Dental care benefits are among the most desirable of all VA health care privileges for veterans. With many Americans not on any kind of dental insurance or dental discount plan, your savings could be considerable with this benefit. But eligibility requirements for outpatient dental care is somewhat more complicated than for most other VA health benefits.
You may be eligible for VA dental health care if you meet specific criteria. The Department of Veterans Affairs groups eligible beneficiaries for dental into several classes. Below is a list of eligibility groups, with the classes in parentheses, e.g. Class II, Class II, Class IV, etc.
Veterans Eligible for Full Dental Care
Class I, Class IIC, Class IV
You are eligible to receive any medically necessary dental care if any of the following applies:
- You have a service-connected dental condition that’s eligible for VA disability compensation (Class I)
- You are a former prisoner of war (Class IIC)
- You have a 100% service-connected disability rating (Class IV)
- You are being paid VA disability compensation at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability (Class IV)
NOTE: A temporary disability rating does NOT make you eligible for outpatient dental care.
One-Time Care for Gulf War Veterans
If you were active for 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf War era, and you apply for dental care within 180 days of your other-than-dishonorable discharge or release, (Class II) you are eligible for:
- One-time dental care, provided your DD214 indicates you did not receive a complete dental examination and appropriate treatment prior to discharge
Limited Care for Veterans with a Dental Condition
If you have a non-compensable service-connected dental condition resulting from combat wounds or service trauma, and you have a VA dental trauma rating or VARO rating decision letter specifying the tooth/teeth that are rated, (Class IIA) you can receive:
- Any necessary dental treatment to provide and maintain functioning dentition
If you have a dental condition that has been determined by the VA as associated with, and aggravates, a service-connected medical condition (Class III), you are eligible to receive:
- Dental care for that particular condition that aggravates your service connected medical condition
If you are receiving VA health care, or will be receiving inpatient care, for a medical condition, and you have a dental problem that is complicating said condition (Class VI), you are eligible to receive:
- Appropriate dental care for the oral condition(s) that are complicating said condition under treatment
One-Time Care for Homeless Veterans
If you are enrolled in the VA health care system, and may be homeless and receiving care under VHA Directive 2007-039 (Class IIB), you are eligible to receive:
- One-time dental care for pain relief, to help with getting employment; or to treat moderate or severe, or complicated gingival and periodontal conditions.
Limited Care for Veterans on Vocational Rehabilitation Program
If you participate in the 38 USC Chapter 31 vocational rehabilitation program (Class V), you are eligible for dental care so you can:
- Engage in the program
- Remain in and fulfill the program (i.e. prevent interruption)
- Rejoin the program (if you are on leave or discontinued status)
- Secure employment during employment assistance, and gain maximum independence
For more information, please refer to the official VA dental benefits for veterans publication.