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Military Records. To begin applying for your earned benefits, you will need to have a copy of your discharge documents (more commonly known as your DD214) as proof of your military service. If you do not have a copy, you may order one through the National Archives. Click here to access a form that you can fill out online, then print to either mail or fax to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
Mailing addresses for your request are dependent on your branch of service and current status of your service, all of which are found on the last page of that request form.
As for faxing in your request form, the number to the NPRC is 314-801-9195.
Generally, it will take 4-6 weeks for you to receive your DD214, with some veterans receiving it sooner than 4 weeks or later than 6 weeks.
eBenefits. This VA website provides access to information on benefits, healthcare, education, and jobs. Once you are registered, you will find this site can be useful for managing your VA benefits, too.
Eligibility for VA Disability Benefits. The VA has created this list of disability benefits eligibility criteria for veterans to determine if they may be eligible for financial support, health care, and any other benefits as a result of service-related illnesses or injuries.
This list includes criteria for exposure to hazardous materials (including Agent Orange, asbestos, and contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejune), for former POWs, and for those who had a traumatic event during their service.
VA Benefit Eligibility Matrix. This matrix, created by current and former members of the Veterans Benefits Administration, shows you benefits for which you may be eligible, all based on a favorable decision for a VA benefit and/or based on special circumstances.
Claims Representative. Ventura County Veterans Service Office (VSO) has VA-certified Veterans Claims Officers (VCOs) to assist you with your VA claim. Click here to view their field office locations. Click here for a comprehensive list of documents you will need to bring with you to a field office to efficiently file your VA claim.
For the most up-to-date information on field office hours of service, we encourage you to call their main office in Oxnard at (805) 477-5155.
Veteran Designation on California Driver’s License. In order to receive your veteran driver’s license, you’ll need to visit your Veteran Services Office (VSO) to obtain the verification form. The verification form will only be available at the VSO. Click here to learn how to purchase this license from the DMV.
REAL ID. At the same time you visit the DMV to get the “Veteran” designation on your driver’s license, you may wish to have your license compliant with the federal REAL ID requirements, especially if you frequently travel by plane. The DMV has provided a full checklist of documents to bring with you when you apply for your REAL ID-compliant driver’s license. You may access that checklist by clicking here.
The DMV has now made it possible to begin your REAL ID application online. You will need to sign up or log in to your DMV online account to complete the application. Once you have finished the application, you will need to visit a field office to finish the application process. Click here to learn more and to begin applying for a REAL ID.
Space-A Flights. Service members, their families, and veterans with a 100% disability rating may be able to use Space-Available Flights (a service operated by the Air Force Air Mobility Command) to travel anywhere around the world at little to no cost. However, there are various restrictions when it comes to booking a Space-A Flight. A compilation of what is needed to sign up for a Space-A Flight can be found by clicking here.
National Park Access Pass. Service members with a service-connected disability and their families may be able to receive a free lifetime pass to over 400 National Parks and over 2,000 recreation sites across the country at a one-time cost. After that, qualifying service members have free lifetime access to those National Parks and recreation sites. A compilation of what is needed to receive a lifetime National Park Access Pass can be found by clicking here.
Scams Targeting Veterans. AARP and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have launched Operation Protect Veterans to help raise awareness of common scams targeting veterans. Such scams include upfront cash payments to get disability benefits, paying to access military records, discount offers for veterans that don’t exist, and more.
Free Tax Preparation Services for Veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently updated their article on their VAntage Point blog to include various resources where veterans, military members, and their families can file their income taxes…for free.
CalVet Fee Waiver. The California College Tuition Fee Waiver benefits the spouse and children of U.S. Veterans. Students meeting eligibility criteria may get their college fees waived if they attend any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. Check here to see if dependents of veterans may be eligible.
Scholarship Programs. This VC Star article provides information on applying for scholarships through various veterans’ organizations, such as the Military Officers of America Association (MOAA) Scholarship Fund and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) scholarship programs – The Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen.
Jobs and Careers
Ventura County Jobs for Veterans. We collaborate with several organizations to help distribute announcements about companies that seek to add veterans to their workforce. Click here to review those opportunities to determine which positions best suit your skills and career aspirations.
For organizations hiring veterans: Please give us a call at 805-482-6550 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may include your information to our job board.
Careers and Internships at IAVA. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) offers job and internship opportunities, and they are always looking for both civilian and veteran volunteers to help further their mission of connecting, uniting, and empowering post-9/11 veterans. IAVA is headquartered in New York City and has an office in Washington, D.C.
Social Media and Your Job Search. Are you wondering if you need to remove inappropriate posts from your social media accounts? Here is an informative article from the Business News Daily that describes what hiring managers are looking for when they view your social profile.
Job and Career Training
Free Premium Job Seeker LinkedIn Subscription. The world’s largest professional network is stepping up for Veterans. Sign up now for a free one-year Job Seeker subscription. Signing up provides several upgraded features like better access into who views your profile and free access to Lynda.com training for one year. Your LinkedIn profile must include your military career for veteran verification.
Lynda.com training is an online training program that is available to veterans at no cost through LinkedIn. LinkedIn does not require a credit card to sign up. Lynda.com will be available for a year. When a Lynda course is completed it will ask if you want your certificate displayed on your LinkedIn profile. This is an easy way to improve your job skills.
Transition GPS Training. Learn how to align your goals with your future career. This standalone Joint Knowledge Online course is available for veterans and family members. Courseware includes lessons on AN employment workshop, federal employment and entrepreneur track self-employment.
Healthcare, Physical and Mental Wellness
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. This is the VA’s regional office for Ventura County’s VA services. This website provides their address, phone number, additional information on services and directions to the West LA campus and Sepulveda Ambulatory Care facility.
VA Oxnard Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. VA Healthcare services available include: Primary Care, Women’s Health, Dietetics (Dietician), Physical Therapy, Mental Health, Clinical Pharmacy Specialists limited to anticoagulation and diabetic case management, Telehealth (mental health, retinal and audiology), Laboratory, and Radiology. This website provides the Oxnard Community-Based Outpatient Clinic location and additional information.
Dental Care. The Conejo Free Clinic’s new state-of-the-art dental clinic is now open in Thousand Oaks and available for veterans. Dental care will be provided without charge by an all-volunteer team of dentists and dental assistants. Veterans and their families must meet the 200 percent California federal poverty income guidelines determined by total household size. Veterans and their families can take advantage of all Conejo Free Clinic services by appointment. Call 805-497-3575, ext. 0.
Aging Well. The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) provides a comprehensive guide of services here in Ventura County for seniors, caregivers, and people with disabilities that may allow them to improve the quality of aging.
The VCAAA produces an annual publication called Live Well, which contains not only that comprehensive guide of resources, but also stories behind the services that better serve our senior and disabled population. We have physical copies of Live Well in our Veterans Connection office, but you can also access a pdf version of Live Well by clicking here.
For more information, call VCAAA at 805-477-7300 or visit vcaaa.org.
PTSD Resources. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has dedicated a website for veterans to connect with others who are dealing with issues stemming from military combat and service. You can search for experiences similar to yours and connect with other veterans at Make The Connection. The Vet Center offers readjustment counseling at no cost.
National Center for PTSD: Help for Family and Friends – The National Center for PTSD provides information about the effects of Veterans’ trauma on their families, children, relationships, and communities, as well as resources and support to help Veterans and their family members and friends to respond and cope with those effects.
Coaching Into Care is a national telephone service of the VA which aims to educate, support, and empower family members and friends who are seeking care or services for a Veteran. The goal is to help Veterans, their family members, and other loved ones find the appropriate services at their local VA facilities and/or in their community. We also provide coaching to family and friends of Veterans who see that a Veteran in their life may be having difficulty adjusting to civilian life.
Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has partnered with the AARP to provide free, short-term respite service for family caregivers of veterans or active-duty service members. This program may be able to provide an in-home care professional to give full-time caregivers a short-term break.
SCE Medical Baseline Program. Do you regularly use electronically-powered medical equipment, such as an electric wheelchair or scooter, sleep apnea machine, or dialysis machine, to be able to perform everyday activities? Such devices draw a lot of energy, and therefore, increase your monthly electricity costs.
However, Southern California Edison may be able to help you by allocating additional electricity at baseline costs, thereby reducing your overall electricity costs. Click here to learn more and to apply. Your doctor must certify your medical condition as part of the application process.
Burial and Survivor Benefits
VA Cemetery Eligibility. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the pre-need burial eligibility determination program to assist anyone who would like to know if they are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. VA is promoting pre-need eligibility determinations to encourage Veterans and their eligible family members to plan in advance to use VA burial benefits that Veterans have earned through their military service. Planning in advance for a Veteran’s or loved-one’s final resting place can eliminate unnecessary delays and reduce stress on a family at a difficult time. Check here to see eligible form.
VA Survivor Benefits and Services. The Office of Survivors Assistance (OSA) is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program designed to provide dedicated and comprehensive support to Survivors and dependents of deceased Veterans and members of the Armed Services. OSA hopes that Survivors and dependents, Veterans, their families, caregivers and others will become more knowledgeable about the benefits and services offered by VA to eligible Survivors and dependents, and take the next steps to apply, if deemed eligible.
VA Survivor Benefits Brief. GCVF and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Chapter 750 were proud to co-host the VA Survivor Benefits Brief on November 7, 2017. The speaker was Moira Flanders, RADM USN (ret.) and Director of the VA Office of Survivors Assistance.
She provided valuable information for family members of veterans to receive the most benefits possible when they lose their loved one. She also discussed the importance of veterans to prepare ahead of time by completing a pre-burial form.
To hear the brief in its entirety, the podcast from the brief is below.
A guide to the Veterans Memorials in Ventura County created by Tom Dotson as a service to our community and our veterans.
Mickey Strand, a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and San Diego-based photographer, memorialized the faces and stories of eight local World War II veterans who currently live at the CalVet Veterans Home in Ventura. This is the Ventura exhibit of his California Veterans Portrait Project, and Gold Coast Veterans Foundation is proud to support this local exhibit to honor these World War II veterans.
Please view those photographed veterans and their stories by clicking here.