirements
Most Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to Veterans who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, discharged for a hardship, or received an “early out.” Since there are a number of other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all Veterans to apply in order to determine their enrollment eligibility.
Veterans Health Benefits Handbook
VA is producing a personalized “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” for each Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system. The purpose of the handbook is to provide a current and accurate description of VA health care benefits and services. Your handbook will be tailored specifically to you with personal identifying information and should be safeguarded as you would any other sensitive personal document.
The “Veterans Health Benefits Handbook” includes:
- Eligibility and health care benefits,
- Contact information for your local facility,
- Information regarding copayment responsibilities,
- Instructions on how to schedule appointments,
- Guidelines to communicate treatment needs,
- Patient rights,
- Ways to obtain copies of medical records, and
- Other important information.
You will receive your personalized handbook via U.S. mail; therefore, you should have a current address on file with VA. Handbooks are mailed based on Priority Group, beginning with Priority Group 1 and ending with Priority Group 8. For more information, go to www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhbh. You may also call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) if you need to update your address or receive additional information.
Health Care Benefits Overview
VA publishes the "Health Care Benefits Overview" booklet, which is designed to provide general information and frequently asked questions about VA’s medical benefits package available for all enrollees, and other information such as eligibility for enrollment.
The publication is available to you at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, and can be downloaded at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/epublications.asp.
The publication is very helpful, and we encourage you to refer to it whenever you have questions about your eligibility for specific health care benefits. Additional assistance is available at the following resources: