State of Vermont Benefits for Veterans and their Families
The application process for veterans benefits can be confusing and intimidating. If you would like someone to work for you to help make sure you receive the state and federal benefits you and your family deserve, contact our Veteran Service Officer, Mr. Richard Reed. He is a trained and certified professional veterans' advocate who will work on your behalf for no fee. You can reach Richard toll-free at (888) 666-9844.
The Office of Veterans Affairs maintains copies of active duty discharge records for most veterans who entered the service from Vermont. We help veterans locate their records, will store copies of their records, and will make certified copies of records...all free of charge. Because of the federal Privacy Act, we need to have your request for your discharge in writing. You can come to our office, mail a request, or fax a request. Although we have a Records Request Form, you don't have to use it. If you don't want to use the form, just send us a letter requesting a copy of the discharge (it doesn't have to be typed) with the veteran's name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and approximate dates of service. Make sure to sign the letter and include the address you would like the discharge mailed to. We only release the discharge to the veteran, or the veteran's next of kin if the veteran is deceased. If the requestor is the next of kin, please provide the veteran's date of death and the relationship to the veteran. Requests can be faxed or mailed...sorry, we can't take Email requests for records. If we don't have your discharge, you can request it from the state you entered the military from or from the National Personnel Records Center. If you need a full copy of your records, to include your medical records, you would need to get them from the records center. Requests from them take a minimum of two months.
Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery
The Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located in Randolph Center. It provides veterans with a resting-place that honors their service at a cost lower than a commercial cemetery. In addition, certain family members may also be buried with the veteran. Applicants can choose from government markers or custom made commercial markers.
Vermont Veterans License Plate
Veterans can receive a Vermont Veterans License Plate when they register their vehicle. Veterans can have a Vermont Veterans License Plate on each of their cars. The Department of Motor Vehicles will charge $10 the first time a vehicle is registered with the plate. Of this fee, $5 goes towards the Office of Veterans Affairs to fund their activities...like this web site!
Vermont Veterans Home
Veterans, their spouses, and some dependents and parents may be eligible to live in the Vermont Veterans Home. The home offers a complete range of specialized health care services. Goals focus on dignity, independence, and the highest quality of life for each resident. You can contact the Vermont Veterans Home by following the link to the left to their web site or by calling them at (802) 442-6353.
The Office of Veterans Affairs provides emergency financial assistance to veterans and their dependents by providing a one-time payment. Applications are processed over the phone or in person. Applicants will need to provide detailed information on their income and expenses to apply.
Employment and Training Assistance
Each State Department of Labor Career Resource Center has professionals who are trained to assist veterans in finding work or job training. They are extremely knowledgeable about veterans' benefits and can refer veterans to the state and federal programs designed to meet their needs. Your local phonebook will have the number of the closest office. When you call, tell them you're a veteran. The link to the left will provide a directory of these professionals in the state.
High School Diplomas
Veterans of the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War Eras who do not have a high school diploma may be eligible to receive one from a Vermont high school. Applications are verified by the Office of Veterans Affairs, and the diplomas are issued by a secondary school picked by the veteran.
Hunting and Fishing License
Veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs Service Connected Disability rating of 100% can receive a free lifetime hunting and fishing license. They can also receive a free Green Mountain Pass, which provides free access to state parks. For the hunting and fishing license, you will need to obtain a verification letter from the White River Junction Benefits Office (1-800-827-1000). Submit the verification letter with a standard license application and send it to the Fish and Wildlife Department in Waterbury. You can call them at (802) 241-3700 for more information. Applications for the Green Mountain Pass are found at your town clerk's office.
Most Vermont Veterans who received an honorable discharge are eligible for a state medal honoring their service. There are two medals: The Vermont Veteran's Medal (Bronze) and the Vermont Distinguished Service Medal (Silver). The Vermont Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to those who served in a combat theater. Veterans may choose to have the medals mailed to them or presented in a ceremony. In cases where the veteran is deceased, the medals may be requested by a family member. Medals are usually mailed within 4 weeks of our office receiving an application; those who request a ceremony may have to wait up to a year before there will be a presentations.
Vermont War Bonus
The War Bonus is a program that dates back to the War of 1812. It was started to reimburse soldiers for the use of their weapons, horse, etc. during their military duty. Since then, veterans who served during war-time have been eligible, with the last payments made to Vietnam Era veterans. The bonus pays $10 per month of service, to a maximum of $120. Our office still accepts applications from Vietnam Veterans, and an extremely limited amount of funds are still available.