What benefits are available to me?

There are many possible benefits available to you and possibly your immediate family members, including, but not limited to:

  • Military service compensation for injuries and illnesses caused, incurred, or aggravated while serving in the Armed Forces. These conditions must be chronic.
  • Non-service connected pension
  • Pension
  • Aid and attendance
  • Education
  • Life insurance
  • Home loans
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Special license plates
  • Hunting and fishing licenses
  • Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • VA medical enrollment
  • Counseling
  • Burial benefits
  • Tax exemption

Do I qualify/who is a veteran?

In general, Congress defines a veteran as someone who has served in one of America's seven federal uniformed services or their reserve components. The seven federal uniformed services are:

  • United States Army - includes Guard and Reserve
  • United States Marine Corps - includes Reserve
  • United States Navy - includes Reserve
  • United States Air Force - includes Reserve
  • United States Coast Guard - includes Reserve
  • United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (formerly Survey Corps)

For VA purposes, if you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. However, there are exceptions, so a person who received an other than honorable conditions discharge should check with a Veterans Service Officer or call DMVA to see what, if any, benefits are available. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health benefits as well.

Do I need to make an appointment to see the Veterans Services officer?

It is preferred that you do schedule an appointment if possible due to the high volume of veteran client contacts and the time allowed for each person served. Please call us at 412-621-4357 or email us veterans@alleghenycounty.us

What do I need to bring to an appointment?

In general, at a minimum:

  • Discharge/DD214
  • Private medical records if applying for VA disability
  • Marriage certificates and divorce decrees (if applicable) for both spouses
  • Children's birth certificates (if applicable)
  • Death certificate (if applicable)

I can't find my DD-214. What should I do?

The first thing you do is contact the Register of Deeds in the county that you lived in when you were discharged from the service. For Allegheny County residents, you should contact the County Division of Real Estate at 412-350-4299. They may have a copy on file there. You can also go to the eVetsRecs website to order a copy.

I am in need of medical care and prescriptions. Can the VA supply this for me?

Each case is a little different when applying for healthcare. A 10-10EZ form must be filled out with a copy of the DD-214. Income questions are asked on this form, and if your income is over the VA threshold, you may not be eligible.

If you have a service-connected disability, purple heart recipient, POW, in-country Vietnam Veteran, or if you can meet other certain special criteria, you would be eligible to enroll.

How do I make a claim for VA disability benefits?

Call Veterans Services at 412-621-4357, and we will assist you in the development of your claim. Determining what benefits you may be eligible for is complex, as benefits are directly linked to how long a veteran served, when, and where so we are here to ensure that you are aware of and have access to the benefits that you have earned and help you cut through the red tape.

Once I file a claim for healthcare or disability benefits, how long do I have to wait to hear from the VA?

Healthcare claims are usually processed within 30 to 60 days. Any disability claims, including pension and compensation, can take approximately 8 to 10 months.

How do I apply for a VA Loan Guarantee?

Bring your discharge papers (DD Form 214) to your County Veterans Service Office. They will complete a form and send it to the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) office to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. You will present the Certificate of Eligibility to your lender when applying for a home loan. It is important to compare rates, fees and programs offered by your lender.

How do I qualify for the Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption?

Honorably Discharged Wartime Veterans having a 100% Service-connected Disability can apply to be exempt from payment of Real Property Taxes on their principal residence.

Widows of Honorably Discharged Wartime Veterans who died of a Service-Connected disability (if the veteran would have been eligible for the exemption) may also be eligible for Real Property Tax Exemption on their principal residence. Based on financial need.

I need financial assistance, can you help?

Possibly, each financial hardship case is a little different for each individual. We partner with many community resources, as well as State and Federal Agencies. Financial assistance is complex and will depend on: need, military service, community resources available, and State/Federal criteria. You can contact us at 412-621-4357 or veterans@alleghenycounty.us.

I need help finding employment, can you help?

We have several community partners, including State and Federal partners that specialize in helping veterans with employment. Additionally, there are a few programs (different criteria for each) designed for veterans to help with education or retraining that will assist you with employment. You can contact us at 412-621-4357 or veterans@alleghenycounty.us.

I would like to keep up to date with events and information for veterans in our region, where can I find that information?

We have a Facebook page that you can follow to keep up-to-date with news for veterans and their family members.