Recently, the Veterans Administration (VA) Under Secretary for Health has designated functional status as one of the domains of value for the system, given its increasing importance for clinical care. The Veterans Health Study (VHS) was designed to assist the VA in monitoring outcomes and measuring the case mix of patients who use the VA. The Veterans SF-36 (short form functional status assessment for veterans) was administered to 2425 veterans receiving ambulatory care. Measures of the Veterans SF-36 were strongly correlated with sociodemographics and morbidities of the veterans. Young veterans had poorer mental health status than older veterans. Veterans who used ambulatory care in the VHS reported lower levels of health status, reflecting more disease than a non-VA civilian population. These measures of health are important indicators of the disease burden or case mix of the patients and are pertinent to health systems such as the VA for resource allocation decisions and as outcomes of care.