Eligible veterans can access medical care at any Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility in the United States or its territories. What makes the difference is who pays for the veteran’s travel arrangements to that facility. Through the Code of Federal Regulations, veterans are mandated to seek medical care at the VA medical facility closest to their residence if the VA is expected to pay for travel to that facility.
In the case of the Virgin Islands, there is an outpatient clinic on St. Thomas and one on St. Croix; however, the closest VA Medical Center is on Puerto Rico.
“For a very long time, veterans in the Virgin Islands have expressed an interest in being able to travel to the mainland to attend VA medical appointments. To address these concerns, the Office of Veterans Affairs will be subsidizing the plane ticket of any veteran seeking to attend VA Medical appointments on the mainland. Veterans will be allowed a subsidy for no more than three trips per fiscal year (a fiscal year goes from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30) at a rate of up to $250 per trip. We asked that veterans wishing to take advantage of this benefit first contact the V.I. Office of Veterans Affairs for pre-approval. Any request made after travel is not guaranteed to be approved,” said VA Director Farrell.
For further clarification, non-service-connected veterans traveling within our immediate region (St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Puerto Rico) for VA medical appointments are reimbursed up to 100% of their plane ticket.
If there are any questions, call the Office of Veterans Affairs at 774-8387 or 773-8387.
Veterans can continue to get up-to-date information by visiting the Office of Veterans Affairs website at www.veterans.vi.gov calling the office at 774/773 – 8387, or by texting the word VIVets (no spaces) to 888-652-8387.