Benefit and VA Claims Services

Government Benefits List

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Community and Recreation

NYS

NY State driver license learner permit or nondriver photo ID card with "Veteran" designator (Information): If you are a qualified U.S. military veteran who was honorably discharged, and you have a NY State driver license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card, you can have the word "Veteran" printed on the upper left hand of your photo document.

NYC

IDNYC Card with Veteran designator (Information and Advise): Veterans can be issued a New York City Identification Card with a designation. The IDNYC Veteran Designation connects veterans to services and discounts. Additional benefits include:

  • Access to veteran-specific services at the NYC Department of Small Businesses Services.
  • Discounts through the Queens Chamber of Commerce's Queens VETS Program.
  • Free Veterans Advantage Digital Plan, which gives you one year of online access to exclusive military discounts from national retailers

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Proof of military service

Death Benefits

Federal

VA Federal Death Benefits (Information):
VA Federal Death Benefits include a gravesite or columbarium at any National Cemetery throughout the country, a government headstone or marker, burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate, Military Honor Guard and perpetual care. Veterans burial allowances of up to $2,000 for eligible veterans to help cover burial, funeral and transportation costs. Additional funeral benefits include Veterans burial allowances of up to $2,000 for indigent families of eligible servicemembers. Veterans, service members, spouses, and dependents may qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery if they meet one of the requirements listed below. The person qualifying for burial benefits is:

  • A Veteran who didn't receive a dishonorable discharge, or
  • A service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training, or
  • The spouse or minor child of a Veteran, even if the Veteran died first, or

In some cases, the unmarried adult dependent child of a Veteran

NYC & Federal

DVS Funeral Honors Program (Information and Evaluation):
DVS coordinates the dignified burial of eligible unclaimed, indigent veterans with honors at a National Cemetery. The deceased veteran must be determined unclaimed and indigent by OCME and/or Public Administrator to be eligible for services through the DVS Funeral Honors Program

Disability

NYS & Federal

VA Disability Veteran Claims (Information and Advise):
Disability Benefits is available to veterans with service-connected illnesses or disabilities. These VA disability benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) and general disability pay, which is a tax-free monetary payment. To receive VA compensation benefits and services, the Veteran's character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general).

Education

Federal and NYS

Post 9/11 GI Bill (Information and Advise):
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides education benefits for those who have served on active duty for 90 or more days after Sept. 10, 2001. Find out what this Bill covers and how much it can mean in terms or education tuition assistance. Individuals must meet at least one of the requirements listed below:

  • Served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • Served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
  • Are a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying veteran or service member

Montgomery GI Bill (Information and Advise):
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available to those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) For active duty members who enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. You can get benefits through MGIB-AD if you served at least 2 years on active duty and you meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Were honorably discharged, and
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Meet other requirements

You can get benefits through MGIB-SR if you're a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard, and you meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Have either a 6-year service obligation (you agreed to serve 6years) in the Selected Service, or
  • Are an officer in the Selected Reserve who agreed to serve 6years in addition to your initial service obligation, and meet other requirements

Forever GI Bill (Information and Advise):
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, also known as the “Forever GI Bill", brings significant changes to Veterans education benefits. Most changes enhance or expand education benefits for Veterans, servicemembers, families, and survivors. The Forever GI Bill expands eligibility by including:

  • Reserve Duty That Counts Toward Post-9/11 Eligibility:

The time that a Reservist was ordered to active duty to receive authorized medical care, be medically evaluated for disability, or complete a Department of Defense (DoD) health care study on or after September 11, 2001, now counts as active duty toward eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill program. An individual may use this entitlement to pursue a course of education beginning on or after August 1, 2018.

  • Purple Heart Recipients:

Servicemembers and honorably discharged Veterans who were awarded a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001 will be entitled to Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at the 100-percent benefit level for up to 36 months. This was effective on August 1, 2018.

  • REAP Eligibility Credited Toward Post-9/11 GI Bill Program:

Members of the Reserve who established eligibility to educational assistance under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) before November 25, 2015, and lost it due to the sunset provision may elect to have that service credited towards the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.

Federal

Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (Information and Advise):
The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Service members or Veterans who have a disability that was caused, or made worse, by their active duty service and that limits their ability to work or prevents them from working, may allow them to get employment support or services to help them live as independently as possible. Veterans must meet all of the requirements listed below for eligibility:

  • Didn't receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA

NYC

Veterans on Campus (Information and Advise):
The Veterans on Campus initiative assists colleges and universities to adopt best practices that ensure student veterans successfully transition to civilian life. Veterans, veteran spouses or domestic partners, and student veteran program administrators (faculty/administration) are eligible to participate in the Veterans on Campus initiative. Schools with locations within the City of NY and in good standing with the City of NY are also eligible to participate.

Employment

Federal

Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (Information and Advise):
The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Service members or Veterans who have a disability that was caused, or made worse, by their active duty service and that limits their ability to work or prevents them from working, may allow them to get employment support or services to help them live as independently as possible. Veterans must meet all of the requirements listed below for eligibility:

  • Didn't receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA

Federal and NYC

Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) (Information, Advise, and Evaluation):
The Veterans CARE project will serve 480 veterans in NYC and Massachusetts over three years with a rigorously tested, evidence-based solution called Individual Placement and Support (IPS). The VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, through its Brooklyn and Manhattan VA Medical Centers, will provide rapid job search, personalized coaching, and individualized support to help 120 veterans attain and sustain competitive employment. Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a veteran with service-connected PTSD diagnosis, and
  • 60 years of age or younger, and
  • be currently unemployed or underemployed (less than 40 hours per week) and
  • enrolled in the VA Health Care System possess a willingness to find a job or new employment opportunity

NYS

Hire a Veteran Credit (Information):
There are two state credits available that encourage businesses to hire veterans. The hire a veteran credit can be claimed by:

  • corporations subject to franchise tax; or
  • individuals, estates, and trusts taxable under personal income tax laws. Employers that have hired veterans who began working on or after January 1, 2014, but before January 1, 2018, may qualify for this state business tax credit worth as much as $15,000 per veteran. The veteran must have worked for one year or more for at least 35 hours each week.

Business owners may claim the credit in the tax year in which the qualified veteran completes one year of employment. The credit may be claimed for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, but before January 1, 2019.

The amount of the credit is equal to 15% of the total wages paid to a disabled veteran during their first full year of employment. The credit is worth up to $15,000 per disabled veteran. For nondisabled veterans, the credit is equal to 10% of the total wages up to $5,000 per nondisabled veteran.

To claim the credit, the employer must have the veteran certify that they qualify as an eligible veteran on Form DTF-75, Employee Affidavit for the Hire a Veteran Credit.

For veterans to support their employer's desire to seek the credit, the veteran must have served on active duty or in the reserves in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or served in active military service of the United States as a member of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, New York Guard, or New York Naval Militia

  • and was released from active duty by general or honorable discharge after September 11, 2001
  • And must have not been employed for 35 or more hours during any week in the 180-day period immediately prior to the date on which they begin employment with the employer.

NYS and NYC

Civil Service Exam Veteran & Disabled Veteran Credits: (Information and Advise) Article 5, section 6 of the New York State Constitution was amended to entitle veterans who have used nondisabled veteran credits for a Civil Service appointment or promotion and who were/are subsequently certified as being a disabled veteran by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, to additional credits for a subsequent appointment or promotion. Such candidate shall be entitled to 10 additional credits on civil service examinations, minus the number of credits already used for the prior appointment. Criteria for veteran credits or additional veterans credit go to veterans who:

  • Show proof of an honorable discharge and/or
  • Used non-disabled veterans credits to obtain a civil service appointment or promotion with New York State or a local government; and
  • Subsequent to such appointment are determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to be a qualified disabled veteran, as defined in the New York State Civil Service Law.

Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program (55-c): (Information) Section 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law authorizes 500 positions to be filled with qualified wartime Veterans with disabilities. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position but are not required to take an examination. Eligible Veterans are not guaranteed state employment and are not placed on a hiring list. Eligibility does not require certification by the Employee Health Service (EHS) of the New York State Department of Civil Service. A letter of certification of a service-connected disability rating of 10% or higher from the U.S. Veterans Administration (U.S. VA) will be requested. Any Veteran who has received the Purple Heart medal or who has a disability rating assigned by the U.S. VA of at least 10 percent is automatically eligible.

NYC

SBS Priority1 Services for Veterans and their Spouses (Advise):
Priority service at New York City Workforce1 Career Centers. Services include:

  • Connecting veterans to employers committed to hiring veterans
  • Instructing veterans about training, benefits, and other support services
  • Translating military experience into skills for civilian jobs
  • Connecting to other organizations for resources beyond employment

Eligibility Criteria include:

  • Proof of service
  • Proof of domestic partnership or marriage to individual with proof of service

Service2Service Program (Information and Advise):
Service2Service is a professional development experience centered in mentorship between NYC veterans and AmeriCorps alumni as mentees and City government employees as mentors. The program aims to build relationships between service-minded New Yorkers and empower mentees with the network and knowledge to continue a legacy of service in the City. Requirements for Mentee participation:

  • Members of the US armed forces (active or veterans), or have successfully completed an AmeriCorps service term by December 1st, 2019
  • NYC resident
  • Strong interest in City Government careers
  • Commitment to six-month mentorship and programming sessions

NYC Human Rights Law (Information):
New York City has begun enforcement of a new law that protects current and prior military service members from discrimination, bias, and harassment. It is now illegal in New York City for employers, landlords, and providers of public accommodations to discriminate against veterans and active military service members due to their military status. The law protects people who are currently serving or previously served in the uniformed services. This includes the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, NOAA Commissioned Corps, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, the organized militia of any U.S. state or territory, or U.S. or state military reserves.

Entrepreneurship

Federal

SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans (Information):
SBA offers a variety of loan programs to designed to assist veterans in acquiring capital to start, grow or succeed in business. To qualify, a veteran small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by an individual in the following group:

  • Honorably discharged veterans
  • Active Duty Military service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
  • Active Reservists and/or active National Guard Members or

Current spouse of any veteran, Active Duty service member, Reservist, National Guard member, or the widowed spouse of a service member who died while in service or as a result of a service-connected disability.

NYS

NY Small Business Development Centers - Veterans Business Program (Information and Advise):
The New York SBDC Veterans Services and Assistance Program works to provide targeted training, counseling, and mentoring to help veterans start and grow a small business. SBDC Business Advisors help veteran small business owners improve profitability, expand market share, explore export opportunities, and provide valuable assistance in terms of establishing businesses on stronger organizational and financial footing. Eligibility varies by program.

NYS Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOB) Certification (Information and Advise):
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 12, 2014, allows eligible Veteran business owners to get certified as a New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB). The goal of the Act is to encourage and support eligible SDVOBs to play a greater role in the state's economy by increasing their participation in New York State's contracting opportunities. The OGS Division of Service-Disabled Veterans' Business Development is responsible for certifying eligible SDVOBs and assisting and promoting their participation in the state's procurement activities. Certification Eligibility:

  • The business must be independently owned and operated and have a significant business presence in New York State.
  • One or more service-disabled veterans, with a service-connected disability rating of 10% or more from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (or from the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs for National Guard veterans), must own at least 51% of the business.
  • Service-disabled veteran ownership must be real, substantial, and continuing.

The eligible service-disabled veteran owner(s) must have (and exercise) authority to independently control the day-to-day business decisions.

  • The business must qualify as a small business* under the New York State program. The business must be located in New York State or have a significant business presence* in New York State.
  • Additional eligibility requirements in New York Codes, Rules and Regulations Part 252 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Program.

Health

Federal

VA Mission Act - Veterans' Choice Program (Information):
The Veterans Choice Program is a new, temporary benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility. Key aspects of eligibility are noted below:

  • Veterans must receive approval from VA prior to obtaining care from a community provider in most circumstances.
  • Veterans must either be enrolled in VA health care or be eligible for VA care without needing to enroll to be eligible for community care.
  • Eligibility for community care will continue to be dependent upon a Veteran's individual health care needs or circumstances.
  • VA staff members generally make all eligibility determinations.
  • Veterans will usually have the option to receive care at a VA medical facility regardless of their eligibility for community care.
  • Meeting any one of six eligibility criteria is sufficient to be referred to a community provider. A veteran does not have to meet all of them to be eligible.

Veteran Crisis Line (Information and Advise):
Free, confidential support for Veterans in crisis and their families and friends. Crisis intervention from qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Call 800-273-8255 (press 1) or text 838255. Available 24/7. Anyone can call the hotline.

Federal & NYC

Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) (Information, Advise, and Evaluation):
The Veterans CARE project will serve 480 veterans in NYC and Massachusetts over three years with a rigorously tested, evidence-based solution called Individual Placement and Support (IPS). The VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, through its Brooklyn and Manhattan VA Medical Centers, will provide rapid job search, personalized coaching, and individualized support to help 120 veterans attain and sustain competitive employment. Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a veteran with service-connected PTSD diagnosis, and
  • 60 years of age or younger, and
  • be currently unemployed or underemployed (less than 40 hours per week) and
  • enrolled in the VA Health Care System possess a willingness to find a job or new employment opportunity

NYS & Federal

Veterans Health Insurance (Information and Advise):
Military members who meet VA health insurance eligibility receive access to local Vet Centers throughout NYS, veterans' nursing homes, and basic health care services such as emergency aid and prescription drug coverage. Eligibility varies by income benefit.

NYC

Mental Health First Aid (Information):
Veteran Specific Mental Health First Aid Trainings provide proven practices that will help you recognize the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance misuse. You will learn how to listen without judgment and respond to and help someone in distress until they can get the professional care they may need. The free eight-hour training is available for all New Yorkers as part of the City's ThriveNYC initiative. Open to anyone

Homelessness

NYC

Homeless Veteran Bonus Benefit (Information and Advise):
Benefit for landlords who selected a formally homeless veteran for their vacant apartment in the form of a signed and executed lease. (No longer only for veterans)

  • Prospective Tenant: Must provide proof of military service and proof of homelessness.
  • Prospective Landlord: Must execute a lease with a veteran who is currently in shelter or street homeless.

Housing

Federal, NYS & NYC

Mitchell-Lama Veteran Preference (Information):
Section 31 of the Private Housing Finance Law was amended effective September 12, 2010 to broaden the Mitchell-Lama admission preference given to Vietnam veterans and disabled veterans to encompass all veterans, or their surviving spouses, who served on active duty in time of war, as defined in Section 85 of the Civil Service Law and reside in New York State. Veterans eligible for the preference are those who:

  • were members of the Armed Forces of the United States;
  • served on active duty for other than training purposes in time of war;
  • were discharged honorably or released under honorable circumstances;
  • are residents of New York State; and
  • have documented their eligibility by submitting Form DD214 (NAVPERS-553/NAVMC-78 PD / WDAG)-53, 98) and for service in Lebanon, Grenada, or Panama, the award of an appropriate expeditionary medal.

Federal & NYS

VA Home Loans (Information):

  • Purchase Loans: Helps veterans and their families purchase a home at a competitive interest rate often without requiring a down-payment or private mortgage insurance. Cash Out Refinance loans allow them to take cash out of their home equity to take care of concerns like paying off debt, funding school, or making home improvements.
  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): Also called the Streamline Refinance Loan helps veterans and their families obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing their existing VA loan.
  • Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: Helps eligible Native American Veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land, or reduce the interest rate on a VA loan.
  • Adapted Housing Grants: Help Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability purchase or build an adapted home or to modify an existing home to account for their disability. To receive VA home loan benefits and services, the Veteran's character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general)

Federal and NYC

HUD-VASH (Information and Advise):
The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUDVASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics. Veterans must be VA health care eligible Veterans. VA eligibility makes this determination. Veterans must also meet the definition of homelessness defined in the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act as amended by S. 896 the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. HUD-VASH prioritizes the chronically homeless. VA determines clinical eligibility for the program. The public housing authority (PHA) determines if the Veteran participant meets HUD's regulations for this program. The PHA will determine eligibility based on income limits

NYC & Federal

HUD-VASH Continuum (Information, Advise, and Evaluation):
Initiative to create paths to permanent housing for disconnected veterans and their families. HUD, the VA, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) have approved NYC to make up to 15% of its total HUDVASH allocation available to veterans with an other-than-dishonorable discharge status who are ineligible for VA healthcare services.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must meet the federal definition of literal homelessness.
  • A veteran of the US Military that does not have a dishonorable discharge.
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for section 8 by public housing authority (PHA). The PHA determines if the Veteran participant meets HUD's regulations for this program. The PHA will determine eligibility based on income limits, criminal history.

NYC & Federal

Support Services for Veterans & Families (SSVF) (Information and Advise):
The SSVF program was established in 2011 by the VA to rapidly re-house homeless Veteran families and prevent homelessness for those at imminent risk due to a housing crisis. SSVF services include case management, housing counseling, legal services, benefits advocacy, rental and utility assistance, child care supports, moving and storage costs, and transportation. SSVF's in NYC include Volunteers of America, HELP USA, Services for the Underserved, Jericho Project Eligibility requirements:

  • A member of a Veteran family. A Veteran family is defined as a single person or a family in which the head of household or the spouse of the head of household is a Veteran.
  • Very low income. Household's that income does not exceed 50% of the area median income (as adjusted)
  • Household who are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

NYS

NYS Veteran Property Tax Exemption (Information):
The NYS Veteran Property Tax Exemption can reduce the property tax burden of a wartime veteran by 15%, or as much as 25% if the veteran served in a combat zone. Many local governments also offer a Cold War veterans' exemption of up to 15% for veterans who served on active duty between 1945 and 1991.

Both categories of exemption allow the percentage of the exemption to be increased to as high as 50% if the veteran was disabled as a result of his or her military service. Veterans can receive one of the three following exemptions:

  • Alternative Veterans' Exemption: Available only on residential property of a Veteran who has served during a designated time of war or received an expeditionary medal. Extra tax reductions available for combat and United States Department of Veterans Affairs service-connected disabilities.
  • Cold War Veterans' Exemption: Available only on residential property of a Veteran who served during the Cold War period Counties, cities, towns, and villages have the option to offer this exemption to qualified Veterans Extra tax reductions available for United States Department of Veterans Affairs service-connected disabilities.
  • Eligible Funds Exemption: Provides a partial exemption and applies to property that a Veteran or certain other designated person purchases. Such owners must purchase the property with pension, bonus, or insurance monies.

NYC

NYC Veterans Property Tax Exemption (Information):
Qualified veterans, spouses or their unremarried surviving spouses; parents of soldiers who died in the line of duty (Gold Star parent) can get a reduction to their property tax. The veterans exemption is available to eligible veterans of foreign wars, expeditionary medalists, honorable discharges, spouses/widow(er)s of veterans, and Gold Star parents. The veteran must have served in the US Armed Forces during one of the following conflicts only:

  • Persian Gulf Conflict (includes the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts): Beginning August 2, 1990 to the Present
  • Vietnam War: February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975
  • Korean War: June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • World War II: December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946

If you did not serve during one of the periods above but received an Expeditionary Medal for your service, you may be eligible for the veterans exemption. Complete the application and submit the required supporting documentation so that the Department of Finance can determine your eligibility.

NYC Human Rights Law (Information):
New York City has begun enforcement of a new law that protects current and prior military service members from discrimination, bias, and harassment. It is now illegal in New York City for employers, landlords, and providers of public accommodations to discriminate against veterans and active military service members due to their military status. The law protects people who are currently serving or previously served in the uniformed services. This includes the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, NOAA Commissioned Corps, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, the organized militia of any U.S. state or territory, or U.S. or state military reserves.

Homeless Veteran Bonus Benefit (Information and Advise):
Benefit for landlords who selected a formally homeless veteran for their vacant apartment in the form of a signed and executed lease. (No longer only for veterans)

  • Prospective Tenant: Must provide proof of military service and proof of homelessness.
  • Prospective Landlord: Must execute a lease with a veteran who is currently in shelter or street homeless.

DHS Short-term Housing (Information and Advise):
Homeless veterans in need of short-term housing continue from DHS intake/assessment shelters to the VSU, where they receive referrals to transitional housing at one of two veteran-specific facilities:

  • Borden Avenue Veterans Residence (BAVR), a 243bed short-term housing facility for male and female veterans
  • Porter Avenue site, an employment-focused facility offering services for 138 male veterans. In addition to providing services tailored toward this special population of clients, such facilities also provide veterans with the added benefit of mutual camaraderie and support alongside their peers.

Open to anyone who can provide proof of military service.

Income Support

Federal

Federal Income Support (Information):
Federal income support benefits include: VA Pension, Survivors' benefits, Housebound or Aid and Attendance (A&A), Gold Star Parent Annuity Program, Military Service Credit, and the Blind Annuity Program. Eligibility varies by a multitude of factors for each income support benefit.

Legal

NYS

Restoration of Honor Act:
The Restoration of Honor Act restores benefits to New York veterans who have an Other-Than-Honorable Discharge (OTH) or a General Under Honorable Conditions Discharge due to any of the following:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity

This determination does not change a Veteran's official character of discharge on their discharge paperwork. This determination refers solely to a Veteran's character of discharge for the purposes of qualifying for specific New York State benefits for Veterans and their families.

Applications can be submitted at the New York State Division of Veterans' Services website.

NYS and NYC

Veterans' Treatment Court (VCT) (Information and Advise):
A VTC can be found in every borough, as well as other locations across the State. Generally, a case may be moved to the VTC during the initial stages of a trial. It is always best to speak with an attorney when determining the legalities and process in having a case moved from criminal to treatment court. NYC DVS does not have legal authority to counsel veterans on legal matters. Eligibly criteria:

  • veterans that provide proof of service

NYC

DUALS Program (Information):
The Discharge Upgrade Assistance Legal Services (DUALS) program was established to provide funding to build additional capacity to legal services organizations based in New York City that provide discharge upgrade services. Eligibly criteria:

  • veterans with other-than-honorable discharge status

Professional Mentorship

NYC

Service2Service Program (Information and Advise):
Service2Service is a professional development experience centered in mentorship between NYC veterans and AmeriCorps alumni as mentees and City government employees as mentors. The program aims to build relationships between service-minded New Yorkers and empower mentees with the network and knowledge to continue a legacy of service in the City. Requirements for Mentee participation:

  • Members of the US armed forces (active or veterans), or have successfully completed an AmeriCorps service term by December 1st, 2019
  • NYC resident
  • Strong interest in City Government careers
  • Commitment to six-month mentorship and programming sessions

Shelter Services

NYC

DHS Short-term Housing (Information and Advise):
Homeless veterans in need of short-term housing continue from DHS intake/assessment shelters to the VSU, where they receive referrals to transitional housing at one of two veteran-specific facilities:

  • Borden Avenue Veterans Residence (BAVR), a 243bed short-term housing facility for male and female veterans
  • Porter Avenue site, an employment-focused facility offering services for 138 male veterans. In addition to providing services tailored toward this special population of clients, such facilities also provide veterans with the added benefit of mutual camaraderie and support alongside their peers.

Open to anyone who can provide proof of military service.

Transportation

NYC

FairFaresNYC (Information):
Fair Fares NYC is a City program created by Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and members of the City Council to help low-income New Yorkers. Using the Fair Fares NYC MetroCard, participating New York City residents receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares. Pay-Per-Ride, 7-Day (Weekly) and 30- Day (Monthly) Unlimited Ride options are all available. Eligibility Criteria Include:

  • veterans who reside in New York City,
  • who have a household income at or below the federal poverty level
  • are currently not receiving any other transit benefit