Women Veterans Today

A female veteran in front of the U.S. flagDid you know that there are more than 2.2 million women Veterans in the United States? Yet many do not know that they may be eligible for health care and other benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If a woman has served, she deserves the services and benefits she has earned.

Women are the fastest growing subgroup of U.S. Veterans, representing nearly 15% of today's active duty military and 18% of guard and reserve forces. These numbers are expected to increase dramatically in the next 10 years, and we want to ensure that all women Veterans have access to the care they need.

That's why the VA is enhancing facilities, training health care staff, and improving access to services to meet the current and future health care needs of women Veterans. More than 400,000 women Veterans are currently utilizing the VA health care system. For those who have been recently deployed, some of the most common conditions diagnosed in the VA are upper and lower back problems, hip, knee, ankle, and foot problems, adjustment reaction, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

VA also screens all Veterans — men and women — for Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Care for all physical and mental health conditions related to MST is provided without charge, and Veterans do not need to be service connected (or have a VA disability rating). In fact, Veterans may be able to receive this benefit even if they are not eligible for other VA care.

At the VA, we understand that women Veterans have unique health needs. Women Veterans can receive primary care, specialty care, and preventive care such as breast and cervical cancer screenings. They can also get prenatal and maternity care, prescription coverage, mental health care, home health care, and geriatric and extended care, as well as medical equipment and prosthetics coverage.

What's unique about the VA is that women Veterans are treated by medical professionals who are knowledgeable about their unique health care needs. Plus, it's in an environment that is respectful, private, and conducive to healing.

But that's not all the VA offers. Women Veterans may be eligible for these benefits, too:

Are you a combat Veteran?

If you were discharged or released from active service on or after January 28, 2003, you are eligible to enroll in the VA health care system for five years from the date of your discharge or release, regardless of your disability claim status.

  • Employment services
  • Education and vocational assistance
  • Home loans
  • Life insurance
  • Survivor and death/burial benefits

If you have questions about health care, visit the VA's women's health website or http://benefits.va.gov/benefits for information on benefits.

All VA medical centers have a Women Veterans Program Manager to help women Veterans access VA benefits and health care services. To find the VA medical center nearest you, call 1-877-222-8387 or visit www.va.gov/directory. We're here to help you.

To check eligibility for VA health care, please visit www.va.gov/healtheligibility.

Have a question?

Call the Women Veterans Call Center at 1-855-VA-WOMEN. The Call Center provides a single avenue for women Veterans to find the help they need.