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A BRIEF GUIDE FOR RECENTLY DISCHARGED VETERANS

By Dan Cunningham,2014-07-06 11:58
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THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE IS NOT TO PROVIDE YOU WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE MULTITUDE OF BENEFITS AVAILABLE, BUT TO GIVE YOU SOME KEY POINTS TO GET YOU STARTED ...

    Welcome Home Book

    (Benefits & Services)

    For

    Veterans

     Prepared by the: SD Department of Veterans Affairs 1.877.579.0015 or 605.773.4981 425 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501 http://mva.sd.gov Produced in cooperation with the SD Department of Veterans Affairs, SD National Guard, SD Department of Human Services, SD Department of Labor & Regulations and VA Vet Centers Updated 07/06/12

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

     Benefits Summary Page(s) Veterans Benefits

     Federal ................................................................................................................................ 1 - 2

     State ........................................................................................................................................ 2

     Education .......................................................................................................................... 3 - 14 Readjustment and Counseling

     Vet Centers .....................................................................................................................15 - 16

     Community Health and Substance Abuse Centers ...................................................... 17 - 21 Veterans Employment ................................................................................................................. 22 - 23 SD National Guard ....................................................................................................................... 24 - 25 Family Support........................................................................................................................... 26 - 29 Religious Support ................................................................................................................................. 28 Tricare ............................................................................................................................................ 32 - 34 Military OneSource ............................................................................................................................... 35 Retirees............................................................................................................................................36 - 37

Directory of Services Department of Veterans Affairs

     SD Department of Veterans Affairs ....................................................................................... 38

     SD National Guard Services Rep ......................................................................................... 38

     Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

     Medical Centers .................................................................................................................... 38

     Regional Offices .................................................................................................................... 38

     Vet Centers ........................................................................................................................... 15

     Veterans Employment

     Veterans Employment and Training (DVET- Federal) ....................................................... 22

     Veterans‘ Services State Coordinator ................................................................................. 23

     Veterans‘ Representatives (Local Offices) ......................................................................... 23

     County Veterans Service Officers ............................................................................................. 39 - 45

    A BRIEF GUIDE FOR RECENTLY DISCHARGED VETERANS

    Honorable service in the US Armed Forces entitles you to a number of benefits from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and, in certain cases from the State of South Dakota. The purpose of this guide is not to provide you with detailed information on the multitude of benefits available, but to give you some key points to get you started in the right direction. DD FORM 214

    Your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty is one of the most important documents you will ever receive and should be kept in a safe place. If at any time you wish to apply for one or more of the veterans‘ benefits you have earned through your military service, you will be required to submit a copy of your DD-214.

    Upon discharge, we strongly recommend that you take your original DD-214 to the Register of Deeds Office in the county courthouse where you reside and have it recorded there. By doing this you will ensure yourself of having a readily accessible copy should the original ever be misplaced or lost by fire, flood, etc.

    SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITIES

    Service connected disability compensation is payable to wartime or peacetime veterans who incur or aggravate a disability while on active military service. Active military service may also include any period of active or inactive duty for training.

    Some important things to remember for establishing service connection (SC).

    ; It is the veterans‘ responsibility to file a claim for SC. ; Those on active duty should be advised to get treatment for any injury or illness and request copies of their service medical records. ; Claims for SC should be filed immediately following discharge, (if not filed while on Active Duty). ; Once SC is established, the VA will provide free medical treatment for the condition(s). The VA rates disabilities from 0% to 100% disabling, depending upon the severity of the condition(s). If at any time the service connected condition(s) worsen, the veteran may request an increased rating. VA MEDICAL CARE

    Generally speaking, all veterans are eligible to apply for medical treatment at a VA Medical Center. Under the current eligibility criteria, those who do not have any service connected disabilities are subject to a ‗Means Test‘ to determine which Priority Group they fit into and whether or not they will have to make a co-payment for their care.

    Important note: Under current eligibility criteria, military personnel who recently served in a combat zone are eligible for free medical care at a VA Medical facility, for a period of five years following discharge from active duty, for certain conditions that ‗may be related‘ to their period of active duty. This does not include medical problems such as a common cold or injuries from an accident which happened after the service member was discharged from Active Duty.

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HOME LOAN GUARANTY

    VA guaranteed loans are made by private lenders such as banks, savings & loans and mortgage companies. A major advantage of the VA Home Loan Guaranty is that it often eliminates the need for making a large down payment that is generally required in the purchase of a home. To use this program, the veteran must first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.

    For those who served on active duty after August 2, 1990 to be eligible for this program, they must have completed 24 months of continuous active duty OR the full period (at least 90 days) for which they were ordered to active duty. Exceptions to the length of service requirements would be those who were discharged earlier for hardship or because of a service connected disability.

    STATE BENEFITS FOR SOUTH DAKOTA VETERANS

    Veterans Bonus South Dakota has traditionally paid a bonus to residents who served on active duty during a wartime period. During the 2004 Legislative Session a new bonus program, authorizing payments of up to $500 per individual, was approved for those who served in recent years. More information is being provided through the media and other outlets. Veterans Education Benefits Resident veterans who do not have any GI Bill entitlement may be eligible for free tuition at South Dakota Universities. The tuition waiver can be used only for undergraduate courses. Veterans have twenty (20) years from the ending date of the particular conflict during which they served to use this benefit. Refer to detailed explanation of benefits found at the end of the education section in this booklet.

    Dependents Education Benefits Children or spouses of National Guard members who sustain a permanent total disability or who died while on state active duty or training and the children or spouses of veterans who died while on active duty may be eligible for free tuition at South Dakota Universities or postsecondary technical institutes.

    Veterans Preference South Dakota law provides for veterans preference for employment in all public departments including state, county and city offices. Honorably discharged veterans who are residents of this state and who have the qualifications necessary for the position are to be given preference over a non-veteran who has similar qualifications. Veterans who have service connected disabilities are to be given preference over veterans who do not have any service connected disabilities.

    The un-remarried spouse of a veteran who died while in the service, or who died later from a service connected condition is entitled to the same preference given to the veteran, if she has the qualifications for the position. Additionally, if a veteran is unable to work due to his service connected disabilities, his or her spouse is entitled to the veteran‘s preference if he or she has the qualifications for the position.

    WHO CAN YOU CALL FOR ANSWERS AND ASSISTANCE? In South Dakota, each county has a County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) and some of the reservations have a Tribal Veterans Service Officer (TVSO). These individuals serve as the local contact person for our states veterans and they provide assistance with making proper application for the various benefits and programs that are available for veterans. The majority of these offices are located in the respective county courthouse or Tribal Offices (sees directory pages 39 - 45 for a ). complete list of veteran‘s service officers or go to http//:mva.sd.us

    In addition, the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs (SDDVA) serves as an advocate for veterans and provides assistance with claims. They can be reached by calling either of the offices listed:

    Pierre Office 605.773.4981

    Sioux Falls Office 605.333.6869

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    VETERAN’S EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

    VA education benefits are authorized to veterans and qualified dependents under specific chapters of Title 38, US Code. Eligibility for benefits can only be determined by the US Department of Veterans Affairs except with individuals eligible for MGIB (Chapter 30), Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) or Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607), Department of Defense determines eligibility. Benefits can be received from only one VA educational chapter at a time, even if there is eligibility under multiple chapters. Before benefits can be received the program will need to be approved by the SD State Approving Agency which is part of the SD Department of Veterans Affairs. The following is a listing of the various chapters and their general eligibility requirements:

    MONTGOMERY GI BILL - ACTIVE DUTY (CHAPTER 30) This educational entitlement provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans. You may use this education entitlement program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances.

    Eligibility Requirements

    You may be an eligible veteran if you got an honorable discharge, and you have a High School Diploma or GED or, in some cases 12 hours of college credit, and you meet the requirements of one of the categories below:

CATEGORY I

    ; Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985

    ; Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months

    ; Continuously served for three years, OR two years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR two years if you entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served four years ("2 by 4" Program)

CATEGORY II

    ; Entered active duty before January 1, 1977

    ; Served at least one day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88 (or 6/30/87 if you entered Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty and served four years)

    ; On 12/31/89 you had entitlement left from Vietnam Era GI Bill

CATEGORY III

    ; Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II

    ; On active duty on 9/30/90 AND separated involuntarily after 2/2/91

    ; OR involuntarily separated on or after 11/30/93

    ; OR voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program

    ; Before separation, you had military pay reduced by $1200

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CATEGORY IV

    ; On active duty on 10/9/96 AND you had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date AND you elected MGIB by 10/9/97

    ; OR entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between 7/1/85, and 11/28/89 AND you elected MGIB during the period 10/9/96, through 7/8/97

    ; Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1200 lump-sum contribution

    The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DOD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called "kickers"). You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be less, in some cases, and longer under certain circumstances. One example would be: If the veteran was ordered to active duty and served the full period to which activated, the veteran would have a new 10 years from the date of the last period of service as long as individual has entitlement remaining.

    MONTGOMERY GI BILL-ACTIVE DUTY RATES

    (CHAPTER 30) EFFECTIVE October 1, 2010

    MONTHLY RATES FOR PERSONS WHOSE INITIAL OBLIGATED PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY IS MORE THAN THREE YEARS

    TYPE OF TRAINING FULL TIME THREE QUARTER TIME HALF-TIME INSTITUTIONAL $1426.00 $1069.50 $713.00

    Tuition and Fees, not to exceed the rate of $684.00 for less than half-time but more than LESS THAN HALF TIME one quarter-time and $330.25 for one quarter-time.

    COOPERATIVE $1426.00 (Full-Time Only)

    CORRESPONDENCE Entitlement Charged at rate of one month for each $1426.00 paid. APPRENTICESHIP/OJT First 6 Months, $1069.50; second 6 months, $784.30; Remainder of program, $499.10 FLIGHT Entitlement charged at rate of one month for each $1426.00 paid. MONTHLY RATES FOR PERSONS WHOSE INITIAL OBLIGATED PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY IS LESS THAN THREE YEARS

    TYPE OF TRAINING FULL-TIME THREE QUARTER-TIME HALF-TIME INSTITUTIONAL $1158.00 $868.50 $579.00

    Tuition and Fees, not to exceed the rate of $579.00 for less than half-time but more than LESS THAN HALF TIME one quarter-time and $289.50 for one quarter-time.

    COOPERATIVE $1158.00 (Full-Time Only)

    CORRESPONDENCE Entitlement Charged at rate of one month for each $1158.00 paid. APPRENTICESHIP/OJT First 6 months, $868.50; second 6 months, $636.90; Remainder of Program, $405.30. FLIGHT Entitlement Charged at rate of one month for each $1158.00 paid.

    Please see http:/www.gibill.va.gov/ for current GI Bill Education rates.

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    MONTGOMERY GI BILL-ACTIVE DUTY/ROLL-OVER RATES

    (CHAPTER 30 CATEGORY II) EFFECTIVE October 1, 2010

    INSTITUTIONAL RATES FOR PERSONS WITH REMAINING ENTITLEMENT UNDER CHAPTER 34 OF TITLE 38, U.S.C.

    NO ONE TWO EACH ADDITIONAL TIME DEPENDENTS DEPENDENT DEPENDENTS DEPENDENT FULL-TIME $1614.00 $1650.00 $1681.00 $16.00 THREE-QUARTER TIME $1211.00 $1237.50 $1237.00 $12.00 HALF-TIME $ 807.00 $ 825.00 $ 840.50 $ 8.50 LESS THAN HALF-TIME BUT MORE THAN ONE-TUITION AND FEES, NOT TO EXCEED THE RATE OF $807.00. QUARTER-TIME

    ONE-QUARTER TIME TUITION AND FEES, NOT TO EXCEED THE RATE OF $403.50. COOPERATIVE $1614.00 $1650.00 $1631.00 $16.00 CORRESPONDENCE 55% of the approved charges FLIGHT 60% of the approved charges

    ON-THE-JOB/APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING RATES FOR PERSONS WITH REMAINING ENTITLEMENT UNDER CHAPTER 34 OF TITLE 38, U.S.C.

    NO ONE TWO EACH ADDITIONAL TIME DEPENDENTS DEPENDENT DEPENDENTS DEPENDENT FIRST 6 MONTHS $1172.25 $1184.63 $1195.50 $5.25 SECOND 6 MONTHS $ 840.68 $ 850.03 $ 857.73 $3.85 THIRD 6 MONTHS $ 522.90 $ 529.03 $ 533.75 $2.45 REMAINDER $ 511.00 $ 516.78 $ 522.03 $2.45

    MONTGOMERY GI BILL - SELECTED RESERVE (CHAPTER 1606)

    A member of the Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits. You may use this education entitlement program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs.

    Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components.

    ; Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training, it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after September 30, 1990; ; Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT); ; Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement; ; Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit, entitlement ends on the day you leave the Selected Reserve.

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    ; If your Reserve or National Guard unit was deactivated during the period October 1, 1991 through September 30, 1995, or if you were involuntarily separated (e.g., reduction in force) from Reserve or National Guard service during this same period, you will retain eligibility for MGIB - SR benefits for the full 14 year eligibility period. ; You will also retain MGIB - SR eligibility if you were discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct. ; Your eligibility period may be extended if you are ordered to active duty. ; If your eligibility to this program began prior to October 1, 1992, your period of eligibility ends 10 years from your beginning date of eligibility, or on the day you leave the Selected Reserve. ; If your eligibility to this program began on or after October 1, 1992, your period of eligibility ends 14 years from your beginning date of eligibility, or on the day you leave the Selected Reserve. ; One exception to this rule exists if you are mobilized (or recalled to active duty from your reserve status); in this case your eligibility may be extended for the amount of time you are mobilized PLUS four months. For example, if you are mobilized for 12 months, the eligibility period is extended for 16 months (12 months active PLUS 4 months.) So even if you leave the reserves after mobilization, you may have additional eligibility to the MGIB-SR.

    MONTGOMERY GI BILL - SELECTED RESERVE RATES

    (CHAPTER 1606) EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2010

    LESS THAN TYPE OF TRAINING FULL-TIME THREE QUARTER-TIME HALF-TIME HALF-TIME INSTITUTIONAL $337.00 $252.00 $167.00 $84.25 COOPERATIVE $337 (Full-Time Only)

    Paid at 55% of the approved charges for the course. CORRESPONDENCE Entitlement charged at rate of one month for each $337.00 paid.

    First 6 months $252.75 Second 6 months $185.35 APPRENTICESHIP/OJT Remainder of $117.95 program

    Paid at 60% of the approved charges for the course. FLIGHT Entitlement charged at rate of one month for each $337.00 paid.

    RESERVE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (REAP) (CHAPTER 1607)

    Overview of Provisions

    Purpose of REAP (Chapter 1607) REAP (Chapter 1607) provides educational assistance to members of the reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operations) as declared by the President or Congress.

    Note: "Contingency operations" as defined in title 10 U.S. Code means "military operations that are designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the armed forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against opposing military force; or results in the call or order to, or retention on active duty of members of the uniformed services under section 688, 12301(a), 12302, 12304, 12305, or 12406 of 10 U.S.C., chapter 15 of 10 U.S.C., or any other provision of law during a war or during a national emergency declared by the President or Congress."

    Educational Assistance Program Under REAP (Chapter 1607) The Secretaries of each military service, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security (for the Coast Guard) will establish this program to provide educational assistance to members of the Ready Reserve.

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Eligibility A member of a reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10 U.S. Code for a contingency operation and who serves at least 90 consecutive days or more is eligible for REAP (Chapter 1607). National Guard members also are eligible if their active duty is under section 502(f), title 32 U.S.C. and they serve for 90 consecutive days when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency and is supported by federal funds. Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach the 90-day point whether or not they are currently on active duty. DoD will fully identify contingency operations that qualify for benefits under REAP (Chapter 1607).

    Disabled members who are injured or have an illness or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and are released from active duty before completing 90 consecutive days are also eligible.

    Note 1: The "reserve components" consist of Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

    Note 2: A "member of a reserve component who serves on active duty" includes persons from the Selected Reserve and the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve). "Contingency operation" does not just mean the current Iraq or Afghanistan operations. DoD will advise VA as to what the authorized contingency operations are. The key issue is: Did a person serve in a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001? Call-up after that date is not necessarily a requirement. Benefits Under REAP (Chapter 1607). The educational assistance allowance payable under REAP (Chapter 1607) is a percentage of the Chapter 30 three-year rate (Category 1B rate) based on the number of continuous days served on active duty. The full-time rate in the table below is the rate* for full-time institutional training under REAP (Chapter 1607).

    PERCENTAGE OF 3 YEAR FULL-TIME RATE* MEMBER SERVES RATE FY2009

    $ 570.40 90 days but less than one year 40%

    $ 855.60 One year but less than two years 60%

    $1140.80 Two years or more 80%

    *Reduced rates will apply for correspondence, flight, apprenticeship/OJT and licensing & certification training.

    Note: Disabled members released before 90 days are eligible for the 40% rate.

    Maximum Months of Assistance The number of months of entitlement under REAP (Chapter 1607) is 36 months. A person could earn 36 months of entitlement after serving the minimum 90 days. The 48-month limitation when combining two or more education programs applies to REAP (Chapter 1607). The restoration of entitlement provision applies to members under REAP (Chapter 1607) who after they become eligible for REAP (Chapter 1607), have to discontinue their education and fail to receive credit for coursework due to call-up. Programs Approved educational programs under 1607 will include any educational programs approved under Chapter 30 of title 38 U.S.C.

    Written Notification The law requires DoD to provide members a written notice summarizing the provisions of REAP (Chapter 1607) upon release from active duty. DoD will provide details as to the type of written notice they will provide.

    Bar to Dual Eligibility A member may not use the same period of service to qualify for benefits under REAP (Chapter 1607) and Chapter 30 of 38 U.S.C. The member must make an irrevocable decision as to which program the service will be credited to. Bar to Duplication of Educational Assistance Allowance If a member is qualified for REAP (Chapter 1607), Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) of 10 U.S.C. or Chapters 30, 31, 32 or 35 under 38 U.S.C., or the Hostage Relief Act of 1980, he or she may not receive assistance under more than one program at one time. The member must elect through VA which program of assistance he or she wishes to receive.

    Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) Kickers The Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) kicker will be paid to a member who was otherwise entitled to a Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) kicker before call-up and will now receive benefits under REAP (Chapter 1607).

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