Building Better Lives for America’s Disabled Veterans

Frequently Asked Questions

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    3.Veteran Services
  • How can a Veteran Service Officers help me and where can I find a VSO Offcie

    Veteran Service Officers will help you navigate the DVA's bureacracy, and their services are free. They will help with gathering the information necessary to support a claim, filing the claim, and tracking the claim through the VA system. They can also assist with filing appeals for denied claims. We strongly recommend that you make use of the services provided by VSOs. Their expertize can help you avoid the pitfalls and delays that missing paperwork or improperly filled out claim forms can cause.


    As a convenience, we have provided direct links to the service organizations with nationwide networks, and to the State offices that provide claim representation. You can use those links to find a VSO near you. Alternatively, you can call us at and we will help you locate a VSO.


    Veteran Service Organizations


    The VA maintains  a complete listing of Veteran Service Organizations that provide claim representation. You can see a complete listing the the VA's website here. If you already have an ongoing relationship with one of those organizations, we suggest you contact them for information about local representatives.


    The following organizations have VSOs nationwide. You do not have to be a member of these organizations to use their services.


    Veterans of Foreign Wars American Legion Miltary Order of the Purple Heart
    Vietnam Veterans of America Disabled American Veterans Amvets
    Paralyzed Veterans of America


    State Veteran Affairs Offices


    Every state provides VSOs. They will help with VA claims, and they can help you identify benefits available from your state government, such as reduced propery taxes or educational benefits for dependents. Click on your State below to locate a State VSO near you.


    Please notify us at admin@nvf.org if any of these links are broken. We'll update the state's changes immediately.



  • 4.Taxes
  • Information for Veterans with Disabilities?

    The Internal Revenue Service is committed to providing assistance to veterans and veterans with disabilities. We work with community and government partners to provide timely federal tax-related information to veterans about tax credits and benefits, free tax preparation, and asset-building opportunities available to them.


    VA Disability Benefits
    Do not include disability benefits you receive from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in your gross income. In particular some of the payments which are considered disability benefits include:


    Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid either to veterans or their families, Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living, Grants for motor vehicles for veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs, or Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program.


    VA has created an eBenefits portal where you can apply for many of these benefits online. Veterans can apply for Veterans’ Benefits Online (VONAPP), access VA Payment History, apply for VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility, check on Compensation & Pension Status, and more.


    Family members (spouses and dependents [ages 18+]) of Service members and Veterans may register for a Basic (Level 1) DS Logon to access eBenefits. View TRICARE benefits, explore eLearning opportunities, and request information from State VA offices online.


    The VA publishes an annual benefits booklet, a comprehensive guide for Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors.


    If you are a military retiree and receive your disability benefits from the VA, see IRS Publication 525 for more information .


    Special Tax Considerations
    Special tax considerations for disabled veterans occasionally result in a need for amended returns


    Rehabilitative Program Payments


    VA payments to hospital patients and resident veterans for their services under the VA’s therapeutic or rehabilitative programs are no longer included in income. For more information, please see IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-198.


    Tax Credits


    Many disabled veterans are eligible for various tax credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income, working individuals and families. Those requiring free help in preparing their income tax returns should check out the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.


    Homeless Veterans


    Veterans with disabilities experience high rates of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. The VA and other organizations work together through neighborhood stand-downs to help disabled veterans who are homeless. This collaborative effort provides a variety of services such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, and benefits counseling.


    Research shows that veterans have a significant and too often unmet need for legal services. Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless rank legal needs regarding eviction or foreclosure proceedings, child support issues and outstanding warrants or fines as some of their highest unmet needs.


    The website http://www.statesidelegal.org has 1) legal information on various topics of interest to veterans and 2) a search engine that allows veterans to find free legal help in their geographic area.


    Federal Employment


    If you are a veteran and have a disability per the VA, you may qualify for internships or you could be hired non-competitively for any federal position for which you qualify. The IRS Veterans Employment Program Office is designed to provide quality training and work experience to wounded warriors and veterans by offering various non-paid internship opportunities within the IRS as well as help veterans who qualify for one or more of the three special hiring authorities to become gainfully employed within the IRS.


    Do you need alternate formats for IRS forms and publications?


    The IRS is committed to making every document on its Web site accessible to everyone, including veterans with disabilities. If you need help accessing these products, please visit our Accessible IRS Tax Products page. See also other forms and publications for people with disabilities.


    Active Duty Military


    This page is intended for veterans with disabilities. If you are looking for information for service members on active duty, please visit the IRS Military Web page.


    SOURCE: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Information-for-Veterans-with-Disabilities

  • 5.VA Disability Rating
  • What is a VA Individual Unemployability Rating?

    Individual Unemployability is a part of VA’s disability compensation program that allows VA to pay certain Veterans disability compensation at the 100% rate, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the total level.
    Eligibility Requirements:


    You must be a Veteran
    You must have at least one service connected disability rated at least at 60%, OR
    Two or more service connected disabilities at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more with a combined rating of 70 percent or more.


    You must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of service-connected disabilities (marginal employment, such as odd jobs, is not considered substantial gainful employment for VA purposes).


    Evidence Requirements:


    Evidence of at least one service connected disability AND


    That the service-connected disability or disabilities are sufficient, without regard to other factors, to prevent performing the mental and/or physical tasks required to get or keep substantially gainful employment AND


    That one disability is ratable at 60 percent or more, OR
    If more than one disability exists, one disability is ratable at 40 percent or more with a combined rating of 70 percent or more.


    Under exceptional circumstances this benefit may be granted with a lower disability rating than noted above provided the evidence shows the service-connected disability or disabilities present such an exceptional or unusual disability picture, due to such factors as marked interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization, that applying the normal disability requirements is impractical.


    Example 1


    A Veteran has a service-connected heart condition evaluated as 60% disabling. She has been able to work without difficulty until last year, when she began to experience chest pain with any exertion.


    Her physician recommended that she retire as soon as possible. She subsequently filed a claim for increased disability compensation. Evidence regarding the Veteran’s work history and education were reviewed by the Rating Team. As it confirmed the Veteran was ”individually unemployable” due to her service-connected disability, entitlement to compensation at the rate payable to a 100% disabled Veteran was granted.


    Example 2


    A Veteran served as a medic in Vietnam and stepped on a land mine severing his right leg below the knee. He wears a prosthesis that allows him good mobility.


    He had a great deal of difficulty readjusting to civilian life and was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Service connection was established for both disabilities. The ratings for these disabilities are 40% and 50%, respectively. The combined disability rating is 70%.


    He applied for individual unemployability because he has not been able to maintain gainful employment for many years. His only income during the last two years has come from a neighbor who pays the Veteran to watch his dogs while he’s out of town. The evidence established that his service-connected disabilities render him unemployable.


    Based on this finding, the Rating Team granted entitlement to compensation at the rate payable to a Veteran rated 100% disable.
    How to Apply


    Apply online using eBenefits,




    Work with an accredited representative or agent,




    Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional office on our Facility Locator page.


    For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit our How to Apply page.


  • 6.Q. Caregiver Resources
  • What a VA Caregiver Resources

    Congress directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a national caregiver support program when it passed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.

    The program offers a stipend and possibility of health insurance for caregivers of post – 9/11 veterans. It also includes training and support services for caregivers of all veterans, no matter when they served. Go on line to fill out an application for caregiver benefits or for answers to questions about the program:    www.caregiver.va.gov/  A Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274

  • 7.DAV Organization
  • Is DAV approved by watch dog agencies?

    DAV meets all standards and is approved by the two leading consumer agencies, the Better Business Bureau and the National Charities Information Bureau.

  • Is DAV, Paralyzed Veterans, and Easter Paralyzed Veterans the same organization? What’s the difference?

    DAV, PVA, and EPVA are separate organizations. DAV is our nation’s only charity that focuses its attention exclusively on the needs of all disabled veterans, regardless of their disability. The PVA serves only those with spinal cord injuries. We serve this population, as well as amputees, blind veterans, those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and so on, the full spectrum of disabled veterans.

  • 8.DAV / Government programs
  • Your service programs for disabled veterans overlap or duplicate government programs. Why?

    Not true, as DAV programs pick-up and fill the void left by government agencies? This is especially true given government budget cut-backs which make the need greater today.

  • 9.Donations
  • DAV receives government funding… why do you need my contribution?

    Contrary to popular belief, DAV receives no government money or grants. Our service programs are sustained by contributions such as yours.

  • How can my gift of $5 or $10?

    We depend on gifts of $5 or $10, they do make a difference. Small gifts add up to significant assistance.

  • Is my donation tax deductible?

    Yes, DAV is a tax-exempt organization and all contributions are tax deductible if you itemize deductions.

  • How much of my donation goes to help disabled veterans?

    In the DAV National’s last accounting year, 71% of all their contributions were directed to program services while 100% of our Chapter’s donations go to veterans services.

  • 10.TRICARE
  • I am retired USAF and plan to retire in the Philippines. What is the process OR How do I get my medications thru Tricare Pharmacy?

    TRICARE offers several convenient ways to fill prescriptions


    Overseas, you may fill prescriptions at military pharmacies.
    Otherwise, you will need to fill prescriptions at host nation
    Pharmacies, pay the full cost up front, and file a claim with
    the TRICARE Overseas Program claims processor for
    Reimbursement. You must submit proof of payment with
    all overseas pharmacy claims. For more information, visit

    TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery is only available
    overseas if you have an APO/FPO address or are assigned
    to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You must have a prescription
    written by a U.S.-licensed provider. Refrigerated medications
    cannot be shipped to APO/FPO addresses.

    Beneficiaries residing in Germany cannot use the home delivery
    option due to country-specific legal restrictions. If you live in
    Germany, fill your prescriptions at military pharmacies or host
    nation pharmacies.

    OTC drugs are not covered overseas. This includes drugs that
    are considered OTC in the United States, even when they require
    a prescription in a foreign country.

    Note: In the Philippines, you are required to use certified
    pharmacy providers.

    To read the full TRICARE related article in pdf format, click on or copy the link below
    into your web-browser:



  • Where should I direct my TRICARE Medication Questions?
    Bobby Crammer03-08-2015

    Your pharmacist should be the first resource you use to answer questions about your drugs. If you are taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications, those drugs can interfere with other medications. It is important that you tell your pharmacist about taking OTC products when you fill any prescription. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Division of Drug Information (DDI) will answer almost any drug question and is easy to reach by telephone at 1-855-543-DRUG (3784). If you get your prescriptions from TRICARE Home Delivery, you still have access to a pharmacist 24/7 by calling Express Scripts, Inc., the contractor who manages the TRICARE prescription benefit, at 1-877-363-1303.

    For more on TRICARE, visit the Military.com TRICARE section.

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