The Polk County Veterans' Services Department provides assistance to veterans and
their dependents regarding federal and state veteran benefit programs. It considers,
prepares, and processes various forms relative to petition and application for various
Services are performed independently but within the regulations and policies of
the state and federal governments and under general supervision of the Board of
Some of the benefits available to veterans and their dependents are listed below.
If you have questions regarding any of these benefits, please contact the Veterans
State Subsistence/ Dental/ Optical
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
State Veteran Homes
Non-Service Connected Pension
Chemical Dependency Treatment
Federal/ State Veterans Cemetery
Home Loan Guarantees
Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange, etc.
Obtaining DD-214 (Discharge Papers)
Who is eligible for Chapter 1607? A member of a Reserve component
who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10 U.S. Code
for contingency operation and who serves at least 90 consecutive days or more is
eligible for Chapter 1607. National Guard members also are eligible if their active
duty is under section 502 (f), title 32 U.S.C. and they serve for 90 consecutive
days when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency
and is supported by federal funds. Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach
the 90 day point whether or not they are currently on active duty. DoD will fully
identify contingency operations that qualify for benefits under chapter 1607. Disabled
members who are injured or have an illness or disease incurred or aggravated in
the line of duty and are released from active duty before completing 90 consecutive
days are also eligible.
Who is eligible for the Dependents and Survivors Educational Assistance Program-Chapter
35? This program provides financial aid for the education of a dependent
or surviving son, daughter, or spouse of a veteran with a 100% permanent and total
service connected disability who dies from any cause, a service person missing in
action, or a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service
connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed
Forces. A new category effective December 23, 2006 includes a veteran who has a
service connected permanent and total disability; and at the time of VA's determination
is a member of the Armed Forces who is hospitalized or is receiving outpatient medical
care, services, or treatment; and is likely to be discharged or released from service
fro this service connected disability.
What is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program? The
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment programs has two key goals. First, to assist
the service-disabled veteran to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment.
Second, for those persons who are severely disabled and that gainful employment
is not an option, assistance may be provided to allow that person to live more independently
in his or her community.
Am I entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation? Any veteran with a
compensable disability rating of 10% or more is invited to file application for
Vocational rehabilitation by completing VA form 28-1900 and submitting it to your
local VA Office. Once the application is filed, an appointment will be scheduled
for you to discuss your educational plans, test your aptitude, interests and abilities
as well as review the nature of your disability and how it affects your ability
to gain employment. A decision of your entitlement to the benefit will be rendered
after the counseling appointment.
PHONE NUMBER FOR ANY EDUCATION QUESTION: 1-888-442-4551
What is a VA guaranteed home loan? VA guaranteed loans are made
by private lenders, such as banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies to eligible
veterans for the purchase of a home which must be for their own personal occupancy.
The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if you or a later owner
fail to repay the loan. The guaranty replaces the protection the lender normally
received by requiring a down payment allowing you to obtain favorable financing
Do I have to enroll to receive VA health care? While most veterans
must be enrolled to receive VA health care, some veterans are exempt from enrollment
requirements due to meeting special eligibility criteria. If you fall into one of
the following categories, you are not required to enroll:
- if you are seeking care for a VA-rated service connected condition only
- if VA has rated you with a service-connected disability of 50% or more
- if less than one year has passed since you were discharged for a disability that
the military determined Was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, but that
VA has not yet rated
I am a recently discharged combat veteran. Must I pay VA co-payments?
If the services are provided for the treatment of a condition that may be related
to your military service, you will not be charged any co-payments. This benefit
is limited to a two year period following military discharge. You will, however,
be subject to means testing (and co-payments, if applicable) for care of any condition
clearly not related to your military service such as a broken limb or a problem
that existed prior to entering service.
Hearing aids and eyeglasses are listed as "limited" benefits. Under what circumstances
do I qualify? To qualify for hearing aids and eyeglasses, you must
have a service connected disability rating of 10% or more. You may also qualify
if you are a former prisoner of war or are receiving increased pension based on
your need for regular aid and attendance or being permanently housebound.
Do I qualify for routine health care at non-VA facilities at VA expense?
To qualify for routine non-VA care at VA expense (otherwise know as fee-basis care),
you must first be given specific authorization. Included among the factors in determining
whether such care will be authorized is your medical condition and availability
of VA services within your geographic area.
Am I eligible for emergency care at non-VA facilities? You are
eligible if the non-VA emergency care is for a service connected condition, or if
enrolled, you have been provided care by a VA clinician or provider within the past
24 months and have no other coverage or ability to pay for the services. Also, it
must be determined that VA health facilities were not feasibly available, that a
delay in medical attention would have endangered your life or health, and that you
are personally liable for the cost of the services. You then have 48 hours to notify
hours to notify the VA. As soon as your condition is stable, transfer to a VA facility
should be arranged.
Do I quality for travel benefits? You may qualify for beneficiary
travel payments if you fall into one of the following categories:
- you have a service-connected rating of 30% or more
- you are traveling for treatment of a service connected condition
- you receive a VA pension
- you are traveling for a scheduled compensation or pension exam
-your household income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate
- your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van, you
are unable to defray the cost, and the travel is pre-authorized (authorization is
not required for emergencies if a delay would endanger your life or health.