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Veteran travel 101: Applying for travel reimbursement

VA wants to make it easy for you to receive care, and to help you travel to and from your appointments. VA offers many options for quality health care tailored for Veterans, from VA medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics to virtual care and telehealth appointments.

If you do need a face-to-face appointment, you may occur a cost to travel to see a provider. Did you know you may be eligible for reimbursement of some or all of those travel expenses?

VA’s travel reimbursement program can help.

“Our mission is to ensure timely access to world class health care regardless of your location or the way you choose to get care—in-person, over the phone or video appointments, at VA or in the community,” said Hillary Peabody, acting assistant under secretary of Health for Integrated Veteran Care. “Travel reimbursements can make a real difference when it puts money back in the wallets of Veterans and their beneficiaries. We know the challenges of getting to an appointment. The cost to get there shouldn’t be one of them.”

Who is eligible?

Veterans who travel for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a non-VA health facility in their community and who also meet one of the following:

You have a VA disability rating of 30% or higher.

You’re traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition even if your VA disability rating is less than 30%.

You receive a VA pension.

You have an income below the maximum annual VA pension rate.

You can’t afford to pay for your travel, as defined by VA guidelines.

You’re traveling for a scheduled VA claim exam, also called a compensation and pension (C&P) exam), to get a service dog or for VA-approved transplant care. 

Eligible Veterans can file claims for:

Regular transportation, such as by car, plane, train, bus, taxi or light rail.

Approved meals and lodging expenses.

VA can also reimburse caregivers for transportation and related lodging and meals if they meet any one of the three requirements below:

They are a family caregiver under the National Caregiver Program traveling to receive caregiver training or support your care.

They are a medically required attendant traveling with you to support your care.

They are your transplant care donor or support person.

Before filing

Before filing a claim:

Keep your receipts for all transportation and approved meals or lodging. Be sure to track your mileage to and from appointments.

Set up direct deposit. VA will deposit reimbursements into your bank account. 

File your claim on time. You must file within 30 days of the appointment or 30 days from when you become eligible for reimbursement. File a new claim for each appointment.

To file a claim:      

Use the step-by-step instructions online to file a claim through the Beneficiary Travel Self Service System (BTSSS) and refer to the Beneficiary Travel Frequently Asked Questions.

You can also file your claim by mail, fax, email or in-person at the VA facility where you received care. Complete the Veteran/Beneficiary Claim for Reimbursement of Travel Expense Form (VA Form 10-3542) and use the VA facility locator to find your facility’s contact information.

You can also contact your local Beneficiary Travel point of contact if you need help with your travel claim.

For more information, visit VA travel pay reimbursement.

Support and resources

Beneficiary Travel FAQs

VA travel pay reimbursement

Learn how to set up direct deposit for VA travel pay reimbursement

Get step-by-step instructions for how to file a travel pay claim online

Find out what expenses we pay for and current mileage rates

(Video Tutorial) Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System – YouTube

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