Returning Service Members - VA Northern Indiana Health Care System
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VA Northern Indiana Health Care System


Returning Service Members

Welcome Home and thank you for your service to our country!  We at the  Veterans Affairs (VA) Northern Indiana Health Care System are committed to our Veterans and we are here to ensure that you have the health care and benefits you need. The VA has collaborated with the Department of Defense (DoD) to seamlessly transition the health care of all newly discharged service members. We are honored to deliver your health care, provide information about VA benefits and services, and to assist with your transition to civilian life.

The VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System can also provide priority health care and benefits assistance even if you are on active duty or an activated member of the National Guard or Reserve.

Eligible returning service members have five years from their date of discharge to receive free VA health care for any combat-related condition. After the five years, you may be responsible for a copay depending on whether your illness or injury is found to be service-connected. Services may include (but are not limited to:

  • Primary Care
  • Dental Care
  • Vision Care
  • Polytrauma/TBI Care
  • Counseling
  • Rehabilitation&nbsp
  • 24/7 ER Services
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Benefits Counseling/Assistance
  • Individualized Case Management (as needed)
  • Women Veterans Programs

To assist you with enrollment and coordination of your care, the VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System offers a Post-9/11 Military2VA (M2VA) Case Management Program. Our M2VA team and care managers will help you establish care and navigate your way through the VA system.

Veterans of current and recent military operations seeking information about medical care and benefits information may visit us in Fort Wayne at the VA Annex at 2500 E State Blvd, in Marion in Building 15 Room 220, and in South Bend at 340 Columbia Place or you can contact us at (260) 426-5431 ext. 71160 (Toll Free: 1 (800) 360-8387 Ext: 71160). Please remember to bring a copy of your DD-214.


Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.


Ellen Daniels, LCSW
Social Work Case Manager
Marion campus, Bldg. 15
800-360-8387 Ext. 73028

Lori Garrett, RN, MSN
Nurse Case Manager
Fort Wayne Annex
800-360-8387 Ext. 71538

Heidi Kauffman, LCSW
Social Work Case Manager
340 Columbia Clinic
800-360-8387 Ext. 72864