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New '40 Mile Rule' For Veterans Explained


This week the federal Department of Veteran's Affairs said it was relaxing a rule that some veterans in rural areas said made it hard to prove they live at least 40 miles from a VA health facility. Complaints had been registered that the current policy prevented thousands of veterans from taking advantage of a law allowing vets in remote areas to get federally paid medical care from local doctors.

Brad Nelson is a spokesperson for the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain. He says they want to let veterans know what the change in the rule means...

"....the forty mile rule would now be based by driving distance versus a straight line distance..."

Nelson thinks  the number of veterans qualifying for the VA's new "Choice Card" program could increase.  He says the rule is still 40 miles from the nearest VA facility regardless of whether that facility provides the care or not. He says the change will not take effect immediately. It needs to go through publication and other protocols. He says veterans who are now eligible will be getting a letter from the VA about the change. He says contact theVA for more information.

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