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Enrollment Priority Groups


Enrollment Priority Groups refer to the classification system used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine a veteran’s access to healthcare services and benefits. This system categorizes veterans into eight priority groups, based on factors such as service-connected disabilities, income, and military service history. The priority groups determine the order in which veterans receive benefits, with higher priority groups receiving access to resources first.

Key Takeaways

  1. Enrollment Priority Groups determine the order and eligibility for veterans to receive various VA benefits and healthcare services, such as hospital care, outpatient care, and preventive services.
  2. There are eight priority groups that veterans are assigned to based on specific criteria, including service-connected disabilities, income level, service history, and other factors. Higher priority groups receive more timely access and lower copayments.
  3. Understanding an individual veteran’s priority group is essential for them to navigate the VA healthcare system, maximize their benefits, and access necessary care and services in a timely manner.


The VA benefits term “Enrollment Priority Groups” is important because it allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to manage the allocation of resources and healthcare services effectively to the vast veteran population.

By categorizing veterans into different priority groups based on factors such as disability ratings, service-connected disabilities, income levels, and military service history, the VA can ensure that those with the most pressing needs are given priority access to healthcare services and other benefits.

This system plays a crucial role in providing efficient, high-quality care and support to all veterans while addressing the unique needs of each individual, ensuring that no one is left behind and that resources are distributed equitably.


The purpose of Enrollment Priority Groups in the VA benefits system is to streamline and clarify the process of allocating resources and access for veterans seeking health care services. These groups are essential in ensuring that those who have suffered the most severe disabilities and service-connected conditions, as well as military service members who have received certain distinctions and awards, get prioritized access to the care they need in a timely manner.

This system enables the VA to allocate its resources most effectively in addressing the comprehensive needs of the millions of veterans it serves every year. Enrollment Priority Groups are used to manage the demand for VA health care by categorizing veterans based on specific criteria, such as service-connected disabilities, compensable disability ratings, or former Prisoner of War status.

This allows the VA to strategically prioritize certain groups of veterans over others when it comes to access to health care services and programs that may be limited in capacity or necessitate immediate attention. Ultimately, the Priority Groups system promotes a more thorough, structured, and organized approach to distributing crucial health care services for veterans from all walks of life, ensuring that those in the greatest need of help and support receive the care that they deserve.

Examples of Enrollment Priority Groups

The VA Benefits term “Enrollment Priority Groups” refers to the categorization system used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine the priority and eligibility of veterans for healthcare services and benefits through the VA. Here are three real-world examples:Example 1: A veteran who has a service-connected disability rated at 50% or higher would be placed in Priority Group

This priority level provides the highest level of access to VA healthcare services, including support for their service-connected disabilities, as well as any other necessary medical care and medication without co-payments.Example 2: A World War II or Korean War veteran who is currently receiving a VA pension would be placed in Priority Group

This priority level allows the veteran to access VA healthcare services without paying copayments for their care, as long as the services are not related to a service-connected disability. They may also receive financial assistance for long-term care service if their income is at or below a specified threshold.Example 3: A post-9/11 Gulf War veteran who does not have a service-connected disability or meet any other qualifications for higher priority groups would be placed in Priority Group

This priority level provides access to VA healthcare services, including access to the VA’s comprehensive healthcare package. However, these veterans may be required to pay copayments for specific types of care, such as outpatient visits and pharmacy benefits, depending on their financial situation.

Enrollment Priority Groups

What are Enrollment Priority Groups?

Enrollment Priority Groups are categories of veterans prioritized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when enrolling in healthcare benefits. These groups are based on factors such as service-connected disability status, financial resources, and other qualifying conditions.

How many Enrollment Priority Groups are there?

There are eight Enrollment Priority Groups within the VA healthcare system, numbered 1 through 8. The lower the group number, the higher the priority for enrollment and access to healthcare resources.

How do I find out which Enrollment Priority Group I belong to?

To determine your Enrollment Priority Group, you can contact your local VA healthcare facility or visit the VA’s website to complete an online benefits application. The VA will evaluate your eligibility based on factors such as service-connected disabilities, income, and other qualifying factors.

Can I change my Enrollment Priority Group?

Your Enrollment Priority Group may change if your circumstances or eligibility status changes. You should notify the VA of any significant changes in your situation, such as an increase or decrease in your service-connected disability rating or changes to your financial resources. The VA will then re-evaluate your eligibility and adjust your Priority Group if necessary.

Are all VA healthcare services available to every Enrollment Priority Group?

While most VA healthcare services are available to veterans in all Enrollment Priority Groups, some services may have limited availability based on demand and funding. In some cases, veterans in higher priority groups may have priority access to certain services. It is best to consult with your local VA healthcare facility to understand the availability of specific services for your Priority Group.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Disability Ratings
  • Income Thresholds
  • Service-Connected Designations
  • Combat Veterans
  • Medal of Honor Recipients

Sources for More Information