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Special Groups of Veterans

Women Veterans
Women veterans are eligible for the same VA benefits as male veterans, but can also receive additional gender-specific services, including breast and pelvic examinations and other reproductive health care services.

VA provides preventive health care counseling, contraceptive services, menopause management, Pap smears and mammography. Referrals are made for services that VA is unable to provide. Women Veterans’ Program Managers are available in a private setting at all VA facilities to help women veterans seeking treatment and benefits. For information, visit http://www.va.gov/womenvet/.

VA health care professionals provide counseling and treatment to help veterans overcome psychological issues resulting from sexual trauma that occurred while serving on active duty, or active duty for training if service was in the National Guard or reserves. Veterans who are not otherwise eligible for VA health care may still receive these services and do not need to enroll. Appropriate services are provided for any injury, illness or psychological condition resulting from such trauma.

Homeless Veterans
VA provides comprehensive medical, psychological and rehabilitation treatment for eligible homeless veterans and conducts homeless outreach such as community-based “stand downs” to help homeless veterans. Many VA benefits, including disability compensation, pension and education can help at-risk veterans avoid homelessness.

Other programs for homeless veterans include residential rehabilitation services at VA domiciliaries, therapeutic group homes, and contract residential care. For assistance, contact the nearest VA medical facility or visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/ to find contact information on VA homeless veteran coordinators in each state.

VA also provides grant and per diem funds to community agencies providing services to homeless veterans. The grant program pays up to 65 percent of the cost of construction, renovation, or acquisition of a building for use as a service center or transitional housing for homeless veterans, or for the purchase of vans for transporting homeless veterans. The per diem provides funding for operational costs. Call 1-877-332-0334 or visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/.

The Department of Labor provides employment and training services, as well as grants to community organizations that provide counseling, job search and placement assistance, remedial education and on-the-job training for homeless veterans. For information, call 202-693-4700 or visit http://www.dol.gov/vets/welcome.html.

Filipino Veterans
World War II era Filipino veterans are eligible for certain VA benefits. Generally, Old Philippine Scouts are eligible for VA benefits in the same manner as U.S. veterans. Commonwealth Army veterans, including certain organized Filipino guerrilla forces and New Philippine Scouts residing in the United States who are citizens or lawfully admitted for permanent residence, are also eligible for VA health care in the United States on the same basis as U.S. veterans.

Certain Commonwealth Army veterans and new Philippine Scouts may be eligible for disability compensation and burial benefits. Other veterans of recognized guerrilla groups also may be eligible for certain VA benefits. Survivors of World War II era Filipino veterans may be eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation. Eligibility and the rates of benefits vary based on the recipient’s citizenship and place of residence. Call 1-800-827-1000 for additional information.

VA Benefits for Veterans Living or Traveling Overseas
VA will pay for medical services for service-connected disabilities and related conditions or medical services needed as part of a vocational rehabilitation program for veterans living or traveling outside the United States. Veterans living in the Philippines should register with the U.S. Veterans Affairs office in Pasay City, telephone 011-632-833-4566. All other veterans living or planning to travel outside the U.S. should register with the Denver Foreign Medical Program office, P.O. Box 65021, Denver, CO 80206-9021, USA; telephone 303-331-7590. For information visit: http://www.va.gov/hac/forbeneficiaries/fmp/fmp.asp.

Some veterans traveling or living overseas can telephone the Foreign Medical Program toll free from these countries: Germany 0800-1800-011; Australia 1800-354-965; Italy 800-782-655; United Kingdom (England and Scotland) 0800-032-7425; Mexico 001-877-345-8179; Japan 00531-13-0871; Costa Rica 0800-013-0759; and Spain 900-981-776. (Note: Veterans in Mexico or Costa Rica must first dial the United States country code.)

VA monetary benefits, including disability compensation, pension, educational benefits, and burial allowances, generally are payable overseas. Some programs are restricted. Home loan guaranties are available only in the United States and selected U.S. territories and possessions. Educational benefits are limited to approved, degree granting programs in institutions of higher learning. Beneficiaries living in foreign countries should contact the nearest American embassy or consulate for help. In Canada, contact an office of Veterans Affairs Canada. For information, visit http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/foreign/index.htm.

World War II Era Merchant Marine Seamen
Certain Merchant Marine seamen who served in World War II may qualify for veterans’ benefits. When applying for medical care, seamen must present their discharge certificate from the Department of Defense. Call 1-800-827-1000 for help obtaining a certificate.

Allied Veterans Who Served During WWI or WWII
VA may provide medical care to certain veterans of nations allied or associated with the United States during World War I or World War II if authorized and reimbursed by the foreign government. VA also may provide hospitalization, outpatient care, and domiciliary care to former members of the armed forces of Czechoslovakia or Poland who fought in World War I or World War II in armed conflict against an enemy of the United States if they have been U.S. citizens for at least 10 years.

World War Service by Particular Groups
A number of groups who provided military-related service to the United States can receive VA benefits. A discharge by the Secretary of Defense is needed to qualify. Service in the following groups has been certified as active military service for benefits purposes:

    1. Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs).
    2. World War I Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit.
    3. World War I Engineer Field Clerks.
    4. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).
    5. Quartermaster Corps female clerical employees serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.
    6. Civilian employees of Pacific naval air bases who actively participated in defense of Wake Island during World War II.
    7. Reconstruction aides and dietitians in World War I.
    8. Male civilian ferry pilots.
    9. Wake Island defenders from Guam.
    10. Civilian personnel assigned to OSS secret intelligence.
    11. Guam Combat Patrol.
    12. Quartermaster Corps members of the Keswick crew on Corregidor during World War II.
    13. U.S. civilians who participated in the defense of Bataan.
    14. U.S. merchant seamen on block ships in support of Operation Mulberry in the World War II invasion of Normandy.
    15. American merchant marines in oceangoing service during World War II.
    16. Civilian Navy IFF radar technicians who served in combat areas of the Pacific during World War II.
    17. U.S. civilians of the American Field Service who served overseas in World War I.
    18. U.S. civilians of the American Field Service who served overseas under U.S. armies and U.S. army groups in World War II.
    19. U.S. civilian employees of American Airlines who served overseas in a contract with the Air Transport Command between Dec. 14, 1941, and Aug. 14, 1945.
    20. Civilian crewmen of U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey vessels who served in areas of immediate military hazard while conducting cooperative operations with and for the U.S. armed forces between Dec. 7, 1941, and Aug. 15, 1945 Qualifying vessels are: the Derickson, Explorer, Gilber, Hilgard, E. Lester Jones, Lydonia Patton, Surveyor, Wainwright, Westdahl, Oceanographer, Hydrographer and Pathfinder.
    21. Members of the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) who served between Dec. 7, 1941, and July 18, 1942.
    22. U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support employees of United Air Lines who served overseas in a contract with Air Transport Command between Dec. 14, 1941, and Aug. 14, 1945.
    23. U.S. civilian flight crew, including pursers, and aviation ground support employees of Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc. who served overseas in a contract with the Air Transport Command between Dec. 14, 1941, and Aug. 14, 1945.
    24. U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support employees of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. who served overseas in a contract with Air Transport Command between Dec. 14, 1941, and Aug. 14, 1945.
    25. U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support employees of Pan American World Airways and its subsidiaries and affiliates, who served overseas in a contract with the Air Transport Command and Naval Air Transport Service between Dec. 14, 1941, and Aug. 14, 1945.
    26. Honorably discharged members of the American Volunteer Guard, Eritrea Service Command, between June 21, 1942, and March 31, 1943.
    27. U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support employees of Northwest Airlines who served overseas under the airline’s contract with Air Transport Command from Dec. 14, 1941, through Aug. 14, 1945.
    28. U.S. civilian female employees of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps who served in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor during Jan. 2, 1942, to Feb. 3, 1945.
    29. U.S. flight crew and aviation ground support employees of Northeast Airlines Atlantic Division, who served overseas as a result of Northeast Airlines’ contract with the Air Transport Command during Dec. 7, 1941, through Aug. 14, 1945.
    30. U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support employees of Braniff Airways, who served overseas in the North Atlantic or under the jurisdiction of the North Atlantic Wing, Air Transport Command, as a result of a contract with the Air Transport Command during Feb. 26, 1945, to Aug. 14, 1945.
    31. Chamorro and Carolina former native police who received military training in the Donnal area of central Saipan and were placed under command of Lt. Casino of the 6th Provisional Military Police Battalion to accompany U.S. Marines on active, combat patrol from Aug. 19, 1945, to Sept. 2, 1945.
    32. The operational Analysis Group of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Office of Emergency Managment, which served overseas with the U.S. Army Air Corps from Dec. 7, 1941, through Aug. 15, 1945.
    33. Service as a member of the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II of any individual who was honorably discharged under section 8147 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2001.

Incarcerated Veterans
VA benefits are affected if a beneficiary is convicted of a felony and imprisoned for more than 60 days. Disability or death pension paid to an incarcerated beneficiary must be discontinued. Disability compensation paid to an incarcerated veteran rated 20 percent or more disabled is limited to the 10 percent rate. For a surviving spouse, child or dependent parent receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, or a veteran whose disability rating is 10 percent, the payment is reduced to half of the rate payable to a veteran evaluated as 10 percent disabled.

Any amounts not paid may be apportioned to eligible dependents. Payments are not reduced for participants in work-release programs, residing in halfway houses or under community control.

Failure to notify VA of a veteran’s incarceration can result in overpayment of benefits and the subsequent loss of all VA financial benefits until the overpayment is recovered. VA benefits will not be provided to any veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.