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"All Veterans pay the price for our freedom"

Free Chat Service Available to all Veterans

Callers who dial 877-4AID VET (or 877-424-3838) are connected with a trained VA staff member 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The VA has also launched an on-line Homeless Veterans Chat Service, which can be accessed from the VA Homeless Veterans website page.  Homeless Veterans Chat enables Veterans, their families and friends to go online and anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor.  The online feature is intended to reach out to all homeless Veterans or Veterans at risk of homelessness whether or not they are enrolled in the VA health care system.
The Call Center and Chat Service are two of the many VA initiatives intended to end the cycle of homelessness and prevent Veterans and their families from entering homelessness.

Forgotten Income for Forgotten People

If you're a Vet over 65 and need help paying for home care expenses, assisted living costs, or the monthly bills from a nursing home for you or your Spouse, there's a special pension available to you from the Veteran's Association ( which is called the Aid & Attendance Pension.

Only 157,000 Veterans in the U.S. have applied for this benefit, yet millions more Vets need to know that this program exists and receive the benefits they are so rightly entitled to!

Workshops about this benefit are given to educate Veterans, their Spouses, and their Widows about how to apply, what's necessary, the medical qualifications, and the financial qualifications to be eligible to receive this special pension. The application process is a bit tedious, but after approval, the Veteran with a Spouse can receive up to approximately $24,000 TAX-FREE every year from the Government!

If you want to be connected to someone who specializes in this benefit in your area, just send me a note and my office will connect you to someone in your local area.   Have questions today? Call me today: Kevin Hamilton direct, (602) 565 -8814

Chapter 35 Benefits for Dependents of Servicemembers

January 28, 2010

On January 7, 2010, C&P Service released Fast Letter 10-03, Chapter 35 Benefits for Dependents of Servicemembers. This letter contains guidance for the development and processing of claims for Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA/chapter 35 benefits) under Public Law 109-461. Section 301 of the law allows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay DEA benefits to dependents of severely disabled servicemembers who are pending discharge from the military. Eligible dependents may now receive DEA benefits before servicemembers are discharged.

The new category of eligible persons includes the spouses and children of active duty servicemembers who at the time of VA’s decision:

are hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical care, services, or treatment;

have a total disability permanent in nature, incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service; and are likely to be discharged or released from service for the disability.



Free Retreats for Women Vets


To be eligible for these retreats, women veterans must:

Have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan during OIF or OEF

Have been in counseling at a Vet Center or VA for at least three months

About the OEF/OIF Women Veterans’ Retreats

These 6-day retreats are a powerful, energizing way for women who have experienced the human impact of being in a war zone to recover their personal strength and vitality. Participants may use this retreat to recover from whatever way they feel that the war has personally affected them, whether that is healing from combat stress, PTSD or MST, re-adjusting to civilian life, addressing other personal issues, or gaining practical everyday skills like financial know-how or enjoying the company of others who have been in similar circumstances.

In the aftermath of military service, many women find that their ‘comfort zone’ in the civilian world has become smaller, and that their lives have become constricted in one way or another. One’s range of activities, self-expression, and ways of being with others and one’s self can narrow in an effort to ensure safety and predictability. As a result, confidence in one’s ability to negotiate relationships and unfamiliar situations can drop. These retreats provide an open and affirming forum for women to take steps toward the fuller life that they envision for themselves. The nourishing natural environment, and the support of others on a similar path, gives women on the recovery retreat a series of opportunities to recognize their strength and capabilities, and to practice new ways of managing unfamiliar situations and relationships. Each woman will bring unique issues, needs, and challenges to the retreat, and all participants will share the intention to stretch themselves in ways that are appropriate for them, and the intention to support others on a similar journey.

The path to growth and recovery almost always involves stretching outside of one’s comfort zone, and it can sometimes feel awkward or uncomfortable. This ‘stretch’ will be different for each woman, but common themes that may emerge include trust, setting boundaries, asking for support, finding one’s strength and competence, practicing positive ‘self-talk’, and staying present in the presence of fear. We feel strongly that each woman needs to be fully in charge of the degree of stretch that is appropriate for her. You will have complete choice about whether you participate in any activity, and to what degree. Your facilitators will help you explore your options, and provide education about how to make self-affirming choices. You will be asked to always follow safety protocols, but aside from that, you can trust that your facilitators will always support your choices, and that you will never be pressured into doing something that does not feel right to you.

Are these retreats right for me?

First, you must meet the eligibility requirements listed above. It is also important that you have your own personal reason for coming, and some understanding of how your deployment is affecting you at this point in time. A desire to move forward, a willingness to stretch in order to do so, and an interest in connecting with other women veterans are also important. If you are unsure about why you want to come, it may be helpful to first talk to your counselor to identify the issues you are working on.


Understanding Voc Rehab Benefits

VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program is intended for veterans who have a combined service-connected disability rating of 20 percent or more and for certain service members awaiting discharge due to a medical condition. A veteran with 10 percent combined service connected rating may apply for benefits but must meet additional entitlement criteria. The mission of VR&E is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities and certain service members awaiting discharge due to a medical condition to prepare for, find and keep suitable employment. For individuals entitled to benefits but with disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work as a viable option, VR&E offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.

Services/Benefits that may be provided by VR&E include:

Comprehensive vocational evaluation to determine abilities, skills, interests, and needs

Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning

Employment services such as job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance

Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives

If needed, training such as on-the-job training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences

If needed, post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school

Supportive vocational rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and referral

Independent living services

If your disabilities are so severe that you are unable to work, independent living services may be provided. A program of independent living provides the services and assistance necessary to ensure each eligible veteran is capable, to the maximum extent possible, of living independently and participating in family and community life activities with the added potential of eventually returning to work. Services/Benefits may include, but are not limited to the following:

Assistive technology

Services to address any personal and/or family adjustment issues

Independent living skills training

Connection with community-based support service

To receive and evaluation for VR&E services, a veteran must:

· Have received, or will receive a discharge that is other than dishonorable

· Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent

· Submit a completed application (VA Form 28-1900) for VR&E services


The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E services may be used in 12 years from the latter of the following:

Date of separation from active military service, or

Date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating.

The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) determines that a veteran has a Serious Employment Handicap.

Subsistence Allowance - in some cases, you might require additional education or training to become employable. A VR&E subsistence allowance is paid each month during training and is based on whether you attend training full-time or part-time, the number of family members you have, and the type of training.

In summary, a veteran or service member must complete an application and meet with a VRC to determine eligibility. If the VRC determines that an employment handicap exists as a result of a service-connected disability, the veteran is entitled to services. The VRC and the veteran will then continue counseling to develop a plan to address the rehabilitation and employment needs of the individual.

The rehabilitation plan will specify an employment or independent living goal, identify intermediate goals, and outline services and resources needed to achieve these goals. The VRC and the veteran will work together to implement the plan and achieve successful rehabilitation.

If a veteran is found not to be entitled to services, the VRC will help the veteran locate other resources to address any vocational rehabilitation and employment needs identified during the evaluation. Referral to other resources may include state vocational rehabilitation programs, Department of Labor employment programs for disabled veterans, state, federal or local agencies providing services for employment or small business development, internet-based resources for rehabilitation and employment, and information about applying for financial aid.

Demographics of homeless veterans

"The Forgotten Americans-Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve" – released Dec. 8, 1999, by the U.S. Interagency Council on the Homeless (USICH) – is the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC), which was completed in 1996 and updated three years later. You can download the NSHAPC reports at


Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-TALK, Veterans Press 1

The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has founded a national suicide prevention hotline to ensure veterans in emotional crisis have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. To operate the Veterans Hotline, the VA partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Veterans can call the Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and press "1" to be routed to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Who is a veteran?

In general, most organizations use the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) eligibility criteria to determine which veterans can access services. Eligibility for VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Benefits vary according to factors connected with the type and length of military service.