Veteran Affairs Frequently Asked Questions


Military Records

Military Service Discharge Information
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.  DD Form 214, or other discharge documents, should be kept in a safe location accessible to you and your next of kin or designated representative.

Replacing Military Records
To request a replacement of your military records,  use Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, available at VA regional offices or at our website at www.va.gov/forms.

Review of Discharges
To apply for a review of your discharge, write to the military department concerned using DD Form 293.  This form is available at VA regional offices or at our website at www.va.gov/forms.

Correction of Military Records
To apply for a correction of your military records, use DD Form 149, available at VA regional offices or at our website at www.va.gov/forms.

Transition Assistance Programs
Transition Assistance Programs provide information that will help you make the transition to civilian life easier by ensuring that you know of the many benefits that may be available to you.  VA encourages all separating service members to contact their respective Family Service Centers/Transition Center to determine when the Transition Assistance briefings are scheduled for a location convenient to you.

Eligibility
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.  Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Services Administration, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Eligibility depends upon individual circumstances.  To apply, please contact the nearest VA regional office or call our toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000.

Health Care Enrollment and Eligibility
For health care applications and eligibility procedures, please call our toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000, visit our website at www.va.gov/health/elig, or contact your nearest VA health care facility.

Filing Claims
If you are seeking a VA benefit for the first time, you must submit a copy of your DD Form 214 or other discharge documents with your application for benefits.

Important Documents to Have:

      • DD Form 214 or other discharge documents
      • Veteran's birth certificate
      • Veteran's marriage certificate
      • Children's birth certificates
      • Veteran's death certificate


Service Organizations

Each VSO's service officer will, at no cost to the veteran, assist with the preparation and management of their claims for benefits to which they may be legally entitled.  The service officer functions as an advocate for the veterans and families they represent.  They assist veterans and their families in filing claims for VA disability compensation, rehabilitation and education programs, pension and death benefits, employment and training programs, Social Security disability benefits and many other programs.

For additional information or assistance, visit a VSO office in your area or one of the VSO officers at your nearest VA regional office or VA medical center's Voluntary Service program manager.  Also, check your local telephone directory under government listing for VSO offices in your area.  You may also see the directory of veterans service organizations on our web site at www.va.gov/vso/index.htm.


Who Do I Contact? 

General Benefits

VA Hotline (disability, compensation, pension, home loan, education, burial, vocational rehabilitation, survivor and insurance benefits)

1-800-827-1000

Education and Training

1-888-442-4551

Headstones and Markers

1-800-697-6947

Life Insurance

1-800-669-8477

Veterans Benefits in Canada (other than health care)

1-802-296-5177*

Health Care Benefits

 

Veterans Health Care

1-877-222-VETS

Veterans Health Care in Canada

1-802-296-6379*

Veterans Health Care in the Philippines

011-632-833-4566*

Veterans Health Care in All Other Countries

1-303-331-7590*

Mammography Help Line

1-888-492-7844

CHAMPVA (medical care for dependents and survivors of veterans)

1-800-733-8387

Spina Bifida

1-800-733-8387

Health Eligibility Center (how to do a Means Test for health care eligibility)

1-800-929-8387

Miscellaneous

 

Debt Management Center (information about debts owed to VA)

1-800-827-0648

Gulf War Veterans Hotline

1-800-PGW-VETS

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)

1-800-829-4833

Access by Computer

 

VA World Wide Web Home Page Server

http://www.va.gov/

VAONLINE Bulletin Board Service

800-US1-BETS up to 28.8KBPS at 8-N-1 modem setting.

For answers to Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

www.va.gov/vas/index.htm

To get a copy of Federal Benefits Manual for Veterans and Dependents, please phone, fax, or write to:

Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
Phone:  202-512-1800
Fax: 202-512-2250

Please include your name, address, daytime phone, and payment of $5.00 each ($6.25 foreign).  Or simply download a copy from our website at www.va.gov/benefits.htm.

VA FACILITIES

Facilities are listed in the White Pages of your telephone book in Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents, and on the web at www.va.gov/facilities.htm, or simply call 1-800-827-1000

Many veterans service organizations are federally chartered and/or recognized or approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under laws administrated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.