Information You Need To Apply
Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
Information About You
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
- The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
- Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
- Your bank or other and the account number.
Information About Your Medical Condition
- Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
- Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them.
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.
Information About Your Work:
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
What Do I Need To Know About Advance Designation
You should be aware of another type of representation called Advance Designation. This relates to the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, which was signed into law on April 13, 2018.
Advance Designation allows capable adult and emancipated minor applicants and beneficiaries of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Special Veterans Benefits to choose one or more individuals to serve as their representative payee in the future, if the need arises.
To help protect whats important to you, we now offer the option to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event that you can no longer make your own decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees, but we must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.
You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal account, by telephone, or in person.
Office Of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
Contact the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance if you have questions about Veterans’ Group Life Insurance or Claims for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Family SGLI .
Toll-free telephone: 1-800-419-1473
Death and accelerated benefits claims only:1-877-832-4943
Death and accelerated benefits claims only: All other inquiries:
Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life InsurancePO Box 41618
New VGLI Applications and VGLI Reinstatements:OSGLIPhiladelphia, PA 19176-9913
Cost: Most Basic Requests Are Free But It Depends On The Discharge Date
Free if Discharge Date is LESS than 62 years ago:
Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical record information provided to veterans, next of kin and authorized representatives from Federal records.
Some companies advertise DD Form 214 research services and will charge a fee for obtaining copies. This is provided as a free service by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Costs for Discharge Dates MORE than 62 years ago:
There is a fee for records that are considered “Archival,” which depends on the discharge date. If the request is made 62 years after the service member’s separation from the military, the records are now open to the public and subject to the public fee schedule . This is a rolling date, the current year minus 62 years. Learn more.
These archival requests require the purchase of the COMPLETE photocopy of the Official Military Personnel File :
- A routine OMPFs of 5 pages or less: $25 flat fee
- A routine OMPF of 6 pages or more: $70 flat fee
- Persons of Exceptional Prominence OMPF: $.80 cents per page
If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made.
The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet some for disability benefits.
- We check whether you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This State agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you are disabled, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed
Look For Our Response
Youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Appeal A Decision
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What If Im Not The Veteran Or Next
- It depends on the date the service member separated from the military. Military personnel records are open to the public 62 years after they leave the military. Records of any veteran who separated from the military 62 years ago can be ordered by anyone for a copying fee . See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.
But what if it’s been less than 62 years?
- Records of individuals who left service less than 62 years ago are subject to access restrictions and only limited information or copies may be released to the general public within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. See Federal Records Center Program to access these records.
Employment Navigator And Partnership Pilot
VETS has launched the Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot at pilot sites worldwide. Employment Navigators are available at these sites to provide one-on-one employment assistance with transitioning service members , and their spouses, outside of the formal TAP classroom instruction.
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Va Regional Offices Will Be Reopening
Some regional offices have re-opened with limited hours and services. We may be screening visitors due to COVID-19 and be required to wear a face mask or covering and sanitize/wash hands. For your safety and convenience we continue to offer help online and by phone.
Visit each of the website below to learn more about their operating status, hours and services.
Veterans can continue to get information about benefits or file a claim for benefits by visiting our website at www.va.gov. Veterans with claims specific or other questions may request information via Inquiry Routing & Information System or telephone at 1-800-827-1000.
VBA benefits and services provided to Veterans, families, and survivors will continue to be delivered throughout the duration of COVID-19 impacts.
Please continue to check www.va.gov for updates. You also may follow us on and .
The map and by state index below provide links to VA regional offices, an email address for contacting the regional office director and a listing of additional VA facilities located in each state. Visit your regional office website to learn about the services the regional office provides, directions to the facility, hours of operation, and the leadership team that serves the regional office.
|State & Territory Index|
Request Military Service Records
Recent military service and medical records are not online. However, most veterans and their next of kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 and the following military service records any of the ways listed below.
Looking for records?
How can I check on the status of my request?
Allow us time to receive and process your request before checking your request status.
Please indicate whether you know your request number using the buttons below:
You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line : 314-801-0800. Note: Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CT.
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St Paul Va Regional Office
Service Area: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Mexico, Central and South America, and the CaribbeanPlease submit your claim for survivor benefits to the following address:Department of Veterans Affairs
Undergraduate And Masters Education For Potentially Zero Out
AMU’s Freedom Grant covers tuition above the military TA cap of $250 per credit hour for all undergraduate and master’s-level programs. The grant is available to all U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, and Reservists.
Military spouses/dependents also receive a tuition grant. After the grant is applied, undergraduate and master’s-level tuition is $250/credit hour.To minimize out-of-pocket costs, the University also:
- provides no-cost textbooks and ebooks for all undergraduate, doctoral, and Freedom Grant-eligible masters-level students
- waives the technology fee for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, and Reservists
Join fellow servicemembers and start the next chapter of your life reducing the burden of college debt by advancing your education at AMU.
*Zero-out-of-pocket tuition may be possible when the Freedom Grant is combined with other forms of financial assistance, such as military TA or federal Pell grants.
The Veterans Benefits Administration Is Still Relying On Many Legacy It Systems As Part Of Its Digital Gi Bill Platform Which Officials Said Were Causing Challenges In Keeping Up With Emerging Technologies In Congressional Testimony On Wednesday
The Department of Veterans Affairs modernization efforts for its education benefits delivery system have led to improvements and faster delivery times, officials told a House panel on Wednesday, despite challenges due to reliance on legacy IT systems.
Ronald Burke, deputy undersecretary for the Office of Policy and Oversight in the Veterans Benefits Administration, said the agency began a “transformative” chapter in its modernization efforts on the digital GI Bill platform after awarding a contract to Accenture Federal Services last year. After years of stalled improvements, failed rollouts and resets, Burke said the agency was now leveraging cloud-based automation and human-centered design to develop a new digital platform for veterans to access and apply for education benefits.
“The goal of this transformation effort is to develop a modern digital platform leveraging cloud-based automation, digital service transformation, human-centered design, world class communications, analytics and other important IT services,” Burke told the House Veterans Affairs Committee on July 20 in his opening statement. “This end-to-end system integration greatly reduces the manual burden and allows for enhanced automation of benefits processing.”
Burke said that $195 million in CARES Act funding was dedicated to supporting this modernization effort.
The VA’s Education Service automation processing was operating at 56% by the end of March 2022, Burke said, a 23% increase from March 2019.
Senate Passes Veterans Health Bill After Republicans Cave In To Pressure
WASHINGTON The Senate passed legislation Tuesday to expand lifesaving health care benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.
Senators voted 86-11 after Republicans agreed to lift their blockade of the popular bill, caving in to pressure from more than 60 veterans groups and comedian Jon Stewart who had railed against Republicans for days outside the Capitol.
Many of the veterans who had camped on the Senate steps, braving heat, humidity and thunderstorms, watched the vote from the gallery in the Senate chamber. The bill has already cleared the House and now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
It’s “very emotional. tears of joy and relief,” said Jen Burch, 35, a retired Air Force staff sergeant who suffers from numerous ailments she believes were caused by exposure to burn pits and open sewage ponds in Afghanistan.
“This is our night to celebrate, but we have more work to do to continue advocating and to ensure the does their job in implementing this legislation for our veterans.”
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough said his agency will act quickly after Biden signs the measure.
“Once the President signs this bill into law, we at VA will implement it quickly and effectively, delivering the care these Veterans need and the benefits they deserve,” McDonough said in a statement.
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Speak To A Mental Health Professional
The VAC Assistance Service provides free and confidential psychological support that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is for all Veterans, former RCMP members, their families, and caregivers.
Philadelphia Va Regional Office
Service Area: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine , Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and all other foreign countries not listed below under the St. Paul VA Regional Office
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‘cruel And Unusual Punishment’: Jon Stewart And Veterans Protest Gop Senators’ Opposition To Burn Pits Bill
“I’m supposed to trust this and future Congresses not to go on a spending spree? Seriously? That’s unbelievable,” Toomey said before the vote. “Why did they design this feature so that they could go on a spending spree?”
Toomey had insisted that his amendment be brought to the floor with a 50-vote, simple-majority threshold. In the end, he and other Republicans gave in to Schumers demands that three GOP amendments would get votes with a higher 60-vote threshold, essentially ensuring their defeat. All fell well below that bar.
The Senate had already voted 84-14 to pass the burn pits bill in June, but 25 Republicans who voted yes reversed course when the legislation came up again last week, many of them echoing Toomey’s spending concerns and arguing that Democrats did not give them a chance to amend the package. Democrats and veterans argued, however, that many Republicans were voting against the bill in retaliation for the massive deal on climate change, health care and taxes that Democrats had just crafted.
With some veterans literally sleeping on the steps of the Capitol over the weekend, the Republican blockade became increasingly untenable.
“I think theyre fraying in terms of their ability to withstand this,” Stewart, who has also fought for funding for 9/11 first responders and their families, told NBC News before Tuesday’s deal was announced.
“I think this is cruel and unusual punishment thats going on, and theyve got to end this.”
Other Ways You Can Apply
Apply With Your Local Office
You can do most of your business with Social Security online. If you cannot use these online services, your local Social Security office can help you apply. Although our offices are closed to the public, employees from those offices are assisting people by telephone. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.
Apply By Phone
If You Do Not Live in the U.S. Or One of Its Territories
Contact the if you live outside the U.S. or a U.S. territory and wish to apply for retirement benefits.
Mailing Your Documents
If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.
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Want To Learn More About Tricare For Life
Check out the new TRICARE For Life 101 podcast series. The new series helps retired service members or their eligible family members who will turn 65 soon understand their TRICARE For Life benefits. The series covers a number of topics, from an overview of basics, to how TFL and Medicare interact, and more! > > Learn more
Are you looking to see what tests, items, or services Medicare covers? > > Learn more.
Want to order a hard copy of the TRICARE For Life Handbook? Call Wisconsin Physicians Service at 1-866-773-0404.
Education Transition & Employment
The Veterans Education Transition and Employment directorate of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services ensures that every Veteran or eligible person has a full and fair opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential through access to the G.I. Bill approved post-secondary educational, training/licensure/certification, entrepreneurial institutions, V3 certified employers and Virginia Colleges and Universities.
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Virginia Veteran And Family Support
The Virginia Veteran & Family Support Program provides resource referrals, care coordination, and supportive services to Virginias Veterans, National Guard, Armed Forces Reserves, family members and caregivers.
The programs supportive peer and family services are focused on helping individuals identify, address and successfully resolve presenting needs and challenges with special emphasis on challenges resulting from stress related conditions or traumatic brain injuries connected to military service.