Pennsylvania State Benefits
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs works with its partners to ensure advocacy for all Pennsylvania veterans.
The Veteran Service Officer support system consists of United States Department of Veterans Affairs Accredited Representatives hosted by Veteran Service Organizations, County and State government. Most representatives are recognized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary for preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims under laws administered by the USDVA.
Seeking benefits from the USDVA without proper representation can be difficult to say the least. Understanding the complex rules, laws and evidence requirements can be very technical and confusing. We strongly recommend that no veteran attempt to navigate this system without proper representation and assistance of an accredited representative or organization.
Veteran Service Officers serve as the veterans’ assigned representative at no cost to the veteran. They help identify what evidence is required in the claim process. They monitor the process of the claim through the adjudication process and intercede on the veteran’s behalf if problems arise. They review decisions made by the USDVA to ensure veterans receive the full benefits for which entitled.
County Veteran Service Officers
All 67 counties in Pennsylvania are authorized a County Director of Veteran Affairs (CDVA) by county code. Most are accredited by the USDVA and either by the state service organization or a veteran service organization, or both. Most are active members of the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veteran Affairs and many are also members of the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers. CDVA provide advocacy to veterans, service members and veteran families to assist them in any veteran program or benefit.
Chartered Veteran Service Organizations
Many Veteran Service Organizations in Pennsylvania provide Veteran Service Officer Representatives who prepare, present and prosecute claims for benefits upon behalf of veterans and family members with the USDVA. You do not normally have to be a member of the specific organization to receive service from them.
State Service Officers
Pennsylvania operates its own Veteran Service Organization with three field offices. State Veteran Service Officers provide representation of claims submitted by CDVA service officers as well as individual veteran representation. The state service officer program works in harmony with the USDVA Regional Offices, Veteran Service Organizations and all veteran advocates assisting veterans to obtain all county, state and federal benefits.
Burial & Memorial Benefits
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 the date of his or her death
Government / Private Headstone County headstone allowances are provided for qualified veterans as indicated in the 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
Grave Marker 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. The county in which the veteran is buried may replace future replacements or deteriorated or missing markers.
- VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment
- State Blind Veterans Pension
- State Paralyzed Veterans Pension
- State Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program
- Application for Disabled Veteran
- Severely Disabled Veteran
- Registration Plate or Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle Plate Decal
- Person With Disability Parking Placard Application
- Free Resident Disabled Veteran Licenses (hunting, furtaker and lifetime)
- Resident Disabled Lifetime Hunting License Application
- Free Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans
- Fishing License Information for Disabled Veterans
- Free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
- Legislation on Free POW Resident Fishing Licenses
- VA Specially Adapted Housing Program
- VA Adapted Housing Application
- GSA Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
- Job Accommodation Network