Learn About The Veteran Health Identification Card
The Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) replaced the existing Veteran Identification Card (VIC) in 2015 with the Veterans Identification Card Act. The Veteran Health ID Card is only available for service members enrolled in the VA health care system. The VHIC is not proof of eligibility for any type of federal benefits, nor does it allow access onto any installations that requires military clearance. The Veteran Health Identification Card is specifically for veteran health care and checking into VA appointments. Those interested in how to get a Veteran Health ID Card by enrolling in the program must be eligible. Applying for VA health care and the corresponding VHIC is a little different from other military cards. For more information about how to request a Veteran Health ID Card, read the following areas:
- How to get a Veteran Health ID Card
- Using a Veteran Health Identification Card
- Replacing a Veteran Health ID Card
How to Get a Veteran Health ID Card
Service members, who want to know how to request a Veteran Health ID Card, should first determine if they are eligible. The requirements for a Veteran Health ID Card are partially dependent on the date when the current or former service member was on active duty as well as the length of service. Some service members entitled to a Veteran Health Identification Card due to a service-related disability or condition, regardless of service time. Likewise, there are other special allowances and the VA encourages service members to apply and find out if they meet the requirements for enrollment.
Veterans who want to get a Veteran Health ID Card in person at a local VA medical facility will have to complete a signed paper application, verify enrollment and have their picture taken before officials mail the VHIC. All veterans now have the option of calling the local VA medical center for assistance with the application process during weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Service members can also apply online as well as check their VA health care coverage eligibility. Those who apply online or over the telephone may still need to visit a local VA medical center for the Veteran Health Identification Card photo.
In addition to completing an application, the veteran is must furnish two other forms of identification. Veteran Health Identification Card applicants must furnish one form of primary identification (government issued photo ID) and one form of secondary identification like a Social Security card, birth certificate of voter's registration card. Photo identification for obtaining a Veteran Health ID Card is due to security and fraud prevention. When applying for a VHIC, service members may use identifying documents such as:
- Driver's licenses
- Military ID cards
- School identification cards with photo
- Existing VHIC or VIC
It takes roughly two weeks to get a Veteran Health ID Card after the veteran has their photo taken. If a veteran has not received the VHIC within that time, they should call the local VA medical facility to check on the status. Veterans can also find out about VA health care coverage at the facility as well.
Using a Veteran Health Identification Card
The new VHIC has several advantages over the older identification card. For one, the new Veteran Health Identification Card has better security including anti-counterfeiting properties. The new Veteran Health ID Cards are easier to use, since they have a unique member identifier when scanned. This allows the veteran to use the card at any VA clinic without having to worry about getting all their medical information transferred. The VHIC is used solely for identification and check in purposes and does not function as a credit card or an insurance card.
Replacing a Veteran Health ID Card
Once a veteran receives a new Veteran Health Identification Card, they should cut up or shred the old VIC or VHIC instead of just throwing it away due to the extent of personal information. Luckily, the new Veteran Health ID Cards have less risk associated from being lost or stolen, since nobody is able to get any personal information from the new VHICs. However if the card is lost or stolen, veterans can contact the VA medical center where they first had their picture taken to request a reissue. Veterans who request a reissue of VA health IDs will need to provide valid identification.