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Veterans

Veterans Living Abroad

Some U.S. military Veterans may live outside of the United States after their discharge from the military. This might include Veterans working at American embassies and consulates abroad, those who work for multi-national companies, or those who do so by choice for family reasons. Regardless of your particular circumstances, most VA benefits are payable regardless of your place of residence or nationality. The application process and receipt of benefits may differ somewhat from Veterans who live within the United States.

VA Benefits

Veterans living abroad may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial. See our Veterans page for an overview of the benefits available to all Veterans.

VA Benefits for Veterans Living Abroad

Virtually all monetary benefits are payable regardless of place of residence or nationality. However, some differences apply to Veterans living abroad for certain benefits programs. Read below to learn more information about how your special circumstance may impact your eligibility, access, or the application process for certain VA benefits.

Education

Veterans living abroad are eligible for the same VA education benefit programs, such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI bill. However, outside of the United States, the training at the foreign school must be at an institution of higher learning leading to a standard college degree, or the equivalent, and the program of education at the foreign institution must have been approved by VA.

Learn more about attending foreign schools.

Health Care for Veterans Living Abroad (Excluding the Philippines)

The Foreign Medical Program (FMP) Office is responsible for determining eligibility for reimbursed medical treatment while traveling or residing abroad, except in the Philippines. Reimbursed medical care for U.S. Veterans residing or traveling in Canada and other foreign countries is limited to treatment for VA rated service-connected disabilities only. Generally, as long as the service is medically necessary for the treatment of a VA rated service-connected condition, it will be covered. In addition, the services must be accepted by VA and/or the U.S. medical community, such as the American Medical Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. An authorization to receive reimbursed medical treatment must be obtained from the FMP Office unless an emergency situation exists.

Learn more about Health Care for Veterans Abroad (Excluding the Philippines).

Benefits for Veterans Living in the Philippines

Veterans living in the Philippines are entitled to the same VA benefits as those living in the U.S., with the exception of home loans and related programs. VA maintains a Regional Office and operates an Outpatient Clinic at the same location in the Philippines. This is the only standalone ambulatory care facility located in foreign country. To be eligible for healthcare while in the Philippines, Veterans must have conditions or disabilities incurred in or aggravated by military service rated by the VA at 0% or greater. This includes outpatient care at the clinic, in-patient care, diagnostic tests/procedures and specialist referrals at various contract hospitals for service-connected conditions. Authorization is required for non-emergency outpatient care and hospitalization.

Find VA Philippines facility information on the Foreign Contact page.

Benefits for Commonwealth Army (USAFFE) and Recognized Guerrillas

Commonwealth Army Veterans are entitled to the same VA benefits, except for those benefits noted below. The term "Commonwealth Army Veterans" means a person who:

  • Served before July 1, 1946 in the organized military forces of the Government of the Philippines, AND
  • Such forces were in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces pursuant to the military order of the President of the United States dated July 26, 1941 (including such military forces as organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander-in-Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the Army of the United States), AND
  • Who were discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.

Veterans who meet the requirements above are entitled to VA benefits, except:

  • Non-service connected pension benefits for Veterans and dependents
  • Hospitalization, nursing home care, domiciliary care, outpatient dental and medical care even though the Veteran has service-connected conditions. However, while in the United States or its territories, the VA may furnish hospital and nursing home care and medical services to Commonwealth Army Veterans for the treatment only of their service-connected disabilities (Sec.1734, 38 USC)
  • VA loans, such as home loan guarantees and small business loans
  • Specially Adapted Housing Grants
  • Automobiles or Other Conveyances
  • Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI)
  • PX and Commissary Exchange Privileges
  • Burial in National Cemeteries
  • Headstones and Markers

In addition, payments for Dependents Educational Assistance and Clothing Allowance benefits will be made at a rate in Philippine pesos equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized.

Note: This information does not apply to officers who were commissioned in connection with the administration of Public Law 190 (Authority: 38 USC 107). Commissioned officers (and their dependents) have the same benefits as U.S. Veterans, including payment in dollars.

Benefits for New Philippine Scouts

New Philippine Scouts are entitled to the same VA benefits, with exceptions noted below. The term "New Philippine Scouts" means non-commissioned Philippine Scouts who:

  • Enlisted under Public Law 190, 79th Congress, on or after October 5, 1945, AND
  • Served under Section 14 of the U.S. Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945, AND
  • Were discharged from such service under conditions other than dishonorable

Veterans who meet the requirements above are entitled to VA benefits, except:

  • Non-service connected pension benefits for Veterans and dependents
  • Hospitalization, nursing home care, domiciliary care, outpatient dental and medical care even though the Veteran has service-connected conditions. However, while in the United States or its territories, the VA may furnish hospital and nursing home care and medical services to Commonwealth Army Veterans for the treatment only of their service-connected disabilities (Sec.1734, 38 USC)
  • VA loans, such as home loan guarantees and small business loans
  • Specially Adapted Housing Grants
  • Automobiles or Other Conveyances
  • Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI)
  • PX and Commissary Exchange Privileges
  • Burial in National Cemeteries
  • Headstones and Markers

In addition, payments for Dependents Educational Assistance and Clothing allowance benefits will be made at a rate in Philippine pesos equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized.

Note: This information does not apply to officers who were commissioned in connection with the administration of Public Law 190 (Authority: 38 USC 107). Commissioned officers (and their dependents) have the same benefits as U.S. Veterans, including payment in dollars.

How to Apply

The specific VA benefit or program web page will provide tailored information about how to apply for a particular benefit or program. Generally, Servicemembers, Veterans, and families can apply for VA benefits using one of the methods below.