Veterans Benefits

MILITARY RECORDS

 REQUESTING YOUR DD-214
Most veterans and their next-of-kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) and other military and medical records by visiting the following website: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

MILITARY TRANSCRIPTS

  1. Air ForceAll current and former active duty, guard, and reserve Air Force members can order a transcript free of charge through the CCAF online system. Orders are processed over night and mailed out within two business days of the order. All orders placed through the CCAF system are mailed through the United States Postal Service. Please allow ample time for the transcript to be delivered. http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/transcripts.asp
  2. Joint Services Transcript (Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy: Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans)
  3. The Army, Marine Corps, and Navy are now using a Joint Services Transcript (JST). The Coast Guard is also in the process of switching to the JST.  https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signIn.do.
  4. Coast Guard: Transcripts still under development. You may access the site but be aware that all of your data may not be up to date. Official transcripts cannot be sent to academic institutions as the Coast Guard application is still under construction.

VETERANS BENEFITS

The following benefits are but a few of those available to veterans discharged under “other than dishonorable” conditions.  The surest way to obtain current VA benefits information and apply for VA benefits and claims is to contact the nearest VA regional office or a state, county or veterans’ organization veteran’s affairs officer. Website: http://www.va.gov

1.    VETERANS BENEFITS TIMETABLE

 

Time Table

Benefit

Description

10 years for Chapter 30

15 for Post 911

Education

You may be eligible for educational assistance while you pursue approved training if participated in either the Post-Vietnam  Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP -Chapter 32) or the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) while on active duty; or if you had entitlement under the Vietnam Era GI Bill  (Chapter 34) remaining on Dec 31, 1989, and were on active duty from Oct 19, 1984 through June 30, 1988, without a break; or were on active duty from Oct 19, 1984, through June 30, 1987 and subsequently entered into the Selected Reserve under a four year enlistment. Call V.A. at 1-800-827-1000 for all updated education information.

12 years

Vocational Rehabilitation

For disabled vets, VA will pay tuition and fees, and the cost of books, tools and other program expenses as well as provide a monthly living allowance. Upon completion of the program, VA will assist in finding employment.

No Time Limit

G.I. Loans

VA will guarantee your loan for the purchase of a home, farm, manufactured home, or condominium. The veteran can obtain a mortgage featuring no down payment, and disabled veterans can get a waiver of the VA Loan funding fee.

No Time Limit

Disability Compensation

VA pays compensation for disabilities incurred in or aggravated by military service.  Payments are made from date of separation if claim is filed within one year.

No Time Limit

Medical Care

VA provides a wide range of care benefits, including help for alcoholism and other drug dependency, to veterans with a service-connected disability & no time limit to non service-connected veterans who qualify. Readjustment counseling benefits is available at VA vet centers for veterans with readjustment problems.

90 Days

Dental Treatment

VA provides necessary dental care for veterans who were not provided dental examination and treatment within 90 days of discharge or separation from service.  The time limit does not apply to totally disabled veterans or those with dental disabilities resulting from combat wounds or service injuries.

120 Days

SGLI

Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance may be converted to VGLI (Veterans s       Group Life Insurance), a 5 year nonrenewable term policy.  At the end of the five-year term, VGLI may be converted to an individual policy with any participating insurance company.

 

SOME VA BENEFITS  NOT COVERED:
Pension, Specially Adapted Homes, Automobiles, Clothing Allowances, and Veterans Rated Unemployable, Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Burial Benefits, Nursing Home Care, Domiciliary Care, Board of Veterans Appeals, Military Medals, and Review of Discharges. For more information regarding benefits that are not provided by the VA, contact a VA representative at 1-800-827-1000.

VA WORK STUDY PROGRAM:
Veterans receiving VA educational benefits and enrolled at least 3/4 time in a college degree, vocational rehabilitation or professional program may “earn while they learn” under the VA work study program. Services performed under the VA Work-Study Program must be veteran related in nature.  See a CareerSource Brevard veteran representative for further information

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GOLDEN ACCESS PASSPORTS:
This is a free lifetime entrance pass for persons who are blind or totally disabled. It is available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States, regardless of age, who have been determined to be blind or permanently disabled. You may obtain a Golden Access Passport at any entrance fee area by showing proof of medical determined disability and eligibility for receiving benefits under federal law.

The Golden Access Passport admits the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle. Where entry is not by private vehicle, the passport admits the pass holder, spouse, children, and parents. The Golden Access Passport also provides a 50% discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as fees for camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, or cave tours. It does not cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.  To apply for your Golden Access Passport, take a copy of your VA disability letter to any National Park Service entrance fee area.

GUIDELINES FOR FILING CLAIMS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF VA:
Get a State or County Veterans Service Officer (listed in 6, below) or a veteran’s service organization to help you fill out your claim.  The veterans’ service organizations “Service Officers” can be found by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office where they often locate their operations offices or by calling the veterans group itself (see Veteran Service Organizations listing below).

Do not let anyone charge you for helping fill out your claim.  Legally, you cannot pay anyone to represent you in a VA claim matter until you have indicated to the VA regional office in writing that you disagree with its decision and have had your claim rejected by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

Ask for benefits as soon as possible – even if you do not have a formal claim form. A dated, handwritten note is enough to start your claim, and it will establish the earliest date for which the VA will pay benefits if your claim is later approved. The formal application form, VA Form 21-526, should be filed within one year of when the Department of Veterans Affairs sends it to you.

Good evidence is the key to winning a claim. Provide your advocate with all medical records, military records and statements from relatives or friends that support your claim.
Be consistent and clear in what you tell the VA about your medical condition. Inconsistencies in veterans’ statements can be used against you when the VA rater decides whether to approve a claim or not.

Remember that the VA’s examining doctors who evaluate your condition in connection with your claim are not paid to be on your side.  They are more like insurance company doctors; their job is to help the VA regional office decide whether you are entitled to benefits. Be honest, but think first about what you say to the VA doctor.
You can appeal the decision by officials in the regional office to the Board of Veterans Appeals:  they find your illness is not linked to your military service; if the illness is rated as less severe that you think is fair; and if you disagree with the date when the VA says it will begin disability payments. If you disagree with the VA’s decision, you should promptly file a notice of disagreement with the VA regional office.

STATE and COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE OFFICERS:
Inform veterans and their dependents of benefits to which they are entitled and assist them in obtaining benefits by filing claims and supporting documents which will justify their claims.

BREVARD COUNTY
Brevard County Veterans Service Team
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Viera, Florida 32940
(321) 633-2012

STATE of FLORIDA VETERANS SERVICE OFFICER
Brevard County Veterans Service Officer
2900 Veterans Way       .
Viera, Florida 32940
(321) 637-3693
http://www.floridavets.org/

MELBOURNE VET CENTER
The Vet Center program provides readjustment counseling for veterans who served during all military conflicts.

The goal of the program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to veterans (and their families) who have served during combat eras in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. Website: http://www.vetcenter.va.gov

2098 Sarno Road, Melbourne, Florida 32935
(321) 254-3410 or (800) 905-4675