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​​Benefits (Federal & State)
FEDERAL BENEFITS

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* Health Care Enrollment

* Disability Compensation = Service-Connected

* Pension = Non-Service Connected Disability

* Montgometry GI Bill (active duty) Eligibility Education and Training

* Home Loan Eligibility

* VA Life Insurance

* Burial Benefits = Headstone and Markers, Presidential Memorial Certificates, Reimbursement of Burial Expenses

* Benefits for Survivors Spouse or Children Improvment Pension Eligibility Verification Report = EVR

* Medals and Review of Discharges

 

 

STATE BENEFITS

VETERANS' EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Provides financial aid in an emergency and temporary basis (not to exceed three (3) months in 12 month period) to veterans, their widows, infant children or dependents who reside in Pennsylvania for the necessities of life (food, dairy, shelter, fuel and clothing). An honorably discharged veteran must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States during established war service dates or during peacetime hostile fire or terrorist attack as determined by the Department of Military Affairs. Upon recent death of a veteran, his widow or orphan children are eligible provided the veteran would have qualified prior to his/her death.

EDUCATIONAL GRATUITY - Payment of Educational Gratuities are for children of honorably discharged veterans who have been certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as having wartime service-connected disabilities rated as totally and permanently disabled or children of veterans who die or have died of war service-connected disabilities or died in service during a period of war or armed conflict. Children must be between the ages of sixteen (16) through twenty-three (23), living within this Commonwealth five (5) years prior to application and must attend a school within this Commonwealth to be entitled to this Educational Gratuity.

REAL ESTATE TAX EXEMPTION - Any honorably discharged veteran who is a resident of the Commonwealth shall be exempt from the payment of all real estate taxes levied upon any building, including the land upon which it stands, occupied by him as his principal dwelling, provided that as a result of wartime military service the veteran has a 1000/0 service-connected disability rating by the DVA; that such dwelling is owned by him solely or jointly with his spouse (an estate by the entirety), and the NEED for the exemption from the payment of real estate taxes has been determined by the State Veterans' Commission. Upon death of the qualified veteran, the exemption passes on to unmarried surviving spouses if the need can be shown.

BLIND VETERANS' PENSION - Provides for a pension of $150.00 per month for a person who served in the military or naval forces of the United States, or women's organization officially connected therewith, who gave the Commonwealth as his/ her place of residence when entering the military and while performing duties connected with the service, suffered an injury or incurred a disease which resulted in loss of vision so that the visual acuity with the best correcting lens is 3 / 60 or 10 / 200 or equivalent- or levs, normal vision in the better eye. Less normal vision than 3/60 or 10/200, or equivalent, includes circumstances where the widest diameter of the visual field of the better eye has contracted to such an extent that it subtends an angular distance of not greaterthan20'. The term does not include a person separated from the military or naval forces of the United States or a women's organization officially connected therewith under other than honorable conditions.

PARALYZED VETERANS' PENSION - Provides for a pension of $150.00 per month for any person separated under honorable conditions form the Armed Forces of the United States; who gave the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as his or her place of residence at time of entering the military or naval forces of the United States, and currently reside in PA. Veterans qualify for the pension if they suffered an injury or disease resulting in the loss or loss of use of two or more extremities (arms/hands or legs/feet) during an established period of war or armed conflict or as a result of hostilities during combat-related activities in peacetime.

STATE VETERANS' HOMES - Veteran must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States or Pennsylvania Military Forces, released from service under honorable conditions. Veteran must be a bona fide resident of this Commonwealth upon making application. Applications are processed on a "first come, first serve" basis. For information or application contact your County Director of Veterans Affairs or one of the following agencies:

Hollidaysburg Veterans' Home
P.O. Box 319, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 Phone: (814) 696-5201

Delaware Valley Veterans Home
2701 Southampton Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154 Phone (215) 965-5900

Pennsylvania Soldiers' & Sailors' Home
560 E. Third Street, Erie, PA 16512 Phone: (814) 871-4531

Southeastern Veterans' Center
One Veterans Drive, Spring City, PA 19475 Phone: (610) 948-2400

Gino J. Merli Veterans Center
401 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503 Phone: (570) 961-4300

Southwestern Veterans' Center
7060 Highland Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 Phone: (412) 665-6706

OTHER STATE BENEFITS

GRANTS FOR VETERANS AND POW/MIA DEPENDENTS - Qualified veterans of the US Armed Services are eligible for consideration for State Grants while they are full-time undergraduate students. Veterans must comply with Pennsylvania's residency (domicile) requirements and other PHEAA eligibility requirements.

Dependent children of members or former members of the US Armed Services who served on active duty after January 31, 1955, who are or have been listed as missing in action or Prisoners of War who were residents (domiciliary) of Pennsylvania for at least twelve (12) months preceding service on active duty are eligible for undergraduate State Grants. Telephone No. is: 1-800-692-7435..

CIVIL SERVICE PREFERENCE - Honorably discharged veterans receiving a PASSING score on a State Civil Service Examination are given an additional ten (10) points on initial appointment only. Widows of veterans and wives of disabled service-connected veterans are also extended the same preference rating. For information contact Civil Service Commission, P.O. Box 569, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Telephone Number: (717) 787-6039.

BIRTH AND DEATH RECORDS - Certified copies of birth and death records are issued to veterans and their dependents without cost by the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, 101 So. Mercer Street, New Castle, Pennsylvania 16103.
Telephone Number: (412) 656-3100.

VEHICLE REGISTRATION FOR SEVERELY DISABLED VETERANS - Requires 100% service- connected disability certified by DVA.
*Disabled Veteran - Requires service-connected disability certified by DVA.
*Ex-prisoner of War - Requires certificate of imprisonment from DVA or branch of the armed service.
*Purple Hear Recipient - Requires proof of award of Purple Heart (certified copy of discharge certificate, certificate of award, certification of the award from DVA or military orders).
*Parking Placard-Disabled Veterans - No fee is charged a disabled veteran, having a disability certified by the DVA as service-connected and who desires a parking placard designating the vehicle in which it is displayed as being used for transportation of a disabled veteran. Any vehicle displaying a disabled veteran parking placard will qualify for parking in areas designated for use by handicapped persons. Use of the parking placard shall be restricted to passenger vehicles and vehicles with a registered gross weight of not more than 9,000 pounds. To apply for this parking placard a letter from the DVA must accompany Department of Transportation Form MV-145A explaining the nature and percentage of such disability.

Applications for any of the special license plates/parking placard can be obtained from any County Director of Veterans Affairs office, any state Bureau, for Veterans Affairs office or by calling the Department of Transportation at 717-787-3130 or 800-932-4600.

STATE RETIREMENT - Honorably discharged, veterans employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a period of three (3) years may buy back their time spent in the United States Armed Services (not to exceed five (5) years) for retirement purposes.

VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT - Veterans Employment Representatives are located throughout the Commonwealth to assist veterans with job counseling and placement information. For assistance contact your local Job Service Office.

FREE FISHING LICENSE FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS - A resident of Pennsylvania who has a disability incurred in war or armed conflict consisting of a loss or use of one or more limbs, total blindness or who is certified by the DVA as being 100% disabled as a result of war or armed conflict military service may be entitled to a free resident fishing license upon application to a county treasurer or the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Applicants should have V.A. certification, discharge papers, and proof of wartime service. Physician's certificates of disability are not acceptable.

FREE HUNTING LICENSES FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS - A resident disabled veteran of any war whose disability consists of the loss or use of one or more limbs or who presents a physician's certificate of total or 100% disability as a result of wartime service may be entitled to a free hunting license upon application to a county treasurer. Applicants need physician's certificate, discharge papers and proof of wartime service.

ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE - Qualifying disabled veterans who are residents of Pennsylvania can receive an antlerless deer license upon application to the county (county treasurer) of their choice, regardless of the county allocation. The fee for this guaranteed disabled veteran antlerless deer license is the same as the regular or military antlerless license. Do not confuse this antlerless license with the Free Regular Hunting License available to qualifying disabled veterans.

 

How You Get Credit for Special Extra Earnings - The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. Here's how the special extra earnings are credited on your record:
Service in 1957 Through 1977 - You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
Service in 1978 through 2001 -For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.  The Harrisburg office can be reached at 1-888-327-1176, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Retirement Planner: Special Extra Earnings for Military Service - Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.
Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.
Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for inactive duty training.
If your active military service occurred
  • From 1957 through 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
  • From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
  • After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.

Note: In January 2002, Public Law 107-117, the Defense Appropriations Act, stopped the special extra earnings that have been credited to military service personnel. Military service in calendar year 2002 and future years no longer qualifies for these special extra earnings credits

 

COUNTY BENEFITS

For the following County Benefits, see your County Director of Veterans Affairs Office

BURIAL ALLOWANCE - County burial allowances are provided to veterans and spouses of deceased veterans as indicated in the County Code. The allowance is provided whether or not the person died in the county or was buried in the county. Application for the burial allowance must be made within one year after date of his or her death.

GRAVE MARKERS - A county grave marker is provided to deceased veterans as indicated in the County Code. The initial grave marker is provided free of charge by the county in which the deceased service person had legal residence at the time of death, whether or not the veteran died in the county or was buried in the county. Future replacements or deteriorated or missing markers may be replaced by the county in which the veteran is buried.

GOVERNMENT/ PRIVATE HEADSTONES - County headstone allowances are provided for qualified veterans as indicated in County Code. The one time expense shall be borne by the county in which the veteran had legal residence at the time of death, whether or not the veteran died in the county, or was buried in the county. There is no time limit to apply for this benefit.

MARRIAGE & DIVORCE RECORDS - Certified copies of marriage and divorce records are issued without cost to disabled wartime veterans, or members of the armed forces, of any war or armed conflict in which the United States has been, is not or shall hereafter be engaged, or by or on behalf of any dependent of any such veteran, or member of the armed forces.

DISCHARGE CERTIFICATES - Honorable Discharge certificates are recorded free at the Court House of the County Seat.

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