Am I a Veteran, or War-Time Veteran, for VA Purposes?

Veterans & Military
Reading Time: 2 mins
Publication Date: 07/02/2012
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Marshall, K. (2020, October 16). Am I a Veteran, or War-Time Veteran, for VA Purposes? Retrieved January 31, 2023, from


Marshall, Karen. "Am I a Veteran, or War-Time Veteran, for VA Purposes?", 16 Oct 2020,


Marshall, Karen. "Am I a Veteran, or War-Time Veteran, for VA Purposes?" Last modified October 16, 2020.

I speak with people every day who wonder if they qualify for veteran’s benefits because there can be significant assistance from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs through various programs for veterans who qualify.

The first step in evaluating potential programs is determining whether someone is actually considered to be a veteran. Like many matters pertaining to the VA it is not as straightforward as one might think.

General Eligibility

Eligibility for most VA benefits is based on discharge from active military service under “other than dishonorable” conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Generally, men and women veterans with similar service may be entitled to the same VA benefits.

Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees must contact a regional VA office to determine their eligibility.

In addition, VA benefits will not be provided to any veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.

Wartime Service Benefits

After eligibility as a veteran is established, the next step is whether the veteran is considered a “wartime veteran.” Certain VA benefits require service during wartime. Under the law, VA recognizes these war periods:

  • Mexican Border Period: May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917, for veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders or in adjacent waters.
  • World War I: April 6, 1917, through Nov. 11, 1918. For veterans who served in Russia, April 6, 1917 through April 1, 1920. That period is extended through July 1, 1921 for veterans who served at least one day between April 6, 1917, and Nov. 11, 1918.
  • World War II: Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946.
  • Korean War: June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955.
  • Vietnam War: Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for veterans who served “in country” before Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975.
  • Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.

Hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Free Mesothelioma Guide
Comprehensive Information for Veterans with Mesothelioma