Are Disabled Veterans Eligible for TRICARE?
Simply being a disabled veteran doesn’t necessarily qualify you for TRICARE. However, some veterans receiving VA disability may be eligible, and receiving veterans disability benefits won’t disqualify you. You can choose whether to apply for or retain your coverage alongside your veterans benefits. Generally, the VA advises veterans to keep their coverage.
When Does a Disabled Veteran Qualify for TRICARE?
TRICARE provides medical coverage to active service members of the military and their dependents, as well as some reservists and veterans. Unlike VA medical benefits or other disability-related benefits like Medicare for those receiving SSDI, this is not a fixed plan. Instead, there are a variety of plans to choose from.
Veterans generally qualify in one of three ways:
- They are retired military, which means typically having served at least 20 years on active duty,
- They are a Medal of Honor recipients, or
- They are medically retired–on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL) or Permanent Disability Retirement List (PDRL)
Veterans who left military service before reaching 20 years of service and are not on the TDRL or PDRL are generally not eligible unless they are Medal of Honor recipients.
How Does TRICARE Work?
Exactly what you can expect from TRICARE depends on a variety of factors. For example, they offer several different plans, but not every participant is eligible for every plan. Coverage, whether you have co-pays and how much those co-pays are, and other aspects vary depending on your status and the plan you choose.
In addition, some plans allow you much greater flexibility to choose your doctors and medical facilities and take charge of your own care.
TRICARE with Veterans Disability Benefits
TRICARE is especially useful for disabled veterans who have a disability rating of less than 50% since the medical care they receive from the VA is more limited. But, there are good reasons to keep your coverage even if you are rated 50% or higher. The flexibility in choosing providers mentioned above is one reason. Another is that family members who would not be covered by veterans benefits will often qualify for TRICARE coverage.
At Veterans Help Group, we help veterans and surviving family members navigate the often-complicated processes of securing veterans disability benefits. To learn more about how we can help, contact us here or call (855) 855-8992 right now.
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