Starting today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has new rules for being able to receive care from an outside provider. Now Veterans who have to wait 20 days from the date they request primary care, mental health care, or noninstitutional extended care services may be eligible to receive community care if they wish to do so. For specialty care it’s now 28 days from the date of request. Previously the wait time had to be 30 days or longer.

Previously Veterans were eligible for community care if they lived 40 miles away from a VA facility. This will now be measured by drive time. 30 minutes for primary care, mental health care, or noninstitutional extended care services and 60 minutes for specialty care. This change means some Veterans in Racine County may be eligible to receive more care outside of the VA.