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Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of programs and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition, their dependents and survivors may also be eligible for veterans benefits.

There are currently over 25 million veterans living today and about a quarter of the nation’s population — approximately 70 million people — are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs, State and local government agencies offer these veterans, and their families, services ranging from health care to education.

Who Is Eligible?

To receive care, most veterans must be enrolled in the VA health system. Eligibility for the health system depends on a number of factors, including the nature of your discharge from military service, your length of service, whether you have service-connected disabilities, your income level, and available VA resources, among others.
To be eligible, you must not have been dishonorably discharged from the military. Your length of service may also be important. Former enlisted persons who started active duty before September 8, 1980, and former officers who first entered active duty before October 17, 1981, do not have a length-of-service requirement. Otherwise, you must have 24 months of continuous active duty military service, though there are several exceptions for reservists, national guard members, service-connected disabilities, and hardship discharges, among others.
Certain veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA health system to receive benefits if: you are 50 percent or more disabled from a service-connected disability, you are seeking care for a VA rated service-connected disability, or it has been less than one year since you were discharged for a disability that the military determined was caused or aggravated by your service, but the VA has not yet rated the disability.

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Things You Will Need In Order To Obtain Veteran Benefits

Military service discharge papers (DD-214 or form WD)
Copies of marriage/death certificate (surviving spouses only)
Current Social Security Award letter
Physical exam detailing current medical issues or Assisted Living/Nursing Home Status Statement
Net worth information including bank accounts/investments
Out-of-pocket expense list for medications, insurance premiums, and other expenditures.

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Preparing To File

Make sure you qualify. Wartime veterans must have served on active duty at least 90 days. One of those days must also be recorded during a time of war. Discharge received may not be dishonorable in nature. Those who went on active duty on or after September 8, 1980, (October 16, 1981, for officers) are required to have completed at least 24 continuous months of service or the period of time ordered to be served. Assistance of others in meeting daily needs is also a requirement for eligibility.
Gather necessary personal documents such as bank statements, Social Security Award letter (received at the start of the year stating how much you will receive in payments for the year) and proof of income with net worth statements. Surviving spouses will need copies of marriage and death certificates.
Provide a certified copy of the court order for appointed guardians of veterans or surviving spouses with the information package.
Obtain all necessary medical information, including past treatment history and a list of all doctors and hospitals used within the previous year. You’ll also need your physician’s statement detailing current diagnosis, prognosis and ability to care for self. Veterans and surviving spouses who are in nursing homes may use the Nursing Home Status Statement as certification of medical status. The form is available from the facility’s administrator.

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Filing Process

Complete VA Form 21-526 and/or VA Form 21-534 for Special Pension benefits with Aid & Attendance. Both forms are available for download from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Make copies of all documents and forms that will be sent as part of your application package. The military often loses paperwork; don’t expect the VA to be much better considering the amount of correspondence such government agencies deal with on a daily basis.

Send the application package including all documents and forms to the VA regional office designated for your state.

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Tips

The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits are not reserved only for veterans or their spouses that are residing in an Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home but for the ones living at home with in house care as well.

Eligibility is determined according to the inability to care for one’s self and financial limitation. The veteran/spouse must have less than $80,000 in assets, not including home and vehicles.

Be prepared to wait four to six months or even longer to be approved for this benefit. It is not a fast process; however, payments will be retroactive to the date the application was received by the VA.

Do it yourself or use a Veteran Benefits Consultant

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How To Obtain A Copy Of Your Military Records

A military veteran or next of kin( surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother) of a deceased military veteran can obtain a copy of military records by accessing The National Archives here

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War Time Periods

World War II: Dec. 7, 1941 – Dec. 31, 1946. Extended to July 25, 1947 if the Veteran was in service on December 31, 1946. Continuous service before July 26, 1947 is considered World War II service
Korean War: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 and from February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period
Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 – yet to be determined
Serving in the National Guard does NOT count as Military Service unless under Title 32

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Veterans Pension And Aid and Attendance Rates

Effective Dec.1, 2011 the Veterans maximum pension and pension with aid and attendance benefits, has increased:

Veteran: Pension $1021, Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefits $1703
Veteran with one Dependent: Pension $1337, Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefits $2019
Widow of a Veteran: Pension $684, Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefits $1094
Widow of a Veteran with one Dependent: Pension $896, Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefits $1306
Veteran Permanently Housebound: Pension $1248
Veteran Permanently Housebound with one Dependent: Pension $1564
Widow Permanently Housebound: Pension $837
Widow Permanently Housebound with one Dependent: Pension $1048
Benefits are retroactive to the first of the month the claim for benefits has been filed.

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VA Regional Office By State

STATE VA REGIONAL OFFICE 
ALABAMA Montgomery Regional Office

345 Perry Hill Rd.
Montgomery, AL 36109
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: (334) 213-3461

ALASKA Anchorage Regional Office

2925 DeBarr Road
Anchorage, AK 99508-2989
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

ARIZONA Phoenix Regional Office

3333 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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Western Area Office

3333 North Central Avenue, Suite 3026
Phoenix, AZ 85012-2402
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

ARKANSAS North Little Rock Regional Office

2200 Fort Roots Drive, Building 65
North Little Rock, AR 72114-1756
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

CALIFORNIA Los Angeles Regional Office

Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Oakland Regional Office

1301 Clay Street, Rm. 1300 North
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: (510) 637-6111

Website:

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San Diego Regional Office

8810 Rio San Diego Drive
San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

COLORADO Denver Regional Office

155 Van Gordon St.
Lakewood, CO 80228
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
 

CONNECTICUT Hartford Regional Office 

555 Willard Avenue
Newington, CT 06111
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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DELAWARE Wilmington Regional Office

1601 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19805
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington D.C. Regional Office

1722 I Street N.W.
Washington D.C., DC 20421
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

FLORIDA St. Petersburg Regional Office

9500 Bay Pines Boulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33708
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1437
St. Petersburg , FL 33731
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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GEORGIA Atlanta Regional Office

1700 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA 30033
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 100026
Decatur , GA 30031-7021
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

GUAM Department of Military Affairs
Government of Guam
 P.O. Box 5178
Hagatna, GU 96932
(671) 642-4114
(671) 642-4111 fax
HAWAII Honolulu Regional Office

459 Patterson Road, E-Wing
Honolulu, HI 96819-1522
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: 808-433-0478

Website:

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IDAHO Boise Regional Office

805 W. Franklin Street

Boise, ID 83702

ILLINOIS Chicago Regional Office

2122 W Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

INDIANA Indianapolis Regional Office

575 N Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

IOWA Des Moines VA Regional Office

210 Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 1 (800) 827-1000
Fax: (515)323-7407

KANSAS Wichita Regional Office

5500 E. Kellogg
Wichita, KS 67211
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

Website:

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KENTUCKY Louisville Regional Office 

321 West Main Street, Suite 390
Louisville, KY 40202

Website:

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LOUSIANA New Orleans Regional Office

701 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70113
Mailing Address:
671 A Whitney Avenue
Gretna , LA 70056
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

MAINE Togus VA Medical/Regional Office Center 

1 VA Center
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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MARYLAND Baltimore Regional Office

31 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

MASSACHUSETTS Boston VA Regional Office

JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

MICHIGAN Detroit Regional Office

Patrick V. McNamara Federal Bldg., 477 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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Eastern Area Office

24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 303
Ann Arbor , MI 48105
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

MINNESOTA St. Paul Regional Office

1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling
St. Paul, MN 55111-4050
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: (612) 970-5415

MISSISSIPPI Jackson Regional Office

1600 E. Woodrow Wilson Avenue
Jackson, MS 39216
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

MISSOURI St. Louis Regional Office

400 South, 18th Street
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: 1 (800) 827 1000

MONTANA Fort Harrison Medical and Regional Office

William Street off Highway
Fort Harrison, MT 59636
Mailing Address:
3633 Veterans Drive, PO Box 188
Fort Harrison , MT 59636
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

NEBRASKA Lincoln Regional Office

5631 South 48th Street
Lincoln, NE 68516
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

NEVADA Reno Regional Office

5460 Reno Corporate Drive,
Reno, NV 89511

NEW HAMPSHIRE Manchester Regional Office

Norris Cotton Federal Bldg., 275 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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NEW JERSEY Newark Regional Office

20 Washington Place

Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone 1 800 827 1000

NEW MEXICO Albuquerque Regional Office

500 Gold Avenue, S.W.,
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

Website:

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NEW YORK Buffalo Regional Office

130 S. Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202-2478
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: 716-857-3396

Website:

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New York Regional Office

245 W Houston St.
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: 1-(212)-807-4024

Website:

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NORTH CAROLINA Winston-Salem Regional Office

Federal Building, 251N. Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27155
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

NORTH DAKOTA Fargo Regional Office

2101 Elm Street
Fargo, ND 58102-2417
Phone: 701-451-4600
Fax: 701-451-4690

OHIO Cleveland Regional Office

A.J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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OKLAHOMA Muskogee Regional Office

125 South Main Street
Muskogee, OK 74401
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: 918 781-7509

Website:

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Central Area Office

Federal Building, 125 South Main Street
Muskogee, OK 74401-7025
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

OREGON Portland Regional Office

1220 SW 3rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 800-827-1000

PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia Regional Office and Insurance Center

5000 Wissahickon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19101
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Pittsburgh Regional Office

1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

PUERTO RICO San Juan Regional Office

150 Carlos Chardon Avenue
Hato Rey, PR 00918
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: (787) 772-7458

RHODE ISLAND Providence Regional Office

380 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia Regional Office

1801 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

SOUTH DAKOTA Sioux Falls Regional Office

2501 W 22nd St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57117
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Fax: 605-333-5316

TENNESSEE Nashville Regional Office

110 9th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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Southern Area Office

3322 West End, Suite 408
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

TEXAS Houston Regional Office

6900 Almeda Road
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

 Waco Regional Office

1 Veterans Plaza, 701 Clay Av.
Waco, TX 76799

UTAH Salt Lake City Regional Office

550 Foothill Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84158
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

VERMONT White River Junction Regional Office

215 North Main Street
White River Junction, VT 05009
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

VIRGIN ISLANDS Office of Veterans Affairs
1013 Estate Richmond
Christiansted, St. Croix
Virgin Islands 00820
Phone: 1-340-773-6663Fax: 1-340-692-9563
VIRGINIA Roanoke Regional Office

210 Franklin Rd. SW
Roanoke, VA 24011
Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Website:

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WASHINGTON Seattle Regional Office

915 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

WEST VIRGINIA Huntington Regional Office

640 Forth Avenue

Huntington, WV 25701

Phone: 1-800-827-1000

Fax: 1-304-399-9355

WISCONSIN Milwaukee Regional Office

5400 West National Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53214
Phone: 1 800 827 1000

WYOMING Cheyenne VA Medical / Regional Office Center

2360 E. Pershing Blvd.

Cheyenne, WY 82001

Phone: 1-800-827-1000

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