Returning Service Members - James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center - Altoona, PA
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James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center - Altoona, PA


Returning Service Members

Welcome home and thank you for your service to our country!

James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center is ready to provide health care and more to our newest Veterans returning from the armed forces. Even if you are still on active duty or an activated member of the National Guard or Reserve, you can receive care and benefits assistance.

Our Transition and Care Management program is tailored to meet the specific health care needs of our newest Veterans. Some of the many services post 9/11 Combat Veterans can access through this program include:

  • A group of returning servicemembers getting off a plane.Primary Care
  • Dental Care
  • Vision Care
  • Polytrauma
  • Rehabilitation
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Psychological Services
  • Counseling
  • Family Benefits Counseling
  • Referral Assistance

Transition Patient Advocates

Transition patient advocates serve as your communicators, facilitators, problem solvers and personal advocates.

  • Bill Smathers | 412-551-9651

Vet Centers

Vet Center in DuBois also provide individual, group, marital and family counseling, as well as guidance and referrals for VA and community resources.

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.