Veteran Benefits in Florida
Service members may apply for VA benefits in Florida under the state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA). Available veterans benefits in the state include health care, education, employment and housing assistance. Other veterans assistance programs include disability, pension or burial benefits. However, federal veterans administration benefits are also available, including tuition reimbursements under the Montgomery or post 911 GI bill. To learn more about obtaining benefits for veterans in FL, review the information below.
Disability Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Veterans may apply for VA disability pay in Florida if they have a service-related disability and meet other eligibility requirements. Available VA disability benefits include general compensation, Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). In some cases, disabled veterans benefits are available to Uniformed Service Retirees through Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). To apply for VA disability compensation, claimants must complete VA Form 21-526EZ or 21-2680 for obtaining SMC benefits. To apply for DIC, veterans must complete VA Form 21-534EZ.
Note: For free assistance with filing VA disability claims in FL, service members may contact an FDVA Claim Examiner at 727-319-7440.
Additionally, the following VA life insurance programs are available to qualifying veterans:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
- SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI)
- Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)
- Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
Note: Veterans may apply for VA disability benefits by completing the necessary application, such as Form 29-4364 for S-DVI or Form 29-8636 for VMLI.
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Health Insurance Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Eligible veterans may apply for VA health care in Florida if they wish to receive basic health care coverage such as preventative services or emergency aid. Additional veteran health benefits may include diagnostic services, cancer care or rehabilitation. As such, veterans may enroll in VA health insurance online, in person at a local health care facility, by mail or by telephone. To obtain VA medical benefits by telephone, patients must call 1-877-222-8387, or they must complete an Application for Health Care (Form 10-10EZ) and submit the form by mail. Veterans must send mail-in veterans health insurance applications to the following address:
Health Eligibility Center 2957 Clairmont Road, Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30329-1647
Note: Service members who meet VA health care eligibility may receive treatment at any Veteran Medical Center or Outpatient Clinic in the state. Additionally, there are two Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) in the state, including VISN 8 and 16. VISN 8 services 60 counties in the state, while VISN 16 serves seven counties in Northwest Florida.
Pension Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Service members may apply for VA pension in FL if they meet eligibility requirements and income restrictions. Additional veterans pension programs include survivor benefits, Housebound allowances or Aid and Attendance (A&A). To apply for VA pension benefits, veterans must complete Form 21P-527EZ, or 21P-534EZ to obtain survivors benefits. Claimants may obtain veterans pension benefits through the Housebound or A&A programs by writing to their state’s Pension Management Center (PMC) at the address below:
Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center Attention: Philadelphia Pension Center P. O. Box 5206 Janesville, WI 53547-5206
Note: When applying for Housebound or A&A pension benefits, veterans must submit a physician’s report and medical evidence validating the need for A&A or Housebound payments.
Housing Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Florida VA housing benefits include property tax exemptions for veterans with service-related disabilities, or surviving spouses of veterans who died in the line of duty. Additional VA housing assistance programs include home loans, such as Purchase Loans or Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL). Other VA home loan options include the Native American Direct Loan (NADL) or Adapted Housing Grants. To determine VA home loan eligibility, however, service members must first submit a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (Form 26-1880) and submit it to the following address:
Department of Veterans Affairs St. Petersburg Regional Loan Center 9500 Bay Pines Blvd. St. Petersburg, FL 33744
Note: To apply for an Adapted Housing Grant, veterans must complete VA Form 26-4555 and submit it online or in person at a regional loan center.
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Education Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Under the GI bill, the state provides veterans and eligible family members with free college tuition through the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Tuition Waiver Program. Veterans qualify for VA education benefits under the Montgomery GI bill, as well. Students may apply their veterans education benefits at state universities, career and technical training facilities and community colleges.
To apply for post 911 GI bill benefits such as these, military members must complete an Application for VA Education Benefits (VA Form 22-1990). Veterans must submit VA GI bill applications to the following address:
VA Regional Office P. O. Box 8888 Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
Additionally, FL veteran scholarships are available to the spouses and dependent children of deceased veterans or service members with combat-related disabilities. These VA school benefits are available under the Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans initiative. To learn more about enrolling in the program, students may call 888-827-2004.
Employment Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Florida VA jobs assistance includes a variety of resources geared towards helping veterans find employment after they have served in the armed forces. To help service members find veteran jobs, the following employment opportunities are available:
- Veteran employment opportunities under the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- The online Employ Florida Vets portal
- Health license fee waivers under the state Department of Health
- Troops to Teachers
- Job training and placement through the state’s CareerSource centers
- The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP)
- VA for Vets
- Veterans Employment Center
Note: To learn more about finding jobs for veterans, military members may visit a County Veteran Service Office. If service members cannot find department of veterans affairs jobs, they may apply for unemployment compensation.
Funeral Benefits for Veterans in Florida
Florida VA death benefits include free memorial services and a gravesite at any of the nine national cemeteries in the state. Additional VA burial benefits include the opening and closing of the grave, a government headstone and flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
Note: To learn more about veterans burial benefits in FL, vets or surviving family members may contact the VA at 800-697-6947. To schedule a burial, surviving family members may contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.