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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Tips for Veterans of Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom Applying for VA Health Benefits

June 6, 2007

HOUSTON - One of the more difficult tasks for a returning veteran is applying for the many VA benefits. The unknown of "should I," "would I qualify," "how do I apply," or "where do I go for help" can be a frustrating experience. The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), located at 2002 Holcombe Boulevard in Houston, intends to ease those frustrations and facilitate your transition from active participation in armed conflict back to civilian life with some basic tips for applying for health benefits.

To apply for health benefits, it is useful to have a copy of your discharge certificate, or DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. You will also need to fill out VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits. This form is available on the Internet at You may also obtain the form by calling VA's Health Benefits Service Center toll free number, 1-877-222-VETS (8387), Monday through Friday, 7a.m. - 7 p.m. or by calling or visiting the MEDVAMC or any one of its five outpatient clinics. 

The MEDVAMC’s Eligibility and Enrollment Office is located on the 1st Floor near the main elevators.  The telephone number is (713) 794-7288. To have a free information packet about the MEDVAMC mailed to you, call (713) 794-7349.

You may also apply for health benefits at any one of the MEDVAMC’s Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in southeast Texas. These CBOCs provide preventive health services, primary medical care, mental health services, and routine radiology exams and diagnostic tests.

Beaumont Outpatient Clinic
3420 Veterans Circle, Beaumont, TX 77707
(409) 981-8550 or toll free 1 (800) 833-7734

Conroe Outpatient Clinic
800 Riverwood Court, Suite 100, Conroe, TX  77304
(936) 522-4000

Galveston Outpatient Clinic
6115 Avenue L, Galveston, TX 77551
(409) 741-0256 or toll free 1 (800) 310-5001

Lufkin - Charles Wilson Outpatient Clinic
1301 W. Frank Ave., Lufkin, TX 75904
(936) 637-1342 or toll free 1 (800) 209-3120

Texas City Outpatient Clinic
9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Texas City, TX 77591
(409) 986-1129 or toll free 1 (800) 310-5001

Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with 343 hospital beds, a 40-bed Spinal Cord Injury Center, and a 120-bed transitional care unit for long-term care. Veterans are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases.

An OEF/OIF combat veteran’s first contact with the MEDVAMC consists of two screenings: 1) a medical appointment with a general practitioner in a Primary Care Clinic; and 2) an appointment with a mental health professional to be checked for symptoms of a variety of mental health complaints including depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorder, substance abuse/dependence, and adjustment disorder.

The VA’s first priority is to provide the highest quality health care possible for service-connected disabled veterans, veterans with no health care options, and those who need specialized services. Another major priority for the VA is to have the highest possible concern for the welfare of service members returning from Southwest Asia. The MEDVAMC's OEF/OIF Coordinator is Fern Taylor who may be reached at (713) 794-7034. Her alternate is Vickie Toliver, Transition Patient Advocate at (713) 794-8825.

If you are interested in applying for non-medical benefits, visit or call the Houston VA Regional Office at (713) 383-1999 or toll free 1-800-827-1000.

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