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    Questions   Answers  

    How can the Tarrant County Veteran Services Office help me?

    First of all, we are not the VA! We are a Tarrant County Department funded by Tarrant County that assists Tarrant County veterans and their dependents, FREE OF CHARGE, with the filing of complex benefit claims they may eligible to receive from the VA. While a veteran or dependent can file a claim on their own, we suggest you contact a Veteran Service Office for assistance. Veteran Service Office members receive mandatory training on a continual basis in order to stay abreast of the ever-changing laws and regulations concerning veterans' benefits. The advocacy doesn't stop after the filing of a claim. We continue to follow the progress of the claim with the veteran/dependent throughout the, often lengthy, time it takes the VA to reach a decision. We will take walk-ins, however, we ask that you call and make an appointment to preclude you from waiting unnecessarily to see a counselor. This also cuts down on repeat visits to get the claim established as you will have time to gather the necessary documents needed to file a claim.

    What types of benefits are available from the VA for veterans?

    As an honorably discharged veteran, you may be eligible for service-connected disability compensation, non-service-connected pension, VA home loan guaranty, VA burial benefits, VA health benefits and VA education benefits. You can get more information concerning veteran's benefits from the VA's website at www.va.gov, from our website at Veteran Services or by calling us at 817-531-5645.
    I'm a veteran living in Texas. Does Texas have state benefits for veterans? The State of Texas has a number of benefits for veterans such as property tax exemption; disabled veterans license plates/parking placards; special parking privileges for certain veterans; specialty license plates; free drivers licenses for certain disabled veterans; veteran designation on State of Texas drivers license for disabled veterans; veterans employment services; veteran's preference for State of Texas employment, home, land and home improvement loans; and Texas veterans cemeteries just to name a few. You can find out more about Texas state benefits for veterans by visiting the Veterans Benefits page on our website at Veteran Services or contacting our office at 817-531-5645.
    I'm a surviving spouse or dependent child of a deceased Texas veteran. Does Texas have state benefits for me? The State of Texas has a number of benefits for survivors of veterans such as property tax exemption; home, land, and home improvement loans; Texas veterans cemeteries; as wel as Texas veterans home and Hazelwood Act education benefits just to name a few. You can find out more about Texas state benefits for survivors by visiting our website at Veteran Services or by calling our office at 817-531-5645.
    Are there any VA benefits for survivors/dependents of deceased veterans? Yes, they may be eligible for a death pension, dependency and indemnity compensation, VA home loan, VA burial benefits, VA education, and CHAMPVA just to name a few.  For more information, visit the Survivors Benefits page on our website at Veteran Services or call us at 817-531-5645.
    I need a copy of my DD 214/Military Discharge. How can I get a copy? Hopefully you registered your DD 214/military discharge document with your local county clerk for safekeeping when you were discharged. If so, you can get a CERTIFIED copy from them free of charge. If not and you have access to a computer and a fax machine, you can order them online at www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records. You should receive the requested copy in two to three weeks. You can also complete a SF Form 180 and mail it to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO requesting a copy be sent to you. The address is National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. The form can be found on and printed from the Internet using Google. While requesting your DD 214/military discharge, also request a copy of your military medical and personnel records, awards, citations and replacement medals/decorations. These may come in handy when trying to support your claim with the VA. Also, if you've ever filed a claim before with the VA Regional Office in Waco, they will have a copy of your DD 214/military discharge. Write them and ask for a copy of your DD Form 214/military discharge document. Their address is 701 Clay Ave, Waco, TX 76799.
    Are there any VA medical facilities in the North Texas area and where are they located? Yes, there are two primary medical facilities located in the North Texas area. The Dallas VA Medical Center is located at 4500 S. Lancaster in South Dallas, telephone 800-849-3597. The Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic is located at 2201 SE Loop 820, Fort Worth, 76119, telephone 800-443-9672.
    How do I enroll in the VA Medical System? Visit any VA health care facility. Ensure you take with you your DD 214/military discharge showing the character of discharge. You should also be prepared to answer questions related to your current income and whether or not you have any other medical insurance. You may also register online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits. Lastly, you can complete a VA Form 10-10ez, Application for Healthcare Benefits, and mail it to the nearest VA hospital or clinic, addressed to the attention of the Eligibility Office. You can get the form off the Internet by using Google. If you can't locate the form, call Tarrant County Veteran Services at 817-531-5645 and we can mail you one. The Dallas VA Medical Center is located at 4500 S. Lancaster in South Dallas, telephone 800-849-3597. The Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic is located at 2201 SE Loop 820, Fort Worth, 76119, telephone 800-443-9672.
    Where do I go or who do I contact for a retired military ID card or a card for my spouse/dependent children?
     
    Contact the military installation nearest you. For the Fort Worth area, call the Naval Air Station Pass I.D. section at 817-782-5244 or 817-782-3369. You can also go to the ID section in Grand Prairie.  Call them at 972-343-4399. You may need to acquire a letter of disability from the VA to establish eligibility. You can get this letter by calling the VA Call Center at 800-827-1000.
    I think my current disability/illness was caused by the military and want to file a claim for service connected disability benefits. What should I do? Claims for service connection disability are so complicated that they should only be attempted with a counselor's assistance. We have trained counselors in our office that understand the VA's claim process and how to properly apply for VA benefits. Call us at 817-531-5645 to receive assistance with filing a disability compensation claim.
    The VA has denied my claim. Can I disagree with their decision? Can I file an appeal? Where can I get help with these issues? Yes, you can disagree with the VA's decision concerning your claim and subsequently file an appeal if you like. Contact us, Tarrant County Veteran Services for help with these issues at 817-531-5645.
    As an honorably discharged veteran, I know that I am eligible to be buried in a VA cemetery. Is there one in the North Texas area and can I reserve a spot? Yes, the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery is located at 2191 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, telephone is 214-467-3374. No, you can't make a reservation. The VA will provide a gravesite, grave-liner, headstone or marker, Presidential Memorial Certificate, U.S. Flag and perpetual care of the gravesite. Surviving spouses of honorably discharged veterans may also be buried there.
    I need a copy of my VA medical records. How can I get a copy? You may go to either the VA hospital in Dallas or the clinic in Fort Worth to get a copy of your VA medical records regardless of which location you received treatment. The records are electronic therefore accessible from both locations. The first copy is free and you will pay a fee for subsequent copies. Contact the records release section at the VA clinic at 800-443-9672 or at the VA hospital at 800-849-3597 for more information.
    Who is eligible for Non-Service-Connected (NSC) pension? Pensions are benefits payable by the VA to veterans discharged under honorable conditions who have at least 90 days of service with at least one day during a period of war and are disabled because of non-service-connected disabilities and whose income is below the allowable limit. Call our office at 817-531-5645 or visit our web page at Veteran Services to find out more.
    Who is eligible for Death Pension or "Widow's" Pension? A Death Pension or "Widow" Pension is a benefit payable by the VA to surviving spouses or dependent children of veterans discharged under honorable conditions who have at least 90 days of service with at least one day during a period of war. The surviving spouse or dependent child income and net worth must not be excessive to qualify. Call our office at 817-531-5645 or visit our web page at Veteran Services to find out more.
    Is there a listing of all the things I need to file a claim with the VA? Due to the complexity of the VA claims process, the forms needed to file a claim vary. You should contact our office for assistance at 817-531-5645. At the very least, make sure you have the veteran's DD Form 214/military discharge document; birth certificates for veteran, spouse, and dependent children; social security numbers for the veteran, spouse and dependent children; and the veteran's marriage license to current spouse. If veteran has been divorced in the past, you will need copies of all past divorce documents as well. If veteran's spouse is deceased, we will need a copy of the death certificate. Other documents may be needed depending upon the type of claim being filed.
    I'm a veteran and have a disability rating or a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran with a 100% disability rating. I need a letter from VA for property tax exemption and other purposes. Who do I call for one? Call the VA Call Center at 800-827-1000.
    Can I get a copy of my VA claim file that includes everything I ever sent the VA and everything the VA ever sent me concerning any claim I've submitted? Yes. Send a letter asking to receive a copy of the veteran's claim file.  Be sure to include the veteran's full name, social security number, and a mailing address. If the claim was submitted to the VA Regional Office in Waco, TX, mail the letter to:

        Department of Veteran Affairs
        Waco Regional Office
        701 Clay Ave.
        Waco, TX 76799

    You may only receive a copy if you are the veteran or the surviving spouse or dependent of the veteran.

    NOTE:  If you have a pending claim with the VA, wait until the claim has been settled before requesting a copy of the claim file so you won't hold up your claim.
    I'm concerned about my VA Education Benefits and have questions. Who do I call?
     
    Call the VA's Education Benefit Office at 888-442-4551.
     
    I want to apply for a VA Home Loan and need a Certificate of Eligibility. What should I do? First, complete a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits and mail it to:

        VA Loan Eligibility Center
        Attn: COE (262)
        P. O. Box 100034
        Decatur, GA 30031

    They also have provisions for sending the form overnight. They can be reached at 888-244-6711. You can also get the form from the VA's website at www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans or by performing a search on the Internet. When you get your VA Home Loan Eligibility Certificate, take it to your bank or lender and tell them you want to apply for a VA loan.
    Are there any State Homes for Veterans in Texas? Yes, the Texas Veterans Land Board has homes for veterans in Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville, McAllen and Temple. They provide excellent care to enhance the quality of life of each resident. You can find out more by visiting their web site at Veterans Land Board or by calling them at 800-252-8387.
    Are there any State Veteran Cemeteries for veterans, spouses Yes, the Texas Veterans Land Board has veteran cemeteries in Abilene, Corpus Christi, Killeen, and Mission. They are special resting places, close to home, where friends, family and fellow Texans can honor Texas Veterans and their survivors. You can find out more by visiting the Texas Veterans Land Board web site at Veterans Land Board or by calling them at 800-252-8387.
    Can your office provide legal advice/ representation in VA or civil matters?
     
    No, our office cannot represent you in any VA matters such as at a VA hearing. However, veteran service organizations such as the Texas Veterans Commission, Veteran of Foreign Wars, the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans can. Contact us on how to get them assigned as your representative. Our office will assist you in resolving problems and getting answers to questions about the laws and regulations that govern veteran's benefits. Neither we, nor the various service organizations listed above, have any authority to provide legal advice or representation in any civil matters.
    I'm a retired, VA disability-rated veteran. How can I find out more about the Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program? Contact information is available on the Disabililty-Rated Veterans.
     
     
    I'm a retired, VA disability-rated veteran. How can I find out more about the Concurrent Retirement This program is administered through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service known as DFAS. They can be contacted at 800-321-1080.
    I am a service-connected, disabled veteran that uses a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance, am I eligible for a clothing allowance from the VA? Yes, if a veteran uses a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance, they may receive an additional clothing allowance. This allowance is available to any veteran whose service-connected skin condition requires prescribed medication that irreparably damages outer garments. To apply for the clothing allowance, contact the prosthetic office at the VA hospital in Dallas. Their number is 214-857-0548 or through the hospital's main phone line at 800-849-3597.
    Who do I call to report the death of a retired military member? If the member was receiving military retired pay, you should call the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, at 800-321-1080. If the member was receiving compensation or pension from the VA, you should call the VA at 800-827-1000.
    Who do I call to request a Color and Honor Guard perform at my veteran spouse's burial? Contact Color and Honor Guard organizations from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. Keep in mind that the primary mission of the honor guard detachments is funeral support to the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area.
     
    The Department of Defense also provides funeral honors for veterans. Contact the appropriate Military Service Coordinator listed on Department of Defense - Color and Honor Guard:
     
    I'm a 50 percent or more service-connected-disability veteran. How do I go about getting a disabled veterans license plate? First, obtain a letter from the VA showing that you have a disability rating of 50 percent or more. This can be done by calling the VA at 800-827-1000. The vehicle registration office will not take your VA award letter. Then, contact your local vehicle registration office. If possible, call them first to see what else you need to bring. The number for the vehicle registration office downtown Fort Worth is 817-884-1100. However, there are other locations scattered throughout Tarrant County at the various subcourthouses. Ask the downtown office for information on those locations or go to Tarrant County Motor Vehicle to find the one closest to you.
     
    I did not receive an honorable discharge when I got out of the service. Can I get my discharge upgraded? You can submit a request to your respective military branch to ask for an upgrade in you military discharge. If you have been out of the service for less than 15 years, you will need to complete a DD Form 293, Application for the Review of Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States. If you have been out of the service for 15 years or more, you will need to complete a DD Form 149, Application for Correction of Military Record Under the Provisions of Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 1552. Both forms can be downloaded from the Internet by using Google. Complete the appropriate form and mail it to the address listed on the back of the form for your respective branch of service. The American Legion has a very good guide that talks about discharge upgrades. It can be accessed at www.tybeetyme.com/american_legion/dodguide.pdf. The US Army Trial Defense Service also has a very good guide written for Army personnel but can be used by veterans from other services as well. See the guide at How to upgrade your discharge.
    The Tarrant County Veteran Services Office also has a military discharge upgrade guide. Contact Tarrant County Veteran Services at 817-531-5645 for more information.
     
    How do I find out what the separation code on my DD Form 214, military discharge document means? To find out what the separation code on your DD Form 214, military discharge, go to Military Separation Codes. They have the codes listed in alphabetical order with their meanings.
    My DD Form 214, Military Discharge document is wrong. How do I go about getting it corrected? The secretary of a military department, acting through a Board for Correction of Military Records, has authority to change any military record when necessary to correct an error or remove an injustice. You must submit a DD Form 149, Application for Correction of Military Records, with supporting documentation, to the board for your respective military branch requesting your DD Form 214 be corrected. Mail the application plus supporting documentation to the appropriate address on the back of the form.
    I received disability severance pay when I separated and paid taxes. Is there a way I can recoup payment of those taxes? To obtain a refund, you must submit your Veterans Affairs compensation letter and a copy of your DD Form 214 member copy 4 to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, before December 31 of the year in which the disability severance pay was paid. Submit your request to:

        DFAS-IN, Dept. 3300
        ATTN: 3891
        8899 East 56th Street
        Indianapolis, IN 46249-3300

    For more information, go to Defense Finance and Accounting Service or contact them at 866-912-6488 for more information.
    How can I find out about upcoming veterans events, job fairs, career expos, etc., in Texas? The Texas Veterans Commission's calendar lists upcoming events throughout the state. Go to www.tvc.texas.gov/Calendar.aspx or call the Texas Veterans Commission at 877-898-3833 to find out about events coming up in your area. TVC also has a newsletter you can subscribe to. Recruit Military has a lot of information concerning the veteran job fairs they sponsor throughout the country. Go to their website at recruitmilitary.com/ for more information. In addition, the Military.com website has information about upcoming veteran career expos normally sponsored by the NCOA. For information go to www.military.com/career-expo/. The Naval Air Station's Fleet & Family Support Center in Fort Worth has a website that provides information on current job fairs and events in the local area. Go to their website at The Job Board for more information. The Fort Worth/Dallas Veterans Newsletter has information about events, news, benefits and employment for and about DFW veterans. Go to their website at Veteran Events for information and to sign up for their newsletter.
     
    As a military retiree, where can I find out about benefits/entitlements for my survivors? Go to Casualty Entitlements. This site provides general information on most federal benefits & privileges survivors of deceased military retirees may be entitled to.
    I'm trying to locate a military friend from my days in the military. Who do I contact?
     
    Requests to locate military friends should be sent to the respective service of the individual whose address is being sought.
     
    United States Army: The United States Army is no longer providing this service.

    United States Navy: The Navy's locator service helps locate individuals on active duty and those whose service ended less than a year ago. Contact the Navy locator service at: World Wide Locator, Bureau of Naval Personnel, PERS 312F, 5720 Integrity Drive, Millington, TN 38055-3120. You can call the locator service at 901-874-3388 for more information.
     
    United States Marine Corps: The Marine Corps can provide the duty station for active duty personnel and reservists. For retired individuals, the locator service can provide the city and state only. Send written locator requests to: Commandant of the Marine Corps, Headquarters, USMC, Code MMSB-10, Quantico,VA 22134-5030. Call them at 703-640-3942 or 703-640-3943 for more information.
     
    United States Air Force: The Air Force can locate active duty personnel, retirees, reservists and guardsmen. For locator service write to: HQ AFMPC/RMIQL, 550 C Street, West, Suite 50, Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4752. Call 210-652-5775 or 210-652-5774 for more information.
     
    I have a family member who is still Missing in Action. Who do I contact for further information? Your primary points of contact are personnel in one of the following Casualty Offices. Go to Resources Contact Information - Casualty Offices.
     
    You can get more information by visiting www.dpa.mil
    I'm a veteran and my health is very bad and can't leave home without assistance. Does the VA allow any extra money for pension for veterans who need help? Yes, an additional allowance for Special Monthly Pension known as SMP may be available at a Housebound or Aid & Attendance rate. The specific amount will depend on the level of disability and the total countable family income.