VIVA Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What information do I need to submit to the Bob Woodruff Foundation Veteran In-Vitro InitiAtive (VIVA)?

A: Our application is on the VIVA website, available by clicking here. You will need the items listed below. We provide samples of the letters to make the process easier for you.

  1. Your VA disability letter with the ratings for all your wounds, injuries, or illnesses
  2. A letter from your clinic that is a member of the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)
  3. A letter from your VA medical facility acknowledging you are undergoing IVF.

Q: Is there a deadline for my application?

A: We continually review applications, and do not have a deadline. In fact, we work with you. We are on your time schedule! It is stressful enough to try to have a family. We do not want to burden you with deadlines.


Q: I know that the VA offers IVF treatment to some veterans. How does the Bob Woodruff Foundation work with the VA?

A: The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) and VA collaborate to ensure that veterans are aware of the different service and funding opportunities available. On occasion we will refer a veteran to the VA, and the VA sometimes refers veterans to VIVA. VIVA has slightly different eligibility requirements than the VA program, so we complement the VA’s program.


Q: How does VIVA complement the VA IVF program?

A: The BWF VIVA fund provides only limited funding, but more veterans are eligible for VIVA than for the VA program.


Q: What are the VA eligibility requirements for IVF?

A: The VA will cover 6 attempts and 3 complete cycles over the lifetime of the veteran. However, there are exclusions. Under recent law, IVF is covered for some veterans and their spouses. Eligibility is determined by a service-connected disability and clinical judgement of the health care provider.

To receive IVF through the VA:

The veteran must be legally married.

The veteran must have service-connected condition causing infertility.

The veteran or spouse must have an intact uterus and at least one functioning ovary.

The veteran or spouse must be able to produce sperm.


Q: I’m not eligible for the VA.  Does that mean I’m not eligible for a BWF VIVA grant?

A: Some veterans are not eligible for the VA IVF program, but are eligible for a VIVA grant. BWF does not exclude veterans who are in a same-sex relationship, a partnership relationship, or who require donor sperm, egg, or embryo.


Q: What are the BWF VIVA eligibility requirements?

A: The veteran must have service-connected condition causing infertility and must use a SART clinic. Additionally, the SART clinic must be able to provide a W9 form to the Bob Woodruff Foundation.


Q: Why would I want to use the VA program instead of applying for a VIVA grant?

A: Veterans eligible for the VA program can receive VA funding for up to 6 attempts and 3 complete cycles of IVF, including testing and medications over the lifetime of the veteran. The procedures are performed at a non-VA facility which has contracted with the VA PCP3 network and is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). These veterans will have considerably lower expense. The BWF VIVA grant is limited to two cycles of IVF at $5,000 per cycle with a maximum grant amount of $10,000.


Q: Why does BWF require veterans to use a SART clinic?

A: SART is the primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF, or assisted reproductive technology (ART). The organization represents the majority of the ART clinics in the country. The mission of SART is to establish and maintain standards for ART so that you receive the highest possible level of care. SART clinics meet the highest standards for quality, safety and patient care. Because BWF wants to ensure you are receiving the best possible care, we require you to use a SART clinic to be eligible for a VIVA grant.


Q: How do I find a SART clinic, or determine if my clinic is a SART clinic?

A: You can visit sart.org to find a SART clinic near you and see how well they are doing.


Q: I’m using the VA program to cover my IVF treatment, but I still have expenses.  Can VIVA help?

A: Most veterans using the VA program for IVF will not incur medical expenses. There are some exceptions to that, and VIVA can help defray those costs.


Q: I started to use the VA fertility program. Am I still eligible for a BWF VIVA grant?

A: If you started using the VA fertility program but found that it is not the right fit for you, VIVA may be able to help.


Q: I think I’m eligible for the VA, but I can’t figure out where to start.

A: Veterans can contact their local VA Women Veteran Program Manager for more information about infertility services. Every VA clinic and medical center have a Women Veteran Program manager. You may call (855) 829-6636 to find out where your local Women Veteran Program manager is located. VA provides infertility evaluation, management and treatment services to veterans who are enrolled and are eligible for VA health care. All enrolled and eligible veterans may be provided with infertility service regardless of service connection, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, relationship or marital status.

Often program managers will refer veterans to us to see if they are eligible for our program. Still not sure? Email us at ivf@bobwoodrufffoundation.org and we’ll help.


Q: Do I need to have a spouse or partner?

A: No, you do not. However, your infertility must be due to a service-connected disability.


Q: Will you fund same-sex couples?

A: Yes! We do fund veterans who are in a same-sex relationship.


Q: Do you provide funds if I require donor sperm, egg, or embryo?

A: BWF does provide VIVA grants for veterans who require donor sperm, egg, or embryo because of their service-connected fertility challenges.


Q: What if it’s my civilian spouse with fertility challenges?

A: BWF prioritizes grants to veterans who have service-related fertility challenges. Unfortunately, we are not currently providing funding when the civilian spouse has fertility challenges.


Q: Will you provide funding if we require a surrogate?

A: Yes. BWF will provide a VIVA grant if a veteran requires a surrogate because of the veteran’s service-connected fertility challenges.


Q: Does my service-connected wound/injury have to be to my creative organs?

A: There are other wounds and injuries besides those to the creative organs that may affect fertility. BWF has, for example, provided funding to veterans with spinal wounds. On an individual basis, we will consider other wounds, injuries, or illnesses, to include PTSD or TBI.


Q: Are there other resources available to help us pay for IVF?

A: There are pharmaceutical companies who may be able to help with the cost of medications. Please visit these websites Compassionate Care and Hearts for Heroes to apply for discounted medications.


Have we answered your question? If not, please contact us.