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Does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer dental coverage?

Are you a Veteran wondering about your dental coverage? Then you are not alone. There isn’t a true definite answer but rather several ways in which veterans, including you, may qualify for VA dental care. How does the VA determine eligibility?

Does the veteran have a service-connected (SC) dental disability or a dental condition in which the veteran receives monthly compensation? These veterans are in class 1 and may qualify for the dental needs to be covered.

Was the Veteran ever a prisoner of war (POW)? This Veteran would be considered class IIC dental with the VA. Veterans in this category may also qualify for all dental needs to be covered.

Veterans with one or more rated 100% service-connected disabilities or granted unemployability AND are receiving compensation at the 100% disability rate due to service-connected conditions may qualify to have all dental care covered by the VA, under class IV. It’s important to note that a veteran rated 100 percent for a temporary period of time (ex: hospital stay; illness) will be unfortunately excluded from said entitlement to certain dental benefits.

For those veterans who were on active duty for 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf War era and are wondering about dental care, all of the following must be true for the veteran to receive a one-time dental care option from the VA: The veteran was honorably discharged from the service; applied for dental care within 180 days from the date of discharge or release; the Veteran’s DD-214 states the veteran never received their exiting dental exam before discharge. If all previous listed items are true, the veteran would fall into category II or class II.

One thing to note for the Veteran is that if there’s an award letter in their Veteran’s Benefits Administration (VBA) dated before 1955, stating the veteran’s dental conditions are not compensable, then the veteran is no longer eligible for Cass II outpatient dental treatment. The reason for this comes from Public Law 83, enacted on June 16th, 1995, amending the Veterans’ eligibility for outpatient dental services.

Veterans with a non-compensable service-connection for dental or a disability that resulted from combat wounds or service trauma to the mouth, places the veteran in category or Class IIA. This allows the veteran to have all dental care they may need to keep and ensure a functioning dentition. A dental trauma rating or VA regional office rating letter will inform the veteran upon which the tooth/teeth conditions are trauma rated.

A veteran may be awarded dental care to treat the oral conditions negatively impacting the veteran’s serviceconnected disability. These veterans would fall into class III.

Is the Veteran active in a 38 U.S.C Chapter 31 Veterans Readiness and employment program? If so, the veteran will be in class V and may qualify for VA dental if the VA dental care provider deems it necessary for the veteran’s success in the program.

What if the Veteran is homeless? Do they qualify for dental care through the VA? The veteran would qualify for a one-time treatment to treat or relieve pain. To assist the veteran in gaining employment or to treat moderate, severe or complicated and severe gingival and periodontal conditions. These veterans are in class IIB for dental care.

For veterans that may live in a nursing home, hospital inpatient care, or supervised home-like care setting, the veteran would be classified as having inpatient status and they may qualify for dental services if it is deemed necessary to maintain their health. Said dental services would be deemed (necessary or unnecessary) by the VA Dental care provider, through the veterans’ primary care provider.

For more information and how to apply for these benefits contact the local County Veterans Service officer.

Or visit: dental-care/ text=Veterans%20enrolled%20in%20VA%20 health,to%20treat%20their%20overall%20condition.