Department of Veterans Affairs WWW.VA.GOV
The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is commonly referred to as the VA, is a federal agency divided into three branches, each with their own distinct operations.
- The Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
- The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
- The National Cemertery Administration (NCA)
The Veterans Health Administration
VHA provides a full range of healthcare for veterans, to include prescription, surgery, counseling, and rehabilitation. To receive care, veterans must first enroll by submitting a VA Form 10-10EZ.
New combat veterans are eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for any illness potentially related to their service in the combat theater for a 2-year period following separation from military service, even if there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such condition is attributable to such service.
For more information visit www.va.gov/health
Veterans may receive one-time dental treatment of they were not provided treatment within 90 days of separation from active duty. The time limit does not apply to veterans with dental conditions resulting form service-connected wounds or service injuries.
VA health care professionals provide counseling and treatment to help women overcome psychological trauma resulting form personal and sexual assault during military service. Care also is provided for any injury, illness, or psychological condition resulting from such trauma.
Women Veterans Coordinators are available at all VA facilities to assist women seeking treatment and benefits. MT VA Medical Centers have made many structural changes to ensure privacy for women veterans. For more information, ask to be connected to the Women Veterans Coordinator.
Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for their family members for military related issues. Veterans have earned these benefits through their service and all are provided at no cost to the veteran or family. The Vet Centers are located in the community, outside of the larger medical facilities. Carol: This should be directed to our Vet Centers page)
For more information call 1-800-905-4675 or go to www.vetcenter.va.gov
How to Apply for VA Medical Health Care
Veterans Benefits Administration
VBA administers federal benefit programs. The programs include, Disability Compensation, Life Insurance Benefits, Home Loan Benefits, and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
Disability Compensation helps veterans with conditions resulting form their military service, such as bad backs, hearing loss, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans receiving Disability Compensation will receive free care for their service-connected conditions, may receive a monthly payment, and may be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation to help them return to work.
Receiving compensation payments does not bar continued service in a reserve component. There are many Guard/Reservist receiving payment while actively drilling.
Life Insurance Benefits
If you are in the military or recently separated from the military, you may be eligible or life insurance. Two regular and two insurance programs for the disabled are currently available to new policyholders. See Life Insurance section of this website.
For more information about insurance topics call the VA Insurance Center in Philadelphia toll-free at 1-800-669-8477 or visit the VA website at www.insurance.va.gov
Home Loan Benefits
VA does not directly loan money, but it guarantees the lender against loss if the borrower fails to repay the loan. VA loan guaranties are made to service members, veterans, reservists, and unmarried surviving spouses to purchase, construct, repair, or improve a dwelling that the veteran will own and occupy as his or her home. This includes the purchase of a townhouse or condominium unit in a project that has been approved by VA. Loans may also be made to refinance an existing loan on a home that the veteran owns and occupies. Except for manufactured (mobile) homes, a down payment is generally not required if the purchase price is less than the reasonable value of the property.
For more information about the Loan Guaranty Program or other related home benefits topics, please call toll-free number at 1-800-827-1000, or visit the website at www.homeloans.va.gov
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)
VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program assists veterans with service-connected disabilities by offering them services and assistance to prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. Through the VR&E program, a disabled veteran may receive:
- Assistance finding and maintaining suitable employment.
- An evaluation of abilities, skills, and interests.
- Vocational counseling and planning.
- If needed, training such as on-the-job and non-paid work experiences.
- If needed, training such as certificate and two- or four-year college programs.
- Supportive rehabilitation services and additional counseling
For more information, visit VA’s website at www.vba.gov
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
The NCA operates programs to memorialize veterans. Veterans may receive a free government headstone to mark their grave, even in private cemeteries. Military honors are provided by the Department of Defense and are arranged in advance by the family or their representative. National Cemetery staff will be pleased to assist in arranging for the honors to be provided, if available.
For more information on burial benefits, please call toll-free 1-800-827-1000, or visit www.cem.va.gov
Eligibility for TRICARE is determined by the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The Service Member (SM) must be on continuous Active Duty orders for 31 consecutive days or more. The SM is responsible for keeping the information in DEERS updated with their. personal, dependent and Active Duty order information.
For more information visit the TRICARE section of this website.