Veterans benefits 2020: Most underused state benefit


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VA Welcome Kit imageU.S. states offer Veterans a wide range of benefits. State representatives provided VA the most underused benefit for Veterans, part of a five-part series. Below is a list of the benefits in alphabetical order by state.

For VA benefits, people can download and print the VA Welcome Kit at https://www.va.gov/welcome-kit. People can provide general feedback and suggestions on ways VA can improve the Welcome Kit via email at vawelcomekit@va.gov.  A YouTube video on the welcome kit is at https://youtu.be/DZvITWcWutE.

Alabama

“Our professional Veteran service officers, with offices in communities throughout Alabama, are our most underutilized Alabama benefit. Despite our best efforts, too many remain unaware that help filing for VA benefits is available at no cost. Their training and expertise really are the best chance a Veteran has to submit a fully developed claim that allows the VA to grant the maximum benefits to which they are entitled the first time.”  – Mark Sullivan, manager, Appeals and Review Division.

Veterans and beneficiaries can learn more about the benefit at https://va.alabama.gov/serviceofficer/.

Alaska

“Alaska offers a Veteran land discount/purchase preference and it can only be used once, so many Veterans do not pursue this program thinking they will save it for later and then never use this valued benefit. This program provides a 20% discount off the purchase price of state residential/recreational land. The land is offered under a Veteran exclusive opportunity and the sale is at fair appraised market value.” – Verdie Bowen Sr., director, Office of Veterans Affairs

Veterans can learn more about this program at (URL) http://veterans.alaska.gov/Documents/LandDiscount.pdf.

Arizona

“The Arizona Military Family Relief Fund provides financial assistance to the families of currently deployed service members, plus military and Veteran families for hardships caused by the service member’s deployment. The lifetime financial assistance limit for service members, Veterans and their families is $20,000. Applicants can receive emergency assistance of up to $3,000 once in a lifetime.” – Wanda Wright, director

Veterans can learn more about the Military Family Relief Fund at https://dvs.az.gov/requesting-MFRF.

Arkansas

“The state’s most underused benefit is Resident Military Retiree Lifetime Combination License.” – Gina Chandler, assistant director, Veterans Services

Information about that license and other hunting and fishing benefits to Veterans is at https://www.agfc.com/en/resources/licensing/disability-65-plus-and-lifetime-licenses/.

California

“California’s most underused state benefit would be our hunting and fishing license program. For 2020, reduced-fee licenses are available for any honorably discharged Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces with a service–connected disability rating of 50% or greater at the price of $8.13.” – Roberto Herrera, chief, Veteran and Community Engagement

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetServices/Pages/Fishing-and-Hunting-Licenses.aspx

Colorado

“Colorado has a free Lifetime Fish & Game small game license for Veterans 60% or more service connected.” – Richard J. Tremaine, director, Division of Veterans Affairs

Veterans can learn more at www.Colorado.Gov/Vets.

Connecticut

“Among the most underutilized state benefits is the Connecticut Qualified Veterans’ Charitable Organization list maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs. To be included on the list, the Veterans’ organization must be one that: (1) Holds itself out to be established for any benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, scientific, patriotic, social welfare or advocacy purpose relating to or on behalf of Veterans; and (2) has been (A) a nonstock corporation, organized under chapter 602, or any predecessor thereto, for three or more years, or (B) a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time, for three or more consecutive years.” – Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Thomas J. Saadi

Veterans’ organizations can learn more about this program at https://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/Veterans-Charitable-Organization-Listing/Application.

Delaware

“The most underused state benefit is discounted hunting, trapping and fishing licenses.” – Larence Kirby, executive director, Office of Veterans Services

Any member of the Armed Forces while stationed within the state shall be deemed a resident of the state for the purpose of obtaining a license. Veterans with a disability rating of 60 percent or more by VA may obtain a no-fee license.

To learn more about Delaware’s services for Veterans, visit https://vets.delaware.gov/.

Florida

“Florida waives undergraduate-level tuition at state universities and community colleges for Florida recipients of the Purple Heart and other combat-related decorations superior in precedence to the Purple Heart. The waiver program also includes the state’s career and technical training facilities.” – James S. “Hammer” Hartsell, deputy executive director, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Veterans can learn more by visiting www.FloridaVets.org.

Georgia

“Many of Georgia’s Veterans do not take advantage of the discounts available for state park entrance fees or for hunting and fishing licenses. Honorably discharged Veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating are eligible for a 25% reduction of the entrance fee to state parks, historical sites, and recreational areas. Veterans discharged after July 1, 2005 and who served 90 days on active duty are eligible for a free one-year full sportsman license. All honorably discharged Veterans are eligible for a 20% discount on hunting and fishing licenses.” – Mike Roby, Georgia’s commissioner of Veterans Service

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://veterans.georgia.gov/hunting-and-fishing-licenses.

Hawaii

“Hawaii’s Most underused state benefit is the Specialty Veteran’s License Plates.  For the same cost as a regular license plate, Veterans can choose, if qualified, a Veteran, Combat or Combat Wounded, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Former POW, World War II Veteran, Korea Veteran, Vietnam Veteran, Persian Gulf Veteran, or Gold Star Family license plate.” – Ronald Han, Director State Office of Veterans’ Services

Veterans can learn more about the exemption at http://dod.hawaii.gov/ovs/benefits-and-services/.

Idaho

Recently, Idaho passed legislation to make it easier for Veterans, military members and their families to get occupational licenses. Under the Occupational Licensing Reform Act Chapter 94, Title 67, Idaho Code, those benefits may include expedited processing of license applications and credit for military training that is relevant to the occupational license/registration being applied for. This is a significant reduction in regulatory hurdles and will meaningfully impact Veterans, military members and their families as more become aware of this benefit.” – Marv Hagedorn, Idaho Division of Veterans Services chief administrator

Veterans can learn more about this benefit at https://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/AgencyAdditional.aspx?Agency=427&AgencyLinkID=100.

Illinois

“Illinois’ newest benefit is the Veteran designation for Illinois state driver’s licenses. This has quickly become our most popular benefit in terms of the number of Veterans who have obtained it. Our most popular monetary benefit is the Illinois Veterans Grant/Illinois National Guard Grant.” – Linda Chapa LaVia, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Illinois Veterans and their families can learn more about these programs at https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/Pages/default.aspx.

Indiana

Indiana has several property tax deductions.

Indiana has $14,000 deduction for Veterans that served during peace time or the surviving spouse of a service member that was killed in action or died during active duty. The Veteran must be totally disabled or must be 62 years old with a 10% service-connected disability rating. There is an assessed value limit of $200,000. Veterans can learn more at https://www.in.gov/dva/2383.htm.

There’s a $24,960 deduction for wartime Veterans with at least a 10% service-connected disability rating. There is no assessed value limit for this benefit. Veterans can learn more at https://www.in.gov/dva/2383.htm.

A Veteran who served during a period of war and is at least 62 years old with a 10% service-connected disability rating OR has a permanent and total service-connected disability rating at any age AND whose home’s assessed value is $200,000 or less, can receive both property tax deductions for a total of $38,960. Veterans can learn more at https://www.in.gov/dva/2383.htm.

Iowa

“We receive the least applications for the Brandstead-Reynolds Scholarship Program, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children of deceased military service members who died on active duty after Sept. 11, 2001; and our War Orphan Tuition Assistance Program.” –  Karl J. Lettow, public information

Details on these are at https://va.iowa.gov/benefits.

Kansas

“One of the best kept secrets for Kansas Veterans is internment opportunities at our four beautiful Veterans cemeteries strategically located throughout the state. These facilities provide burial options for the Veteran and their eligible dependents.” – Heidi Goff, state Veteran cemeteries manager

More information about the Veteran cemeteries can be accessed at the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Office website at www.kcva.ks.gov.

Kentucky

“We are justly proud of our free benefits counseling by our VA-accredited expert benefits representatives stationed throughout the state. But because many Veterans never seek state or federal benefits, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs currently represents only 13% of Kentucky Veterans.  We are making sustained outreach efforts through the Call Us First promotion and attending Veteran events and meetings throughout the state.” – Donna Scrivener, Benefits Branch manager.

Kentucky Veterans can find out more about this benefit here.

Louisiana

“Our most underused state benefit is our Military Family Assistance Fund. This benefit can provide financial support to Louisiana Veterans and their families when they experience financial hardships. The MFA can pay up to $10,000 for one claim per active-duty order in a 12-month period. Applicants must submit a completed application to Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and include all required supporting documentation, as certain criteria applies. The MFA is funded 100% by private donations from individuals and corporations.” – Joey Strickland, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs

For more information on the Military Family Assistance Fund, visit www.vetaffairs.la.gov/benefit-category/emergency-assistance/.

Maine

“The most underused benefit that is offered by the State of Maine is the Veterans Dependent Education Benefit. While this specific benefit is only offered to those Veterans who have received a 100% Permanent and Total Disability rating from the State of Maine, many Veterans who qualify do not utilize the benefit. The dependents and spouses of qualifying Veterans are provided a 100% waiver of tuition and all mandatory fees for spouses and dependents of Veterans at all University of Maine System Schools, Maine Community Colleges, and Maine Maritime Academy.” – David Richmond, director, Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

For more information, visit https://www.maine.gov/veterans/benefits/education/index.html.

Maryland

“The Hire Our Veterans Act of 2017 created the Hire Our Veterans Tax Credit Program for employers. This underutilized program enables Maryland employers who qualify to receive an income tax credit equal to 30% of up to the first $6,000 of wages paid to a qualified Veteran employee during the first year of employment.” – George Owings, secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans and employers can learn more about the Program and how to apply at https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/programs-for-businesses/hire-our-veterans-tax-credit.

Massachusetts

For Massachusetts information, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-veterans-services.

Michigan

“The most underused state benefit in Michigan is the Children of Veterans Tuition Grant. This grant provides undergraduate tuition assistance to students ages 17-25 who are the natural or adopted child of a Michigan Veteran. The Veteran must have died or  have become totally and permanently disabled as a result of military service. The families of our Veterans are just as important to us as our Veterans, which is why we want to ensure that they take advantage of all of their benefits.” – Zaneta Adams, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency director

For more information visit https://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-372–481212–,00.html.

Minnesota

“Our most underused benefits are the three State Veterans Cemeteries and the Minnesota GI Bill, especially for licensing and certifications.” – Larry Herke, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs

To learn more about cemeteries, visit https://mn.gov/mdva/memorials/stateveteranscemeteries/. To learn about the GI Bill, visit https://mn.gov/mdva/resources/education/minnesotagibill/.

Mississippi

“When it comes to the most underused state benefit, look no further than the Mississippi Veterans Home Purchase Board. They provide low-interest mortgage loans in amounts up to $250,000 for eligible Veterans and unmarried surviving spouses to purchase an existing home or to construct a new one.” – Stacey Pickering, executive director of Mississippi Veterans Affairs

For more information on Mississippi Veterans Affairs, visit www.msva.ms.gov.

Missouri

“With a philosophy of honoring our Veterans for their service and sacrifice, the Missouri Veterans Commission has created a network of Veterans cemeteries so that every Missouri Veteran will have reasonable access to a Veterans cemetery. There are five cemeteries in operation at this time; Springfield, Higginsville, Jacksonville, Bloomfield and Fort Leonard Wood.” – Ryon Richmond, acting executive director, Missouri Veterans Commission

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://mvc.dps.mo.gov/cemeteries/.

Montana

“One of Montana’s most underused state benefits is the free pass to access State Parks along with a free hunting and fishing license for disabled Veterans.” – Kelly Ackerman, administrator, Montana Veterans Affairs Division

For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov.

Nebraska

“The most underused state benefit is the Reservist Tuition Credit. Nebraska residents who are enlisted members of the Nebraska –based unit of the Active Selected Reserve may be eligible for a 50% tuition credit to the University of Nebraska campuses, state colleges and community colleges.” – John Hilgert, Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs director

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://veterans.nebraska.gov/reservist-tuition

Nevada

“Nevada provides Veterans preference for those who identify as a Veteran owned business.  When completing the form from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), simply indicate Veteran-Owned Small Business (SB) (VOSB), Service-Disabled VOSB (SDVOSB), Veteran-Owned (VO), or Service-Disabled VO.” – Julie Dudley, communications director

Veterans can learn more about the program at  https://www.diversifynevada.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Nevada-PTAC-POP-Client-Questionnaire-6-26-2020.pdf.

New Hampshire

“New Hampshire’s most underused benefit is the New Division of Veteran Services. Far too often the Veterans in NH do not know that the office exists and that it exists to assist them with their claims with the VA.” – William Gaudreau, director, NH Division of Veteran Services

Veterans can learn more about benefits at www.nh.gov/nhveterans.

New Jersey

“The most underused state benefit is the New Jersey Catastrophic Entitlement. Eligible Veterans/surviving spouses receive a monthly entitlement of $62.50. A Veteran must be a New Jersey resident in receipt of a permanent service-connected disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that resulted from wartime service resulting in one of the following catastrophic disabilities: loss of sight; amputation of both hands, both feet or one hand and one foot; hemiplegia and permanent paralysis of one leg and one arm on either side of the body; paraplegia and permanent paralysis of both legs and lower parts of the body; osteochondritis and permanent loss of use of both legs; multiple sclerosis and the loss of use of both feet or both legs; quadriplegia.” – Patricia A. Richter, acting director, Division of Veterans Services

For more information, call (888) 8NJ-VETS (865-8387) or visit https://www.nj.gov/military/veterans.

New Mexico

The most underused state benefit by Veterans in New Mexico is the Free State Parks, Monuments, and Museums Pass for Disabled Veterans.

This benefit provides any Veteran rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled with free admission to any state monument or museum.

Last year, the agency processed 1,080 applications for this benefit. Veterans can learn more about the program at http://www.nmdvs.org/state-benefits/.

New York

“New York’s most underused state benefit is the Access to Home for Heroes run by Homes and Community Renewal. This program provides financial assistance to make dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate-income Veterans living with a disability.” – Joel Evans, executive deputy director, New York State Division of Veterans’ Services

New York Veterans can learn more about this program at https://hcr.ny.gov/access-home-heroesveterans.

North Carolina

“The most underused North Carolina state benefit is property tax relief for adaptative automobiles.” – Martin Falls, chief deputy secretary for the North Carolina Department of Military and Veteran Affairs

Veterans can learn more about the North Carolina Veteran programs at www.milvets.nc.gov.

North Dakota

“The most underused state benefit is the loan program North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.” – Lonnie Wangen, commissioner

The Veterans Aid Fund is a permanent fund to be used solely for the purpose of making loans to Veterans or their widow/widowers.

Veterans can learn more at http://www.nd.gov/veterans/benefits/loan-programs.

Ohio

“The Ohio National Guard offers tuition assistance at over 150 Ohio colleges and universities for Veterans who serve in an enlisted drilling status with the Guard – up to four semesters of full time tuition for a three-year commitment, and up to eight semesters for a six-year commitment.” – Sean McCarthy, assistant director, Department of Veterans Services

A comprehensive Ohio Veterans Resource Guide is available online at https://dvs.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/7c2ff73e-7a10-42a9-b2c1-4688be28837c/BenefitsGuide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=n8kF7Cb.

Oklahoma

For Oklahoma information, visit https://odva.ok.gov/.

Oregon

“Oregon has been offering a state home loan to Veterans since 1945. Not only are Veterans eligible for considerably lower than market interest rates, borrowers can use their home loan benefit up to four times over their lifetime. ODVA services all Veteran home loans, so loans closed under this program will never be transferred. Oregon is one of only five states that offers a Veteran home loan benefit that is separate and distinct from the federal VA Home Loan Guaranty.” – Cody Cox, Oregon Veteran Home Loan manager

Oregon Veterans can learn more about the program at https://www.oregon.gov/odva/Home-Loans/Pages/default.aspx.

Pennsylvania

“A lesser-known but very valuable benefit offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is the Blind Veterans Pension. This program, which only has about 100 enrolled Veterans, provides eligible blind Veterans a pension of $150 per month. Our goal is to continue to identify and enroll every eligible Veteran who deserves this benefit because of their service and sacrifice.” – Joel H. Mutschler, director of the Bureau of Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration, and Outreach

Pennsylvania Veterans can learn more about the Blind Veterans Pension program at dmva.pa.gov.

Rhode Island

“The most underused state benefit is eligible active duty military and Veterans receive in-state tuition rates at University of Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College immediately upon establishing residence in Rhode Island.” – Kasim Yarn, director, Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services

Veterans can learn more at http://www.vets.ri.gov/.

South Carolina

South Carolina provides a tuition waiver for qualified children of certain military Veterans applying to or enrolled in a South Carolina state supported college, university or post high school technical education school; or acceptance into a dual enrollment/early college credit program prior to graduating high school. Qualifying Veterans and students must meet certain residency requirements.

“There is a lot of confusion surrounding this particular benefit on the Federal and State level. We aim to provide education and support for our Veterans and tuition assistance for their children, to help families understand what is offered to them, specifically here in South Carolina.” – Stanley Foreman, director of Administration for the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information, visit http://va.sc.gov/benefits.html.

South Dakota

The most underused state benefit in South Dakota is education benefits. South Dakota support the success of Veterans, current military members, and their families. They work to secure both state and federal educational benefits.

“Now, more than ever, we need to keep our sleeves rolled up and work collectively to ensure our Veterans have a successful journey as they transition into civilian life.” – Greg Whitlock, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.

Whitlock encourages Veterans to contact their local county or tribal Veterans service officers or the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs office (605-773-3269) to learn more about their benefits. Veterans can also visit https://vetaffairs.sd.gov/ or https://www.facebook.com/SDDVA/.

Tennessee

“United States military training is rigorous and provides world class instruction, and it is only appropriate that our colleges recognize this training and provide a head start on attaining a college credential. The TN-SOP tool will provide transparent information to service members and Veterans, continuing our efforts to be the most Veteran friendly higher education system in the nation.” – Tennessee Higher Education Commission Executive Director Mike Krause

Veterans can learn more about the program at http://tn-sop.tn.gov/.

Texas

“More and more of those transitioning out of the military are seeking careers in established companies. For those who don’t, those wanting to start their own business, we’d like them to know about our entrepreneur program. We can help develop business plan, organize financing and more.” – Kevin Barber, commissioner of the Texas Veterans Commission.

Veterans can connect with a Texas Veterans Commission Veteran business consultant at https://www.tvc.texas.gov/entrepreneurs/.

Utah

“The ACE Program is designed to assist Utah Veterans, actively drilling members of the Guard and Reserve and their respective spouses, overcome barriers to employment or better employment by assisting them in attaining certificates and licenses using their military training and experience or by assisting with short-term training. The ACE Program is intended to provide an avenue for eligible participants to gain employment in the civilian job market by capitalizing on their past experience, training and knowledge or by assisting them with short-term training that leads to a certificate or license.” – Gary Harter, executive director of Utah’s Department of Veterans and Military Affairs

More information is at https://jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker/veterans/07_72.pdf.

Vermont

“The most underused state benefit is free daily passes to Vermont State Parks. Apply through your local town clerk.” – Robert E. Burke, director, Office of Veterans Affairs

For more information visit veterans.vermont.gov.

Virginia

The Virginia Transition Assistance Program (VTAP) is the most underused state benefit. VTAP offers transitioning service members and their spouses the best Virginia has to offer. By providing peer-to-peer support through the transition process, VTAP works alongside the transitioning service member or spouse to make referrals that address their specific needs. The referral services could include, but are not limited to resume review, introduction to the Virginia Labor Market, connection with Virginia Values Veterans (V3) certified companies for employment, and other VDVS programs. VTAP serves those seeking employment and/or entrepreneurship opportunities in Virginia or enrollment in one of Virginia’s GI Bill approved institutions.” – Annie Walker, deputy commissioner for Virginia Department of Veterans Services

Veterans can learn more at https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/education-employment/virginia-transition-assistance-program-vtap.

Washington

“Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Olympia Call Center, which helps the user understand the state and federal benefits, connects Veterans to their earned disability compensation/pension and health care, and makes referrals to other local services.” – Liza Narciso, assistant to the director, Washington Department of Veterans Affairs

For more information, visit https://www.dva.wa.gov/.

West Virginia

“The Jack Bennett Fund will pay up to $380 to cover the cost of  installing grave markers for Veteran families unable to have the marker installed.” – Cabinet Secretary Dennis Davis

Veterans can learn more at https://veterans.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

Wisconsin

“The WDVA recently increased access for Veterans to our Assistance to Needy Veterans Grant program, which provides subsistence payments and other health grants to low income Veterans in need of emergency financial aid. Recently Wisconsin suspended several provisions of the program that would prevent or delay payments to Veterans who have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving us the flexibility to help as many Veterans as possible during this challenging time.” – Donald Placidi Jr., Division of Veterans Benefits administrator, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Apply for the Assistance for Needy Veterans Grant online at www.MyWisVets.com.

Wyoming

“The most underused state benefit is the honorary high school diploma. We haven’t had a request in over three years.” – Tim Sheppard, executive director, Wyoming Veterans Commission

The following individuals who have attended a Wyoming high school, entered military service on the dates specified below prior to completing necessary high school graduation requirements and who did not receive a high school diploma, may apply to the state superintendent of public instruction for an honorary high school diploma:

An honorably discharged Veteran of World War II who served in the U.S. military between Dec. 8, 1941, and Aug. 14, 1945;

An honorably discharged Veteran of the Korean War, who served in the U.S. military between June 27, 1950, and July 28, 1953;

An honorably discharged veteran of the Vietnam War, who served in the U.S. military between Feb. 28, 1961, and Aug. 15, 1973.

Veterans can learn more at https://www.wyomilitary.wyo.gov/veterans/commission/.


Check out the following parts of this series, which will be hyperlinked once they publish:

Part 1: Most popular state benefit | Part 3: Most unique or newest state benefitPart 4: Largest or most successful state employer of Veterans | Part 5: Most popular state Veteran monument

Author

Adam Stump

Adam Stump is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He is a retired Air Force Veteran who served 20 years, including two deployments to Afghanistan for detention operations and special operations.

Comments

  1. Nelson Rodriguez    

    Why Puerto Rico is not here. We have a lot a veterans here also.
    Please add Puerto Rico on this lisy.

  2. David Carrion    

    Why are puerto rico not included on this benefit table. We did and served proudly shoulder to shoulder with our state side veterans. We like to be included in all veteran affairs information. I served with pride and deserves to be included. Thanks. Sgt J. Carrion. USA.

  3. Heriberto Perez    

    Why is PR not included on the list. 20 year vet the only place they ask if you’re a vet is H Depot. The others like Walmart, Costco no were to be seen.

  4. Allen D McConnell    

    I am a veteran that just moved to Florida. I would like to know what benefits I can get now that I am in Florida.

  5. Leland Krein    

    So what is this, in the 90’s I was working and had a job with benefits so never heard that you had to go to the VA every year to keep the benefits, now that I retired and lost my health benefits I tried to get va to step up, but they told me that since I didn’t use them and saved them a ton of money that now I don’t qualify for any benefits as my income is to high. over 12,000 a year. What a crock. I was drafted and served just like all the other vets. I was a generator mechanic and had to sit and listen to the 60 KW’s run for 12 hours straight, now I have constant ringing in my ears, but I don’t qualify. the VA and the elected officials should not get any benefits once they leave employment or office and see how they like to be treated like me.

  6. Mickey Pierce    

    I am a MST survivor who has PTSD and asthma. I can tell you that at times I get short of breath at times when I have a mask on. I still persevere and work through it. If I can work through it, I know you can too. This thing is real. I worked in the lab while in the military, so I understand how viruses work. And yes, masks do work. Just look at the countries that implemented masks from the very beginning. They have a very low rate of transmission. The reason they have any transmission is because of people not wearing their masks properly or forgetting to wear a mask, etc. This needs to stop. We have turned this into something political into what it actually it, life and death- and taking care of our country and one another. We wear a mask because we don’t know if we have the virus without having symptoms. We don’t want to infect everyone we care about, thus wiping out our support system, our healthcare system, etc. so we need to do our part and just put on a mask a quit complaining and quit making it political.

  7. Felix A. Munoz    

    Hi, does anybody knows what is the form that hS to be filed for the chernoby incident overseas from 1984 to 1987; I was overseas when the quimical plant went off Im 50% now Im paying the price and VA is just guiving me the run around. Just like agent orange there is a form for the chernoby incident, any one knows? God bless and stay safe.

  8. Douglas Duane Baughan    

    The VA in Michigan is a joke. They never answer there phones or return your call (if you are lucky enough to leave one).
    I have been trying to find out what my VA health insurance covers and to get a Veterans I.D. for some time now (I don’t know how many years it’s been).
    I have given up on our government (but not our country). It is very sad that the people running this country is also the ones teaching everyone how to be lazy and to blame the other guy.
    I only had a very simple request and they can’t even do that. So much for helping out the veterans that put their lives on the line for everyone. It is even sadder when a fellow veteran is one of them ignoring the vets with requests, concerns, and/or issues.
    I think it’s time to clean house and get people in there that want to do their job and not just a paycheck.

  9. james packard    

    I wrote for over an hour about my experiences with the VA I ended up deleteing it because after 50 yrs. I am still Pissed . I will say that dealing with any thing with the Va is !00% a total nightmare. They do this so you will give up and just go away. They want to have a massive department to flood money in and out of with just a little bit going Vets. to save face. You will Never get anything out of them .THE VA IS NOT FOR VETS IT IS FOR THE WARMONGERS AND MONEY MAKERS

    1. John n porter    

      I have had a great time with the VA..

  10. John Anthony McCabe    

    He is right. Open your eyes,.Its not Trump’s fault.wake up and see. Trump is the best president ever. This country is falling apart.we absolutely need TRUMP.

  11. theresa A pavia    

    i WOULD LIKE TO GET AS MUCH INFO THAT I CAN TO HELP MY HUSBAND. i AM 62 – BILL IS 84. HE JUST RECIIVED INCEASE TO 50% LAST YEAR AGO FROM HEADACHES HE HAS SUFFUERED WITH HIS HOLE ADULT LIFE. iT TOOK ALL THESE YEARS BUT ONLY GAVE 4-5 MONTHS RETRO EVEN THOUGH HE HAS SUFFERRE ALL THIS TIME. I WISH THIS COULD BE TAKEN UP AND FINALIZED SOON. I BELIEVE I READ THAT YOU CAN GET PUSHED UP TO THE TOP OF THE LINE IN AN APEAL IF YOU ARE OVE 70. THANK YOU SO MUCH. HAVE A BLESSED DAY.

  12. David Dunlap3    

    Alaskan native vets get land, Arizona vets get the opportunity to GIVE the state 50.00 for a freaking license plate!!

  13. Bee Gee    

    The South Carolina college tuition waiver for children of certain military veterans is underutilized because the requirements are so difficult to meet. The veteran would need to: a) be deemed totally and permanently disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); or b) Died during military service; or c) Died from a service-connected disability; or d) Was a prisoner of war (POW) or is missing in action (MIA); or e) Congressional Medal of Honor or Purple Heart recipient. South Carolina would need to adopt a similar benefit to what California does to extend a college tuition fee waiver that’s more universal.

  14. Terry L Dyer    

    I live in Oklahoma,and the reply of help I see was none in this news release ,and that just what you get from them nothing especial if you are a minority! Terrible!

  15. Dr. Tyler G. Frank    

    My personal war with the VA has taken almost 40 years with much of the time being unable to hold a job. The VA hides behind locked doors acting as if it is their money that they are doling out. In 2011, I went to work for the enemy. There was a woman there who upon being audited for the first time in 20 years, was found not to have approved a claim in the past 3 months. The auditor then asked to see her awards for the past year – and there were none. A check was done then of the entire time of her being at the VA – and she had never made an award. When questioned by the auditor she said, “Those people don’t deserve this money”. The auditor held his composure and congratulated her on her retirement. She said, “But, I’m not retiring”. To this he replied that she was immediately leaving the building never to return and the choice was retirement or to be fired. I enjoyed that the VA had finally done something yet at the same time was pissed that it took 20 years for them to discover this rogue employee. I quit the VA after 11 months. Too many non-vets who don’t look at claimants as people but only as numbers.

    1. james packard    

      The first time after48 years that I contacted the Va the woman on the phone asked why I thought I needed to register with the VA and reply I told I was Looking for that valuable $260 for my funeral. when i went to the va center in wichita ks.i saw hundreds if not thousand employees that where not veterns it was the most massive money machine i had ever seen.

  16. Angel Santiago    

    Why Puerto Rico is not on the list????

  17. Tomas Silva Figueroa    

    I need a job or raice my disabillitiy to enter in vocacional trainnig nobody want to employ 65 years old. Veteran that feal like 40.

  18. velma conklin    

    just so you know your kansas web for buries – http://www.kcva.ks.gov. doesn’t work. we get a 404

  19. Hunt Frazier    

    Nice link for the veterans in the nation’s capital.

  20. D Red    

    The Mississippi Home Purchase Board is underused because it takes months just to get approved. Not to mention how long it takes to close with them. If you’re changing station or just taking a new job in a different place, you can’t wait around for months in the hopes the Home Purchase Board MIGHT approve you for .25% lower than the local credit union.

  21. Jerry Rowley    

    The web link for Texas is broken and does not work. Bad Request – Invalid URL

  22. Barry Litchfield    

    I only had to wait 57 years for my disability benefits to be awarded. Ischemic Heart disease (from Agent Orange), and Tinnitus and hearing loss (from loading guns aboard ship). I’m still undecided if the war against the Vietcong, or the war against the Veterans Affairs was the most difficult.

  23. George Lewis Damron    

    I am with You, I am a 100% Disabled Vietnam Veteran Who Can’t Wear a Mask and even if I Could, I won’t !!! I have been Denied Entry into The Veterans Hospitals and Out Patient Clinics Since the Begining of the ScamDemic, because I Can’t and Won’t Wear a Mask !!! Private Hospitals and Doctors Offices are also engaged in this Act of Tyranny !!! I Agree 100% that First is Mandatory Mask, then Mandatory Vaccines, Mandatory Cashless economy, and Finally Mandatory Micro-Chip Implants and could happen during the Mandatory Vaccines !!! Since All Government Agencies and All Big Corporations are Involved is this attempt to Take Complete Control Over Our Freedoms and Rights, We will Fall off the Cliff along with the Sheeple, If We Comply without Resistance !!!

    1. David Dunn    

      I am with You. Elvis is still alive, we didn’t go to the moon it was all faked, the CIA killed JFK. Wake up!! does your 100% also include mental issues? Wearing a mask is to protect ME from your nasty germs. I don’t know where you get your facts but, your fear of Big Government and Corporations is very unfounded. I bet you are also a Trump fan, the president that states over and over that it’s not his fault for the way things are. You need to think rationally and not live on conspiracy theories. These are the times we are living in, the country went through it in 1919-21 and we will get through it this time. Be safe and live your life to the fullest.

    2. Larry E Gourley    

      Thanks for your comments George. I feel your pain. God be with you.

    3. Jackie    

      My 7 year old grandson got Covid19 because someone refused to wear a mask. He was asymptomatic. I too am a veteran with chronic healrh issues. Last month, I was admitted at my local VA hospital . I’m thankful the hospital enforced mask wearing for people like you. It’s bad and scary going to E.R. worrying about a health issue. I was afraid to go fearing I could possibly contract covid19. I had to get tested for covid before I went to ICU. People need to stop being selfish about wearing a mask especially in public places. Over 150,000 individuals have died from this horrific virus. Sadly, this is the reality of America. Thankfully, my grandson is okay.

    4. Richard Clark    

      Mental health visits are being conducted through both telemed and phone. You should really take advantage of that. This is a public health issue not any of this personal liberty nonsense. Please shut off the TV.

    5. Just J    

      So… requirements to wear masks for safety and health are government oppression, huh?

      So if someone had to perform surgery on you, I take it you won’t mind if they don’t wear masks either? What about hair-nets in restaurants? Come to think of it, why are any clothes legally required anywhere?

      Do you also walk around in public with your penis sticking out? Is it okay with you if every other man does? Why not? You already accept, I suspect, the state’s insistence that your penis cannot be exposed to view while you shop for groceries, dine in a restaurant, etc. Why? Why not refuse to wear PANTS (and underwear) too? Right now, a penis swinging freely between your legs, exposed to view in public would do LESS damage than the inside of your mouth and nose being exposed.

      Why not rail against THAT? Why not shout about the conspiracy of BIG CLOTHING trying to take your freedom to be as you were born? You weren’t CLOTHED when you were born, so isn’t ALL clothing oppression? Shouldn’t ALL of the United States of America be ‘clothing-optional,’ and NOT just for men, but for EVERYONE? How are requirements to wear masks oppressive but the requirement to have NIPPLES covered NOT? (Especially since 50% of the population, whose nipples are anatomically IDENTICAL to those on the part of the population who are not allowed to have them visible, who have to wear TINY LITTLE MASKS over their nipples, are the only ones targeted by those oppressive “indecent” exposure laws…

      Look. Whatever you may think about COVID-19, we have an opportunity here. There ARE deadly contagious diseases spread via droplets leaking or expelled from the mouth and nose of humans, known colloquially as “the common cold” and “the flu”. A MASK would help limit the spread of these things. Because of people like you, we are going to MISS this ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to put a serious DENT in THOSE diseases. The same thing people are convinced we need to do to protect ourselves from each other, and others from the things WE may be carrying, could also possibly eradicate the cold and flu by leaving them NOWHERE TO GO.

      Do yourself and everyone else a favor and FIND A WAY TO WEAR A MASK, wear it EFFECTIVELY, and whenever you’re in public. It would be helping yourself too. Look. Every year, the ‘cold’ and the ‘flu’ go around… (or don’t you believe in THEM EITHER…) and they sometimes send people to the hospital. Ask yourself this question. IS NOW the time? IS THIS THE YEAR YOU WANT TO HAVE TO GO TO A HOSPITAL OR CLINIC WITH “FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS?” Considering how many people are in that hospital or clinic with things that cause… “flu-like symptoms,” is NOW the time in your life to GET that? Is now the time to SPREAD that?

      You’re posting on the VA’s website, so perhaps you’re a veteran. If you are HARBORING disease-causing STUFF, and you bring it into a room with someone else and that someone else gets SICK because YOU spread that disease… how is that different from a NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE OF A WEAPON? Is that the kind of soldier, sailor, airman, or marine you were? The kind who NEGLIGENTLY hurts others you aren’t supposed to hurt?

      Or is it on purpose? Are you a traitor? Are you TRYING to hurt or kill your fellow citizens?

      WEAR. A. MASK. Even if it only stops you from getting the ‘flu’, (influenza,) think of the MISERY you could AVOID by not letting the virus that causes that into your body. Even if you only stop MOST of them, (and an effectively-worn mask would, even if it’s only made of a few layers of CLOTH,) it will give them less time to infect you BEFORE your immune system can recognize the invasion, and mount a counterattack. Consider this: if you can stop 90% of what you WOULD have inhaled (or exhaled, in case you CARE about anyone besides yourself,) that makes THE ENEMY only 10% as effective. You know what they* did on September Eleventh, in 2001? Imagine if instead of about TWENTY hijackers, they’d had TWO HUNDRED.

      (* I’m not going to get into an argument on who was ultimately responsible for that here and now, as it’s not relevant.)

      Imagine the kind of damage they could have done. Imagine if instead of 3000+ dead Americans on 9/11, there’d been more than THIRTY THOUSAND. What if the damage they could have done is not linear? What if they had 40 jets and crashed some into crowded football stadiums or other venues?

      Or, by contrast, imagine how much damage they could have done if only TWO of the hijackers had gotten on planes that day. Even if two got on the same plane, it’s likely that MAYBE you would have heard about it on the news… “some couple wackos from Saudi Arabia tried to force their way into a cockpit, and a quick-thinking stewardess STOPPED THEM… we’ll tell you more, at eleven…” and today, in 2020, you’d still be able to get on a plane without taking off your shoes and belt, without someone fingering you, and with a full bottle of shampoo in your bags, and neither the Iraq Debacle nor the Afghanistan Forever War would have happened. People would still respect America around the world. There’d be millions of people in Iraq and Afghanistan (in case you care about people who aren’t Americans,) still alive who are dead now… and Guantanamo Bay would be another place 99.9% of Americans had never heard of.

      That’s the difference stopping even only MOST OF THEM, and NONE of them.

      So please. I’m asking you nicely. Wear a mask. (Sorry if this is a duplicate.)

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