Links to articles and military/veteran web sites:
Veteran Affairs Public Relations:To view and download current VA news releases.
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki - Retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki was nominated by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2008 to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Gould Sworn in as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs - W. Scott Gould, has taken the oath of office as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. (4/9/09)
Veterans News and Information Service - Veteran's and Military News
disABLED American Veterans - news stories that are specific to disABLED Veterans
Military Press - Newspaper - Military/Veteran electronic magazine from Southern Calif. - membership
Military.com - Veterans Report - the Military's Largest Benefit Update - Free membership
Military.com - News and Benefits - Free membership
Veterans of Foreign Wars - To "honor the dead by helping the living"
American Legion - a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization
Disabled American Veterans - Building Better Lives for Disabled American Veterans and their Families.
Booklet of Benefits for Veterans and Dependents - PDF document of Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents - Department of Veterans Affairs 2009 Edition.
VA Benefits Fact Sheets These fact sheets provide basic information on VA benefit programs by category.
Warrior Care, Wounded Warrior Resource Center. Please contact the Gilpin Veteran's Service Office for more information.
Communications to Congress This link is available as on-line resources related to VA and Congress:
Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
Headstones and Markers..............................1-800-697-6947
Health Care Revenue Center......................1-877-222-8387
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline..........1-800-273-8255
Special Health Issues...................................1-800-749-8387
for the Deaf (TDD)........................................1-800-829-4833
Burial and Memorial Benefits ..........................www.cem.va.gov/
Department of Defense ......................www.disabilitydenials.com/
Education Benefits ...........................................www.gibill.va.gov/
Federal Jobs ............................................www.usajobs.opm.gov/
Health Care Eligibility ......................www.va.gov/healtheligibility/
Home Loan Guaranty ...........................www.homeloans.va.gov/
Life Insurance ..........................................www.insurance.va.gov/
Returning Veterans .................www.seamlesstransition.va.gov/
Veterans Employment and Training ..............www.dol.gov/vets/
Veterans Preference ............www.opm.gov/veterans/index.asp
Voc. Rehabilitation & Employment ..........www.vetsuccess.gov/
VA Benefit Payment Rates ........www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/
VA Forms .....................................................www.va.gov/vaforms/
VA Home Page ............................................................www.va.gov/
Veteran's Nursing Home.......................................................FAQs
Summary: The State of Colorado offers special benefits for its military service members and Veterans including Retired Military Pay tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
State Tax Advantage: SCR06-001 has passed and will be on the November ballot. It provides a Property Tax Exemption for 100% SC disabled veterans.
Retired Military Pay: Members of the Armed Forces can exclude up to $20,000 in any one taxable year from their retirement pay.
Eligibility: U.S. Armed Forces Retiree.
Military Disability Retired Pay: Disability Portion - Length of Service Pay; Member on September 24, 1975 - No tax; Not Member on September 24, 1975 - Taxed, unless combat incurred. Retired Pay - Based solely on disability: Member on September 24, 1975 - No tax; Not Member on September 24, 1975 - Taxed, unless all pay based on disability and disability resulted from armed conflict, extra-hazardous service, simulated war, or an instrumentality of war.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Not subject to federal or state taxes.Education Benefits: For Veterans: None
Tuition Assistance: Any member of the Colorado National Guard is eligible for state tuition assistance, up to 100% tuition paid at any CO state-funded school depending on funding available. State funding can be used in conjunction with Federal Tuition Assistance. Deadline for Spring Semester is Dec. 1. Deadline for Fall Semester is July 1. Summer deadline is May 1 (if funding is available).
Eligibility: Colorado National Guard member must serve 2 years for each year granted.
* Beginning July 1, 2000 any new member of the Colorado National Guard eligible for State Tuition Assistance must have a minimum of 6 months of service in the Colorado National Guard. Interstate Transfer (ISTs) and In-Service Recruits (ISRs) are waived from this requirement.
* As of 1 July 2005 the State Tuition Assistance (TA) program is no longer a payback program; To get TA the member must be in drilling status with the Colorado National Guard. If the member leaves drilling status, during the semester/quarter for which they are receiving TA, the member must reimburse the Department for the whole amount of TA received for that semester. For those members who received TA prior to 1 July 2005 (to include Summer 2005) the service requirement of 1 year for each semester sponsored PRIOR to 1 July 2005 still applies.
* Must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average.
Tuition Assistance for Children of POWs, MIAs, or Disabled/Deceased ARNG: Free tuition in certain State-support schools for children of prisoners of war or persons missing in actions who were Colorado residents when they entered the Armed Forces, or for children of Colorado National Guardsmen who died or were permanently disabled while on State active duty limited to dependents who do not qualify for Federal Education benefits.
Operation Recognition: Operation Recognition is a program to award High School diplomas to deserving and qualified WWII, Korea and Vietnam Era Veterans. Operation Recognition, is authorized by Colorado State Law and is offered by the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Association of School Boards.
Employment Assistance: State Active Duty employee receives 15 days of paid military leave per year.
Eligibility: Colorado National Guard
Employment Preference (Civil Service Rights): Disabled Veterans shall have 10 points added to their grades and non-disabled Veterans shall be credited with an additional 5 points for "state employment". For city and county governments that have a “Merit System” in place.
Motor Vehicle Tax: No fee shall be charged to certain disabled Veterans or Ex-POWs who have established their right to benefits under public laws. Applies to subsequent vehicles, but only one at a time.
Special Vehicle License Plates: The State provides plates at no cost to the Veteran include: recipients of the Medal of Honor, recipients of the Purple Heart, to certain disabled wartime Veterans, special disabled (50%+)Veterans license plates, and special license plates for former POWs. Plates for honorably discharged Veterans may be purchased for nominal fee. January 2007, There will be issued a “Valor Plate” for those veterans who have received the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross ,Air Force DSC, and Survivors of Pearl Harbor and/or their surviving spouse.
Medical Benefits: Dental coverage and full medical for line-of-duty
Eligibility: Colorado National Guard
Hunting and Fishing Privileges
Fishing license: No fee for
Eligibility: 1) Member of the Armed Forces stationed as a resident patient at a military hospital or convalescent station, 2) any resident patient at a USDVA hospital located within the State, 3) any Veteran who is permanently and totally disabled.
Small Game Hunting and Fishing License: Free lifetime combination small-game hunting and fishing license.
Eligibility: Resident Veteran with a service-connected disability of 60% or more.
State Veterans’ Home: Admission preference is given to Veterans, spouses, widows and mothers at State Veterans Center, Homelake, CO. With 40 operating beds in the domiciliary unit and 60 beds in nursing care service.
State Veterans Nursing Home: The Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Florence, CO with a bed capacity of 120 beds. Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Rifle, CO with a capacity of 100 beds. Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Walsenburg with a capacity of 120 beds. We have a new State Veterans Home. It is the Fitzimons State Veterans Home, located in Denver, CO. It has a capacity of 180 beds.
Burial Allowance: County allowance of up to $50 for burial and up to $50 for setting markers for pauper Veterans.
HB06-1072- Special Armed Forces License Plates- fee
SB06-031- Bronze Star Special License Plate-fee
SB06-172- Exemption to fees on Special Military License Plates.
The Veterans Trust Fund
A fund established from the Master Tobacco Settlement which provides to Chartered Veteran Service Organizations, State Veteran Nursing Homes, Division of Veteran Affairs and the State Veteran Cemeteries for the operations of, maintenance of facilities, and/or veteran homeless shelters and transportation programs.
Department of Veterans Affairs & Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs Information:
State Tax Advantage: SCR06-001 has passed and was on the November ballot. It provides a Property Tax Exemption for 100% SC disabled veterans. Eligibility: U.S. Veterans with Service Connected Disability of 100% Permanent and Total.
Disabled veterans who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value of the veteran’s primary residence is exempted. The state will reimburse the county treasurer for the lost revenue. The exemption is effective January 1, 2007, on property tax bills sent beginning in 2008. Owners of multiple residences may only designate one property as their primary residence. For more info. contact Colorado Division Veterans Affairs at 303 343-1268, on the web- http://www.dmva.state.co.us/page/va/prop_tax - instructions and application, Gilpin County Veteran Service Office - 303 582-5444 ex. 1103 or click here PROP TAX EXEMPT OVERVIEW INSTRUCTIONS AND APPLICATION 3MAY07.pdf (Size: 70 KB) for Instructions & Application.
Economic Stimulus Tax Benefits
Recipients of VA disability compensation, pension and survivors benefits may qualify for economic stimulus payments this year from the federal government. Individuals who might not otherwise be required to file a 2007 tax return need to file a return this year to receive the stimulus payment. Detailed information is available on the Internal Revenue Service Web site and VA - ESTB.
Free National Park Passes: The National Park Service is a participant in the Interagency Pass Project. A lifetime free pass, Access Pass, is offered to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Accepted documentation is a VA disability rating. There is some question if it has to be a 100% P & T or if any lower percent rating qualifies, as long at is permanent. “Individuals eligible to receive the Access Pass shall be any person who has a permanent physical, mental or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning or working.” From BLM General Program Descriptions and Requirements
USGS states: “If I am partially disabled do I qualify for the Access Pass?
If you believe you qualify based on the definition of permanent disability and have supporting official documentation for the disability, you can be issued a pass.”
Passes can be picked up at any National Park entrance. Go to HYPERLINK "http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes" or "http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html" for more information this and other passes available.
Where can I obtain an Access Pass?
An Access Pass can be obtained in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office.
Bureau of Land Management http://www.blm.gov
Bureau of Reclamation http://www.usbr.gov
Fish & Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov
USDA Forest Service http://www.fs.fed.us
National Park Service http://www.nps.gov
Miscellaneous Benefits: State Veterans’ Home: Admission preference is given to Veterans, spouses, widows and mothers at State Veterans Center, Homelake, CO. With 40 operating beds in the domiciliary unit and 60 beds in nursing care service.
State Veterans Nursing Home: The Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Florence, CO with a bed capacity of 120 beds. Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Rifle, CO with a capacity of 100 beds. Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Walsenburg with a capacity of 120 beds. We have a new State Veterans Home. It is the Fitzsimons State Veterans Home, located in Denver, CO. It has a capacity of 180 beds.
Burial Allowance: County allowance of up to $50 for burial and up to $50 for setting markers for pauper Veterans.
The Veterans Trust fund: A fund established from the Master Tobacco Settlement which provides to Chartered Veteran Service Organizations, State Veteran Nursing Homes, Division of Veteran Affairs and the State Veteran Cemeteries for the operations of, maintenance of facilities, and/or veteran homeless shelters and transportation programs. Veteran's Trust Fund link from Military and Veteran's Affairs.
USO: If you are an active duty or military retiree and traveling through DIA, use some of your waiting time to visit the USO. Those chairs are soft! This is a great place to get out of the hustle and bustle.
Veterans Salute the Flag: Senate Bill (S.1877) clarifies U.S. law to allow veterans and servicemen not in uniform to salute the flag. Current law (US Code Title 4, Chapter 1) states that veterans and servicemen not in uniform should place their hand over their heart without clarifying whether they can or should salute the flag.
“The salute is a form of honor and respect, representing pride in one's military service," Senator Inhofe said. "Veterans and service members continue representing the military services even when not in uniform. "Unfortunately, current U.S. law leaves confusion as to whether veterans and service members out of uniform can or should salute the flag. My legislation will clarify this regulation, allowing veterans and servicemen alike to salute the flag, whether they are in uniform or not. "I look forward to seeing those who have served saluting proudly at baseball games, parades, and formal events. I believe this is an appropriate way to honor and recognize the 25 million veterans in the United States who have served in the military and remain as role models to others citizens. Those who are currently serving or have served in the military have earned this right, and their recognition will be an inspiration to others." This Bill was passed July 25, 2007. Please pass the word to your fellow veterans.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Not subject to federal or state taxes.
A Reminder – Death While Claim Pending: If the veteran dies during the period of application and the application was not approved prior to the death, there may be accrued benefits. If the regional office had all of the information in its possession that would have led to an approval, then there is an accrued benefit payable. Otherwise there is none. The full benefit is available for the month of death of the veteran and to a surviving spouse through an application on Form 21-534. This is the same form a surviving spouse uses for a death benefit claim for himself or herself. VA will award either an accrued benefit or death benefit to the surviving spouse whichever is larger. If there is no surviving spouse or dependent child, VA will pay the unreimbursed costs of last illness and burial to the person who paid those costs.
FYI - Reimbursement of Non-VA Medical Expenses for Service-Connected Veterans:
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in limited circumstances, may provide reimbursement of non-VA medical expenses for veterans for their service-connected conditions to include those who are recently granted service-connected awards.
General Qualifying Criteria:
• A medical emergency
•VA or other Federal facility not feasibly available
•Care or service was for a service-connected disability
Time Limit for Filing Claim of non-VA Medical Expenses:
Generally within 2 years of the date of service or notification of the allowance of a service-connected award (which may include care/services back to the effective date of award in cases of retroactive award – see example).Retroactive Award Example:
A veteran is awarded service-connected status via a Veterans Benefits Administration award letter dated January 1, 2007. The veteran filed the initial claim for service-connection on May 1, 2006. The service-connected award is retroactive to May 1, 2006.
The veteran may file a claim for private medical expenses care of the service-connected condition from May 1, 2006 forward as long as this claim is filed by January 1, 2009.
Where to File Claims: Veterans may file a claim for private medical expenses with their local VA health care facility’s Fee Basis office. Call Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs at 303 343-1268 or Denver Regional Office of Veteran Affairs at 1 (800) 827-1000 for details
Replacing Missing Medals: When requesting medals via form SF-180, type or clearly print the veteran’s full name, include the veteran’s branch of service, service number or Social Security number and provide the veteran’s exact or approximate dates of military service. The request must contain the signature of the veteran or next of kin if the veteran is deceased. If available, include a copy of the discharge or separation document, WDAGO Form 53-55 or DD Form 214. If you're requesting a DD-214, you don't to include one with your request.
The VA has a campaign and message for you:
The major message of the campaign is to wash your hands and cover your coughs. These basic public health measures - hand and respiratory hygiene - can make a huge difference in reducing the spread of infection, and can save time, money, and lives. From New York Times
[end of file]
|GC Veteran Service Office|
|News & Info|
|Vet's Home Page|