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"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington
Thank you for your service. You exemplify what is great about our nation: service, sacrifice, and honor. It is a privilege to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Fortunately, Congress has taken a number of steps in the last several years to honor the service you have given our nation, creating new programs, opportunities, and benefits and enhancing existing ones. Navigating the maze of programs, and even learning where to find information can be a challenge. In that light, I am please to offer this resource guide as a starting point in your search for the services that will be most beneficial to your in your life after your service. Realizing every service member is unique, you may find that this guide falls short, in which case I would invite you to contact anyone of my offices below, where a staff member will be more than happy to address your issue and offer a helping hand.
When I was selected as lead Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, I committed to doing all I could to support our military, including those that have transitioned in a new phase in their life and taken off the uniform for the last time. Good luck in your endeavors, and God bless you for your service.
Howard P. “Buck” McKeon Member of Congress
Table of Contents
1. Letter of Welcome
2. Regional VA Facilities
3. Important Points of Contact
4. Benefit Resources and Information
Regional VA Facility Locations
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Benefits and Services Available VA provides a wide range of benefits including, Disability, Education and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Home Loan Guaranty, Dependant and Survivor Benefits, Medical Treatment, Life Insurance and Burial Benefits. The goal of this document is to provide an at-a-glance description of VA benefits, as well as contact phone numbers and locations. The VA website www.va.gov offers more detail and a national hotline can be reached at 1-800-827-1000.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is structured into three main service lines which provide the following benefits: •Veterans Benefits Administration –All VA benefits - Compensation, Education, Home Loan Guaranty, etc. –Administered by VA Regional Office •Veterans Health Administration –All VA health care services –Administered by VA Medical Ctrs, Ambulatory Care & Community Based Outpatient Clinics, etc. –Locate a Medical Facility. •National Cemetery Administration –National and State Veterans Cemeteries –Headstones , Markers & Presidential Memorial Certificates –Request burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery
Eligibility for VA Benefits
You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a: Veteran, Veteran's dependent Surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased Veteran Uniformed service member
How to Apply for VA Benefits
VA has several ways to apply for your benefits depending on your category and status. o The Pre-Discharge Program A joint VA and Department of Defense (DoD) program that affords service members the opportunity to file claims for disability compensation up to 180 days prior to separation or retirement from active duty or full time National Guard or Reserve duty (Titles 10 and 32). Read more on the Pre-Discharge Program. o The VONAPP (Veterans On Line Application) The VONAPP web site is an official VA web site that enables service members, veterans and their beneficiaries, and other designated individuals to apply for benefits using the Internet. It can be found at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp. o Apply at your Local Regional Offices VA regional offices can assist you with filing the appropriate VA forms. In addition VSO's (Veteran Service Organizations) can assist you as well by answering general question and even petitioning on your behalf for services they believe you are qualified to receive.
Information and Assistance
For more information about specific benefits, visit your nearest VA regional office or call one of our tollfree numbers. Toll-Free Services Benefits Information & Assistance Health Care Education & Training VA Life Insurance Office of SGLI CHAMPVA Helpline (Agent Orange & Gulf War) Direct Deposit Headstones (status of claims only) Telecommunication Device for Deaf (TDD)
800-827-1000 877-222-8387 888-442-4551 800-669-8477 800-419-1473 800-733-8387 800-749-8387 877-838-2778 800-697-6947 800-829-4833
Local Regional Offices
Victorville VA Vet Center 15095 Amargosa Rd, Suite 107 Victorville, CA 92394 Phone: 760-955-9703 Fax: 760-241-7828 Normal working hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. In an effort to better serve the veteran and family members, upon request Vet Centers will provide services after normal work hours and/or on weekends. Antelope Valley VA Vet Center 38925 Trade Center Drive, Suite J Palmdale, CA 93551 Phone: 661-267-1026 Fax: 661-267-2045 Normal working hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. In an effort to better serve the veteran and family members, upon request Vet Centers will provide services after normal work hours and/or on weekends. Reno VA Vet Center 1155 W. 4th Street Suite 101 Reno, NV 89503 Phone: 775-323-1294 Fax: 775-322-8123 Normal working hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. In an effort to better serve the veteran and family members, upon request Vet Centers will provide services after normal work hours and/or on weekends.
Lancaster Community Based Outpatient Clinic 547 West Lancaster Boulevard Lancaster, CA 93536 Phone: 661-729-8655 Or 661-729-8655 Fax: 661-729-8656
Parent Facility: Greater Los Angeles VAMC Phone: (310) 478-3711 or (800) 952-4852
Victorville Community Based Outpatient Clinic 12138 Industrial Boulevard, Suite 120 Victorville, CA 92392 Phone: 760-951-2599 Parent Facility: Loma Linda VAMC Phone: (909) 825-7084 or (800) 741-8387
For any questions contact VA at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM Eastern Time.
VA Health Care Overview
VA provides a Medical Benefits Package to all enrolled Veterans. This comprehensive plan provides a full range of preventive outpatient and inpatient services within VA health care system. Also, once you enroll in the VA’s health care system, you can be seen at any VA facility across the country. VA operates an annual enrollment system that helps to manage the provision of health care by providing an overall population of beneficiaries. Additionally, the enrollment system ensures that Veterans who are eligible can get care and ensures that care is given to Veterans who are eligible. VA applies a variety of factors in determining Veterans’ eligibility for enrollment, but once a Veteran is enrolled, that Veteran remains enrolled in the VA health care system. Do You Qualify? There are many ways that a Veteran may qualify to receive top-notch VA health care at over 1,400 medical centers and clinics across the nation. The VA has highly trained physicians and clinicians that allow the VA to address many specialties. You may also be able to receive assistance with prescription medication. VA health care is portable. Once enrolled, you may receive care at your home facility as well as the nearest VA facility while traveling. If you are a Veteran, and you want low-cost, high-quality health care, please take a moment to see if you qualify. A new online version of the VA Application for Health Benefits, VA Form 10-10EZ, is now available. The new and improved online form makes it easier for Veterans to complete the form. Also, Veterans will now be able to save a partially completed form on their computer, and return to finish it at a later time. Previously a Veteran was required to start all over if they were unable to finish an application because of an interruption or needing time to find additional documents. For more information, go to the Improved Online 10-10EZ application. With the recent Priority Group 8 Enrollment Relaxation, and other ongoing evaluation and changes by VA, you may now be eligible to enroll with VA for health care services. You can apply for care by completing VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits, and VA will let you know what health care benefits you may qualify for. If you need more assistance, you may call VA toll free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387), Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
All Veterans are Potentially Eligible
You may be eligible! Below are some of the basic factors that go into determining your eligibility for health benefits: Eligibility for most veterans’ health care benefits is based solely on active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard (or Merchant Marines during WW II), and discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. Reservists and National Guard members who were called to active duty by a Federal Executive Order may qualify for VA health care benefits. Returning service members, including Reservists and National Guard members who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations have special eligibility for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for five years following discharge from active duty. Health Care eligibility is not just for those who served in combat, other groups may be eligible for some health benefits. Veteran’s health care is not just for service-connected injuries or medical conditions, and is provided to both men and women.
VA Extends “Agent Orange Benefits” to More Veterans VA announced recently that it has established a service connection to three diseases linked to herbicide Agent Orange use during the Vietnam War: B cell leukemias; Parkinson’s disease; and ischemic heart disease. The addition of these “presumed” illnesses for Agent Orange simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits for Veterans. For more information, see the VA Extends “Agent Orange” Benefits to More Veterans news release. Priority Group 8 Enrollment Relaxation Changes In order to ensure the availability of quality and timely health care to veterans with service connected conditions, special authority based on military service, low income, and those with special health care needs, in January 2003 VA made the difficult decision to stop enrolling new Priority Group 8 (high income) veterans whose income exceeded VA Income Thresholds. The new regulations went into effect on June 15, 2009 and enable the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to relax income restrictions on enrollment for health benefits. While this new provision does not remove consideration of income, it does increase income thresholds. You may be eligible for enrollment under this new provision. Benefits on the Go VA enrollment allows health care benefits to become portable throughout the entire VA system. Enrolled veterans who are traveling or who spend time away from their primary treatment facility may obtain care at any VA health care facility across the country without the worry of having to reapply.
Online Benefit Resources
The Federal Guidebook to Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors can be access and downloaded at this website: http://www1.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/federal_benefits.pdf An all purpose page with links for all VA related Benefits and Compensation can be found at http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/benefits_and_compensation
Other important resource websites:
Burial and Memorial Benefits
Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 131 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. The program is administered by Health Administration Center and our offices are located in Denver, Colorado. Due to the similarity between CHAMPVA and the Department of Defense (DoD) TRICARE program (sometimes referred to by its old name, CHAMPUS) the two are often mistaken for each other. CHAMPVA is a Department of Veterans Affairs program whereas TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors.
In some cases a veterans may look to be eligible for both/either program on paper. However, if you are a military retiree, or the spouse of a veteran who was killed in action, you are and will always be a TRICARE beneficiary, you can´t choose between the two.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a serviceconnected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
The Federal Government has a long and outstanding record of employing veterans. There are laws providing Veterans' preference and special appointing authorities for veterans, as well as the fact that agencies recognize that hiring veterans is just good business. Federal service provides a means for veterans to continue their noble service to this country.
Health Care Eligibility
Do You Qualify? There are many ways that a Veteran may qualify to receive top-notch VA health care at over 1,400 medical centers and clinics across the nation. The VA has highly trained physicians and
clinicians that allow the VA to address many specialties. You may also be able to receive assistance with prescription medication. VA health care is portable. Once enrolled, you may receive care at your home facility as well as the nearest VA facility while traveling.
Home Loan Guaranty
Who's Eligible for a VA-Backed Loan? Veterans Active duty personnel Reservists/National Guard members Some surviving spouses
Our insurance programs were developed to provide insurance benefits for veterans and service members who may not be able to get insurance from private companies because of the extra risks involved in military service, or a service connected disability.
Memorial Certificate Program
A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased Veterans.
Vet Centers provide a broad range of counseling and outreach services to our combat Veterans and their family members, assisting them towards successful post-war adjustment in their communities.
My HealtheVet is a free, online Personal Health Record that empowers Veterans to become informed partners in their health care. With My HealtheVet, America’s Veterans can access trusted, secure, and current health and benefits information as well as record, track and store important health and military history information at their convenience. Veterans who are enrolled in a VA facility can refill their VA prescriptions and more
National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory (NRD) provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.
VA Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) is the largest and most comprehensive provider of prosthetic devices in the world. Although the term "prosthetic device" may suggest images of artificial limbs, it actually refers to any device that supports or replaces a body part or function. Our mission is to provide Veterans with the highest quality health care in a courteous and compassionate manner. We are committed to working with your VA medical team to maximize your independence.
The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. NPRC (MPR) also stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities. Information from the records is made available upon written request (with signature and date) to the extent allowed by law.
Returning Service members
Every VA Medical Center has a team ready to welcome OEF/OIF service members and help coordinate their care.
At each VA Medical Center nationwide, a Women Veterans Program Manager is designated to assist women Veterans. She can help coordinate all the services you may need, from primary care to medical services to Mental Health and Sexual Abuse Counseling. Women Veterans who are interested in receiving care at VA should contact the nearest VA Medical Center and ask for the Women Veterans Program Manager.
VA Vet Centers
If you have served in any combat zone, Vet Centers are in your community to help you and your family with readjustment counseling and outreach services. You've earned these benefits and there is no cost to you or your family members.
VA Home Page
Homepage of the Veterans Administration
VA Benefit Payment Rates
Ensure you get the Benefits you are entitled to
Easy access to all required forms for your Veterans Benefits
Veterans Employment and Training
VETS Proudly Serves Veterans and Service Members. We Provide Resources and Expertise to Assist and Prepare them to Obtain Meaningful Careers, Maximize their Employment Opportunities, and Protect their Employment Rights.
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