The WDVA Veteran Services Division's contracted Veterans Service Officers and Benefits Specialists filed nearly 17,000 claims for veterans seeking their federal benefits and entitlements from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Fiscal Year 2010-2011. As a result of our efforts, over $350 million federal dollars were received by Washington veterans and their eligible family members, which means more income for individuals and families and more money flowing into local economies. Veterans who receive a service-connected disability compensation as a result of their military service, are also entitled to additional ancilliary benefits such as free medical care and/or prescriptions for their service-related conditions.
One of the most important things done at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is helping veterans, their family members and survivors by serving as their accredited representatives for matters pertaining to VA benefits and entitlements. As an advocate we aggressively pursue all federal and state benefits and entitlements on their behalf. WDVA claims Assistance services are free.
Our staff and contractors work at various sites around the state and are trained, qualified and accredited benefits specialists offering claims assistance to veterans and their eligible family members so they can receive the benefits for which they are entitled. We provide counseling and referral services to individuals and their families and offer a complete referral service to provide veterans with accurate and current information on the entire range of issues associated with veterans benefits and entitlements.
WDVA has access to the latest VA statutes, regulations and Court of Appeals decisions. In addition, the WDVA staff are able to work directly with VA personnel in order to research and resolve issues that may impact the claims process.
WDVA assists veterans and their eligible family members with obtaining federal benefits in the following areas:
- Disability Compensation - a payment to veterans who are disabled by injury or disease incurred or aggravated during their military service.
- Pension - financial support for veterans with limited income when they have 90 days or more of active-duty military service, one day of which was during a wartime period. To qualify, a veteran must be permanently and totally disabled for reasons not traceable to willful misconduct. There are additional pension programs for surviving spouses and children of deceased veterans.
- Vocational Rehabilitation - employment assistance, training and education for veterans with service- connected disabilities who have an employment handicap due to their service-connected disability.
- Health-Care Benefits - medical treatment and hospital care for veterans with service-connected disabilities and others who meet VA eligibility requirements.
- Education Benefits - benefits for former active-duty service members and eligible members of the reserve components.
- Burial Benefits - burial in state or federal veterans cemeteries. Headstones and markers may be provided for burials in private cemeteries. Burial allowances may help pay for burial services and a burial plot.