If you’re a Veteran having thoughts of suicide or concerned about one, reach 24/7 crisis support through the new Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) number: Dial 988, then Press 1.

This shorter, three-digit number provides an easier-to-remember way to access the VCL. We’re working to make sure all Veterans and their supporters know about the new number. Below are answers to some questions you might have about this change.

Why did the VCL get a new number?

The change is a result of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. The law authorized 988 as the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). Under the law, all telephone service providers in the U.S. had to activate the number by July 16, 2022.

Because VA administers the VCL through the Lifeline’s national network, the service was affected by this transition.

What does the new number mean for me?

Since 2007, the VCL has supported millions of Veterans in crisis. This new, shorter number increases ease of access and clarity in times of crisis for both Veterans and supporters.

Like the current number, to reach the VCL, Veterans will press 1 after dialing to connect with VCL responders. Though the number is new, the Veterans Crisis Line dedicated service is still the same. And, you don’t have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to connect.

Is the old VCL phone number going away?

No. Veterans will still be able to call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to connect with responders. The VCL will also still be available by chat (VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat) and text (838255).

What happens if I’m overseas?

The VCL’s 800 number is a continental United States (CONUS)-based toll-free number that remains active. Some international calls may incur a charge, depending on the caller’s location and network provider.

Veterans overseas may contact the VCL through chat at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. If you prefer a phone call, you can request this within the chat venue. A responder will call you at the number you provide at no charge.

Be prepared and save the new number in your phone: Dial 988, then Press 1. Remember, you’re not alone. Day or night, the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you.

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9 Comments

  1. CATHY J COCHRAN August 2, 2022 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    I served in the USAR for 12 years. I have worked since I was 15 years old. I am now disabled due to multiple health issues at the age of 60. My disability is a little over $1,300.00 a month. No I didn’t go to war as my unit was a training unit. We did Operation On-A-Way Eagle 1 & 2 and trained many young soldiers to fight for the war in Iraq. I have dreams of these young soldiers being shot and killed. I wonder how many made it home or how many didn’t. I also suffer from that of sexual harassment by an officer. Yet I cannot get bennefits. I do not get credit from the government as earnings toward my Social Security. I am a single mom of two girls that are now 20 but still at home. My husband walked out on us in 2015 without notice. I am struggling. I can’t seem to get the help I need. Why can’t those of us who served in the USAR get the benefits too? Why? I did my job. I got my awards, ranks. I have my fears too. What do I do?

  2. Hope July 21, 2022 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Brooklyn – You may be able to find what you need on the

    VA Outreach Materials page

    https://www.va.gov/outreach-and-events/outreach-materials/

  3. Hope July 21, 2022 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Here is your motivation to take care of yourself and your family.

    https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/

  4. Richard Hamel July 20, 2022 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Regarding veterans living overseas, it would be nice if the IT guys handling VA.gov would rewrite the code for the various address change sections to support addresses and phone numbers outside the US. One area even states “US numbers only”.

  5. Brooklyn Enders July 20, 2022 at 11:20 am - Reply

    It would be great if there was a link to a VA approved flier that can be printed out and posted in our offices to help spread the word to our Veterans.

    • James Dennis July 20, 2022 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      I am presently at 60% disability. I could add to it w high blood pressure. (A presumptive title in the Vietnam veterans program) but the paperwork is overwhelming. Question: how much will I gain if I go through the process of applying. I’m not going to do it for a few insignificant dollars. Or will it add a significant percentage increase. Please advise. Thank you, James Denni add.

      • Tim Wolf July 21, 2022 at 6:01 pm - Reply

        James even if you only got an increase of 10% that is a base increase by about $300. That does not include dependents or spouse adjustments. I don’t know where you are but you should have a VSO (Veteran Service Officer) or a DVOP (Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist) at your local Job Center or Workforce Center. They can assist with some of that paperwork and help guide you through it.

      • Danny M. Thomas July 22, 2022 at 8:53 am - Reply

        Hell James, I recommend you
        Contact an accredited Veteran Service Officer. This person can assist you in another claim. The amount of disability will be evaluated and decisions made. Good luck. @The American Legion @ The Marine Corps League @DAV.

    • Xsquid July 21, 2022 at 6:17 pm - Reply

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