Disabled Veterans & Caregivers will be able to shop in ~ Commissaries, armed forces Exchanges, & MWR centers starting Jan 1, 2020.

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Who is standard for expanded Commissary, Exchange, and also MWR Benefits?

In addition to those that were currently eligible, the DoD is expanding Commissary, Exchange, and also Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sleeve eligibility to:

Purple love recipientsFormer detainees of battle (POWs)All veterans v service-connected disabilitiesApproved PCAF Caregivers*

*Approved caregivers are individuals who have been approved and also designated as the primary family members caregivers of eligible veterans under the department of Veterans Affairs program of considerable Assistance for family members Caregivers. You deserve to learn an ext about this regimen at the VA website.

What accessibility Does this Cover?

Those who space eligible because that base access under these new rules will be standard to accessibility the following facilities starting Jan. 1, 2020:

Commissaries*Military business ExchangesSelect MWR retail Facilities

Some examples of the MWR Retail activities includeentertainment, clubs, recreational lodging/resorts, distinct interest activities, bowling, golf, restaurants, marinas, devices rental, movie theaters, auto storage, kennels, entertain lodging, RV campgrounds, AmericanForcesTravel.com and also more.

Use that MWR tasks primarily sponsor by appropriations and also child advancement programs are not authorized under this program.

*Note about Commissary Access: The DoD is forced to fee a small fee to brand-new users who room eligible exclusively under the purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal access Act of 2018, come cover any increase in expenses to the U.S. Treasury for handling commercial credit and debit cards.

Which develops of i would Are forced for basic Access?

The DoD freshly announced the rules for exactly how newly eligible veterans and caregivers will have the ability to gain base accessibility to take benefit of the Commissary, Exchange, and MWR facilities.

Veterans v a service-connected disability will require a Veterans health and wellness Identification Card, or VHIC, to able to gain access to the bases and use this facilities. The VHIC must state the veteran’s eligibility. Because that example, the map must have actually a designation for purple Heart, previous POW, or Service linked rating. This is suggested on the map itself.

The new Veterans identifier Card, or VIC, is not an authorized form of ID for this program and will not job-related for base access. Only the VHIC qualifies as an authorized kind of ID.

Primary family members Caregiversmust have actually an eligibility letter native VA’s Office of ar Care.

Veteran Eligibility – violet Heart, POW, or Service-Connected disability Rating

Veterans with a purple Heart, a service-connected disability rating, or those who were a POW space eligible under this new program. Qualifying VA disability ratings space from 0% – 90% (those v a 100% rating are currently eligible because that a DoD-issued ID card and already have accessibility to military installations).

Veterans will need a Veterans healthcare Identification card (VHIC) to access military installations.

How to attain a Veterans healthcare Identification Card

The Veteran wellness Identification Card will certainly be the primary kind of base accessibility under this brand-new program.

The VHIC is issued to veterans with a service-connected disability rating who are enrolled in the VA health care system and are eligible for VA medical care benefits. The VHICs space issued at VA clinical centers and also are supplied for ID once checking in because that appointments at the VA.

You can apply for VA medical care benefits in the complying with ways:

In-person at your local VA medical facility,Or by phone by phone call 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Hrs are 8 to be – 8 pm EST, M-F.

You have the right to visit a VA health care facility to have your photo taken because that the Veteran wellness Identification map after her enrollment has been verified. Be sure to bring proper identification v you, such as a government-issued ID. Your regional VA medical center can provide added information concerning acceptable forms of ID.

The VA will certainly mail your card within 7-10 company days.


The map must display screen the Veteran’s eligibility status (i.e., violet Heart, former POW, or organization Connected).

Under the existing rules, veterans will just be permitted to accessibility the basic if they have the Veterans medical care Identification Card. Those who perform not have a VHIC or space ineligible because that a VHIC will not be able to access DoD and also Coast security installations.

However, they would still be eligible to usage the virtual Exchanges, which opened up eligibility to all veterans in 2018.

Caregiver Eligibility

According to the VA, the program of comprehensive Assistance for family members Caregivers (PCAFC) is only available to veterans that were seriously hurt in the heat of duty on or ~ September 11, 2001. The VA has plans to broaden the PCAFC regimen to veterans native other eras in the near future. You can learn an ext here.

Enhanced services for eligible participants may include a financial stipend, accessibility to health treatment insurance, mental wellness services and also counseling, caregiver training, and respite care.

The VA has much more information on which veterans qualified under this program.

The VA likewise has a Caregiver Eligibility check questionnaire which helps caregivers recognize if they might be eligible because that this PCAFC program.

Caregivers who satisfy the eligibility criteria need to download VA type 10-10CG (PDF) and also send in their application.

PCAFC Caregivers – VA Letter the Eligibility

Only caregivers for veterans who qualify because that this routine are eligible to access the basic facilities. Caregivers will be issued an eligibility letter through the VA’s Office of community Care.Contact your local VA medical care facility for more information on the PCAFC letter, or contact 1-877-733-7927.

In enhancement to the letter native the VA, caregivers must have actually a personal photo id to accessibility the armed forces installation. These can include any kind of of the following:

REAL ID-compliant driver’s license of ID card issued through a State, territory, possession, or the ar of ColumbiaEnhanced driver’s license issued by a State, territory, possession, or the district of ColumbiaDoD Common accessibility Card (CAC)DoD uniformed services identification cardU.S. Passport or passport cardFederal personal identity verification card (when otherwise eligible)Transportation Worker id CardForeign passport bearing one unexpired immigrant or non-immigrant visa or entry stamp

Accessing armed forces Installations because that the an initial Time Under These brand-new Rules

The DoD has announced that there will certainly be special steps for veterans and also caregivers accessing army installations for the very first time under these brand-new rules.

Visitors should stop in ~ the visitor control center or happen & id office before their very first visit come the basic under these new rules. Some bases may permit veterans to sign up for recurring basic access, i m sorry will enable them come bypass the visitor facility on succeeding visits.

All veterans and also caregivers visiting the basic under these new rules are subject come the same rules together others who get in a DoD installation. This method they may be subject to car inspections, background checks, and also other forms of defense screening.

Veterans or caregivers with felony convictions, felony arrest warrants, or other varieties of derogatory details related to criminal history or terrorism will not be allowed entry.

Frequently asked Questions

What if ns am Eligible yet Don’t have actually a VHIC?

When this regimen launches ~ above Jan. 1, 2020, just veterans through a secure, scannable VA-issued VHIC will certainly be authorized access to in-person Commissary, military Exchange, and also MWR privileges top top DoD and also Coast security installations.

The DoD and also VA are seeking a credentialing solution for every Veterans standard under the purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal accessibility Act of 2018. The DoD will announce a solution as soon as they have identified the best method to proceed.

Are household Members Eligible?

These benefits are only expanded to the veteran and/or the caregiver. These benefits execute not use to the veteran’s family members or dependents. It may be feasible to sponsor family members members top top the army installation. However, they will certainly not it is in able to access these framework or use these amenities without the default veteran. Family members who room sponsored ~ above the basic must have actually a valid form of ID and also may be compelled to go through a rapid background check prior to gift permitted accessibility to the armed forces installation.

Does This access Extend to overseas Locations?

Veterans and also Caregivers will be able to use this advantage at army installations located in the joined States and also its territories and also possessions. However, accessibility cannot be guaranteed at all overseas locations because of status of forces agreements, neighborhood laws and other agreements with organize countries.

Will newly Eligible Veterans Pay an ext for the very same Services?

There will be no price changes or added fees because that purchases made at the Exchanges or at MWR retail activities.

Commissary Purchases may be subject to extr fees if the newly eligible member pays through a credit transaction card or debit card. This is excellent to counter the extr fees connected with these creates of payment.

Purchases made through a commercial credit transaction card or Signature debit card, i beg your pardon is accepted and also processed as credit, will certainly be charged an additional 1.9 percent user fee, when purchases v a an individual identification number (PIN) debit card will certainly be fee a 0.5 percent user fee.

These fees may be adjusted annually and these fees will certainly not be refunded because that product returns.

These fees space not applicable to customers who use the army STAR card or who use electronic benefit transfer cards, such as the Supplemental Nutrition help Program (SNAP).

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Will recently Eligible Veterans it is in Eligible because that the military STAR Card?

They will certainly be eligible to use for the armed forces Star Card. However, approval is based on individual credit-worthiness.