During enrollment, each veteran is assigned to a priority group. VA uses priority groups to balance demand for VA health care enrollment with resources. Changes in available resources may reduce the number of priority groups VA can enroll. If this occurs, VA will publicize the changes and notify affected enrollees. A description of priority groups follows:
- Group 1: Veterans with service—connected disabilities rated 50 percent or more and/or veterans determined by VA to be unemployable due to service—connected conditions.
- Group 2: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30 or 40 percent.
- Group 3: Veterans with service—connected disabilities rated 10 and 20 percent; veterans who are former Prisoners of War (POW) or were awarded a Purple Heart medal; veterans awarded the Medal of Honor (MOH) veterans awarded special eligibility for disabilities incurred in treatment or participation in a VA Vocational Rehabilitation program; and veterans whose discharge was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
- Group 4: Veterans receiving aid and attendance or housebound benefits and/or veterans determined by VA to be catastrophically disabled.
- Group 5: Veterans receiving VA pension benefits or eligible for Medicaid programs, and non service—connected veterans and non-compensable, zero percent service-connected veterans whose gross annual household income and/or net worth are below the VA national income threshold and geographically-adjusted income threshold for their resident area.
- Group 6: Veterans of World War I; veterans seeking care solely for certain conditions associated with exposure to ionizing radiation during atmospheric testing or during the occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; for any illness associated with participation in tests conducted by the Department of Defense (DoD) as part of Project 112/ Project SHAD; veterans with zero percent service-connected disabilities who are receiving disability compensation benefits; veterans who served in the republic of Vietnam between 1962 and 1975; veterans of the Persian Gulf War that served between August 2, 1990 and November 11, 1998 and veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after Nov. 11, 1998 as follows:
- 1. Veterans discharged from active duty on or after Jan. 28, 2003, who were enrolled as of Jan. 28, 2008 and veterans who apply for enrollment after Jan. 28, 2008, for 5 years post discharge
- 2. Veterans discharged from active duty before Jan. 28, 2003, who apply for enrollment after Jan. 28, 2008, until Jan. 27, 2011
- Group 7: Veterans with gross household income below the geographically-adjusted income threshold (GMT) for their resident location and who agree to pay copays.
- Group 8: Veterans, enrolled as of January 16, 2003, with gross
- household income and/or net worth above the VA national income
- threshold and the geographically-adjusted income threshold for their
- resident location and who agree to pay copays.
Note: Due to income relaxation rules implemented on June 15, 2009 Veterans with household income above the VA national threshold or the GMT income threshold for their resident location by 10 percent or less, who agree to pay copays, are eligible for enrollment in Priority Group 8.