For the purposes of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits and services, a person who served in the active military service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable is a Veteran.
If you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health benefits as well.
Reserves or National Guard members with active duty for training purposes only do not meet the basic eligibility requirement.
Disability Compensation Eligibility
Disability compensation eligibility entails:
- Active Duty
- Any period of active duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty.
- Any period of inactive duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from an injury or aggravated in line of duty.
- Active Military Service (other than Dishonorable)
Definitions of Veteran
State of Minnesota
Minnesota Statute 197.447 defines a Veteran as "a citizen of the United States or a resident alien who has been separated under honorable conditions from any branch of the armed forces of the United States after having served on active duty for 181 consecutive days or by reason of disability incurred while serving on active duty, or who has met the minimum active duty requirement as defined by Code of Federal Regulations, title 38, section 3.12a, or who has active military service certified under section 401, Public Law 95-202. The active military service must be certified by the United States secretary of defense as active military service and a discharge under honorable conditions must be issued by the secretary."
Therefore, to be eligible for any Veteran program with the State of Minnesota, you must meet the definition contained in this statute.
Title 38 United States Code Section 3.1(d) states, "Veteran means a person who has served in the active military, naval, or air service who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable."
On the surface, this seems simple enough. However, different VA programs have special service requirements. For example, entitlement to non-service connected pension benefits requires that a Veteran serve a minimum of 90 days active duty and be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. One day of this service must have been during a federally defined "period of war."