Benefits and Claims Assistance

Veterans’ Access to Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wide array of services in order to give veterans access to well-deserved benefits.

However, we have learned that many of our veterans and their families are either unfamiliar with these services or find it difficult to navigate through the forms and data necessary to complete their filings. Because of this, many veterans deserving of these benefits simply do not apply for them.

Those that do apply face long wait times and a high probability that their initial claims will be sent back to correct mistakes or to provide further information.


Helping Veterans Get the Benefits They Deserve

At the Veterans Connection, we strive to make the claims process more manageable for our local veterans. We offer these two ways to get veterans the counseling they need to get the benefits they deserve:

1. Walk-in Appointment with the Veteran Service Office (VSO) Claims Representative

DATE: Every Wednesday.
TIME: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Field Office LOCATION: 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Suite D, Camarillo, CA, 93012

NOTICE: We will post a notification on our calendar if we are notified of any changes to the claims representative’s hours. To confirm the most up-to-date information on those hours, please call the Ventura County VSO’s main office in Ventura at 805-477-5155.

Walk-in appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis on Wednesdays. Because of the popularity of this service, we highly recommend coming before 7:00 a.m. to sign in at the front desk to claim your spot and improve your chances of being seen that same day.

The VA-accredited claims representative, who comes from the Ventura County VSO, assists veterans and their family members with filing claims and applications with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). 

Veterans that work through a recognized VSO can double their chances of having their claim approved and reduce the decision wait time to as short as one to two months.

Before you come in to see the claims representative, please remember to bring the following documents with you so that your walk-in appointment is as efficient and seamless as possible.

Any Claim

  • Original or certified copy of veteran’s discharge papers (DD214 or equivalent)
  • Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit of compensations and pensions

If Claiming Dependents on Your Claim

  • Copy of marriage certificate (if currently married) or a detailed list of previous marriages
  • Copy of birth certificate(s) and/or final decree(s) of adoption for dependent children
  • Social Security numbers for dependent children

If Claiming Aid and Attendance or Housebound Benefits

  • Completed Aid and Attendance VA Form 21-2680 (for homebound veterans)
  • Completed Aid and Attendance VA Form 21-0779 (for veterans living in a nursing home)
  • Completed Care Expense Statement (for caregivers)
    • This form must be picked up from a VSO.

Please also remember to bring the following additional documents with you, depending on the claim(s) you wish to file.

Compensation Claims

  • Copies of veteran’s private medical records or completed Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs)
  • Copies of veteran’s service treatment records (if you are filing a pre-discharge claim)

Pension Claims

  • Copies of veteran’s medical records (if the veteran is under 65, not receiving Social Security Disability, and not residing in a nursing home)
  • List of all current income sources

Dependency & Indemnity Compensation Claims

  • Copy of veteran’s death certificate or DD1300 (if the veteran died on active duty)
  • Copy of marriage certificate (if currently married) or a detailed list of previous marriages

Survivors Pension

  • List of all current income sources
  • Copy of veteran’s death certificate or DD1300 (if the veteran died on active duty)
  • Copy of marriage certificate (if currently married) or a detailed list of previous marriages

College Fee Waivers

For the College Tuition Fee Waiver, a walk-in appointment is not necessary. You may drop off the following documents at any time on Wednesday when the VSO is here:

If you are filing for the College Tuition Fee Waiver for the first time, you will also need to provide the following documents (in addition to the ones listed above):

  • VA letter verifying the veteran’s service-connected disability
  • Copy of the student’s birth certificate
  • Copy of any of the following that establishes the student’s dependency:
    • Parents’ marriage certificate (for stepchild)
    • Final decree of adoption (for adopted child)
    • Court-ordered custody (for child ruled to be under “care, custody and control”)

2. Assistance Navigating VA Benefits

DATE: Every weekday.
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Here at the Veterans Connection or over the phone at 805-482-6550

We can show you how to do the following:

  • Enroll in VA Healthcare
  • Acquire a copy of the following:
    • Your discharge papers (DD214)
    • Compensation pay history
    • Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) for VA home loans
  • Make changes to personal information on the following:
    • Your dependents
    • Direct deposit
    • Post-9/11 educational benefit distributions
  • Signing up on eBenefits to access your VA benefits information online

How We Can Help

Navigating the VA system to obtain the benefits our veterans deserve and have earned is an extremely arduous task. While the VA has made efforts to improve the process, the graphic below shows that processing times in the Los Angeles area have actually increased over the past year. Veterans that work through a recognized Veteran Service Organization (VSO) can reduce the decision wait time by as much as two-thirds, to as short as one to two months. Our Veterans Connection collaborates closely with the Ventura County VSO to assist our local veteran community obtain the benefits they have rightly earned.