The Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) provides California VA benefits and services to the many veterans residing in the state. Available veterans benefits include education, employment, healthcare and disability-related services. Other veterans administration benefits include pension, burial and housing benefits. In addition to state veterans assistance programs, federal benefits are available to eligible servicemembers and their surviving family members. To learn more about benefits for veterans in CA and how to apply, review the information below.
Disability Benefits for Veterans in California
Federal VA disability benefits include general compensation, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). To apply for VA disability pay, claimants must file an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, or they may file an Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits if they wish to apply for DIC. To make SMC VA disability claims, applicants must complete Form 21-2680.
Additionally, veterans may apply for VA life insurance, including Service-Disabled Veteran Life Insurance (S-DVI) or Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI). To apply for veterans life insurance in CA, candidates must complete an Application for Supplemental Service-Disabled Life Insurance or an Application for Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance.
Note: For assistance in applying for VA disability compensation, claimants may visit a County Veterans Service Office to receive help with their application at no cost.
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Health Insurance Benefits for Veterans in California
Service members receive VA health care benefits through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a care system consisting of 152 medical centers throughout the country. Under VA health insurance, patients receive preventative care and inpatient hospital services, emergency aid and access to assisted living and home health care. To apply for VA health insurance, veterans must complete an Application for Health Benefits (Form 10-10EZ).
Other California VA medical benefits are also available, including the following:
- Covered California
- Healthcare transportation
- Mental health services
- Substance abuse treatments
- Veteran Treatment Courts
Note: Additionally, service members receive free veterans health care for the five-year period following a service-related illness or injury. Furthermore, veterans who meet VA health care eligibility may receive long-term medical care at any of the eight Veterans Homes in the state.
Pension Benefits for Veterans in California
Veterans may apply for va pension benefits in California if they are financially-needy and meet other eligibility requirements. Available va pension programs include Aid and Attendance (A&A), Housebound, Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension. Claimants who wish to apply for veterans pension must complete the following applications:
- Veterans Pension Benefits: Application for Pension (Form 21P-527EZ).
- Survivors Pension Benefits: Application for DIC, Death Pension and/or Accrued Benefits (Form 21P-534EZ).
Note: To apply for A&A or housebound veteran pension benefits, servicemembers must mail medical documentation to the Pension Management Center (PMC) serving the state of California at the address below:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: St. Paul Pension Center
P.O. Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365
Housing Benefits for Veterans in California
To help service members find affordable va housing in California, CalVet provides them with several housing benefits. Available veterans housing assistance programs include CalVet Veteran Homes and affordable housing opportunities through the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention (VHHP) initiative and Home Ownership program. Through the va housing assistance Veteran Homes program, residents can choose a home based on the type of care they need, whether it be independent living, memory care, outpatient clinic, intermediate nursing care, residential or skilled nursing care.
Note: Veteran Homes are available in cities such as Barstow, Chula Vista, Fresno, Lancaster, Redding, Ventura, West Los Angeles and Yountville.
Additionally, the CalVet VA home loan is available to veterans who meet eligibility requirements and wish to purchase a home with no down payment. As such, candidates who meet va home loan eligibility may apply for a CalVet home loan online or by contacting a Loan Originator at 866-653-2510. In most cases, applicants need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to apply for a loan.
Note: Additional CA veteran housing benefits are available, including financial assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program, Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) and Domiciliary Care for Homeless Vets. To prevent VA foreclosures, veterans may seek foreclosure assistance by calling 1-888-869-0194. Other financial assistance programs are available through the Military Family Relief Fund, ReserveAid and Workforce Investment Board.
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Education Benefits for Veterans in California
Many VA education benefits are available for servicemembers and their eligible family members to take advantage of, including access to college degrees, certificates, work-study programs, on-the-job training and apprenticeships. Under the GI bill, veterans can apply their benefits to attend college at any of CalVet’s approved educational agencies, including community colleges or universities. Additionally, CA scholarships for veterans are also available, including the state’s National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNGEAAP). Other veterans education benefits include the College Fee Waiver or Non-Resident College Fee Waiver.
Note: To apply for benefits under the Montgomery GI bill or the post 911 gi bill, veterans must complete an Application for VA Education Benefits (Form 22-1990) and mail the application to the VA’s Western Region office at the address below:
VA Regional Office
P.O. Box 8888
Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
Employment Benefits for Veterans in California
California VA jobs services are available through CalVet and provide job seekers with employment resources, such as access to local career fairs, tutorials and a list of open VA employment opportunities in the state. Other veteran employment services are also available to help servicemembers find jobs for vets in the state. To help military members find veteran jobs, the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) helps servicemembers find work by providing them with job search assistance and training opportunities. If applicants cannot gain veteran employment, however, they may apply for the EDD’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program online through the EDD’s website, by telephone at 1-800-300-5616 or by completing a paper application (Form DE 1101I).
Note: On a federal level, the U.S. Department of Labor provides veterans with access to CareerOneStop Centers. To find a local facility, veterans must call 1-877-872-5627.
Additionally, veterans can use their GI bill benefits even if they do not plan to enroll in college. Under the GI bill, veterans may apply for on-the-job training and apprenticeships to learn new skills while also earning a full-time wage.
Note: When searching for jobs for veterans, servicemembers and their eligible spouses may apply for Veterans’ Preference. To apply for employment preference, candidates must submit a Veteran’s Preference Application (Form SPB 1093) and a copy of their DD214 to the following address:
California Department of Human Resources
ATTN: Examination Unit
1515 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Funeral Benefits for Veterans in California
Service members also receive VA death benefits in California, whether they die in a non-service or service-related death. Generally, VA burial benefits include payments of up to $2,000 in service-related deaths or allowances of between $300 and $762 for non-service-related deaths. To apply for veterans burial benefits, surviving family members must complete an Application for Burial Benefits (Form 21-530) and submit the application along with the veteran’s discharge papers, death certificate and funeral and burial bills.