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Assistance For Veterans

If you have a question about VA benefits, would like to apply for benefits, have a question about your application or believe that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not given your case proper consideration, my staff may be able to help. Please contact my Reno office at (775) 686-5760.

Before I can make an inquiry on your behalf, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires that you give me your written authorization. To do this, please complete the privacy release form.

Sources of information about benefits available to veterans and their dependents

There is a wealth of information available about the many benefits and programs available to our nation’s veterans. The following are especially helpful:

  1. The Department of Veterans Affairs publishes a detailed booklet that outlines all programs and benefits available through the VA, entitled “Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents & Survivors.” To obtain a copy, please call my office at (775) 686-5760 or request a copy using the email feature on
  2. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ website,, offers detailed information about all VA benefits and programs.
  3. Most forms needed to apply for the VA’s various programs can be downloaded from the VA website. Please go to to find the form you need.

How to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs

The VA has toll free numbers and detailed websites for the convenience of veterans and dependents.

Apply for health benefits online
To apply for VA health benefits online, veterans may complete or download the new and improved 10-10EZ form at the VA health eligibility website. Veterans may also contact the VA at 1-877-222-8387 (VETS) or visit the VA health eligibility website at

Veterans Choice Program Call Center

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the creation of a Community Care Call Center. The call center was set-up to better serve Veterans experiencing Choice Program billing issues. Veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Programs can call: 1-877-881-7618 for assistance.

For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA’s progress, visit:​. Additionally, veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program can call1-866-606-8198 to find out more about the program, confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment.

Toll Free Telephone Numbers:

  • VA Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
    • Burial
    • Civilian health and medical program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)
    • Death pension
    • Dependency indemnity compensation
    • Direct deposit
    • Directions to VA benefits regional offices
    • Disability compensation
    • Disability pension
    • Education
    • Home loan guaranty
    • Life insurance
    • Medical care
    • Vocational rehabilitation and employment
  • Beneficiaries in receipt of pension benefits: 1-877-294-6380
  • Education (GI Bill): 1-888-442-4551
  • Health care benefits: 1-877-222-8387
  • Income verification and means testing: 1-800-929-8387
  • Life insurance: 1-800-669-8477
  • Mammography helpline: 1-888-492-7844
  • Special issues - Gulf War/Agent Orange/Project Shad/Mustard Agents and Lewisite/Ionizing Radiation: 1-800-749-8387
  • Status of headstones and markers: 1-800-697-6947
  • Suicide hotline (counselors available 24/7): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD): 1-800-829-4833

VA Web Sites:

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the largest expansion of veterans’ educational benefits since the GI Bill of World War II. It provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill became effective on August 1, 2009. The amount of support for which you may qualify depends on where you live and what type of degree you are pursuing. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill benefits.

Additionally, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post- 9/11 GI Bill.

For information about benefits, applications, and more, please go to or to request a brochure contact Tracy Soliday in my Reno office at (775) 686-5760.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What's the difference between disability compensation and disability pension?

Disability compensation: A monthly monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by injury or disease incurred in or aggravated during military service.

Disability pension: A monetary benefit paid to veterans of a period of war who are permanently and totally disabled for reasons not the result of their own willful misconduct and not related to their military service. This benefit is income-dependent.

What are the types of VA claims?

There are four types of claims:

  1. Original claim: The very first claim for disability benefits compensation or pension) filed by a veteran. All original claims must be filed on VA Form 21-526.
  2. Claim for increase: A claim for increased compensation for a disability already found to be service-connected.
  3. New claim: A claim for compensation for a disability not part of the original claim. Also known as a supplemental claim.
  4. Reopened claim: A claim asking for reconsideration of an issue previously considered and finally disallowed by VA (after more than one year has passed).

The type of claim determines how much development is required by VA and/or the nature of the supporting evidence the veteran must submit in support of the claim. The processing time for a claim varies depending on the type of claim and the supporting evidence provided by the veteran.

How do I get a VA home loan guaranty?

For eligible veterans, the VA can guarantee 25 percent of the principal loan amount, up to the maximum guaranty. The amount varies with the size of the loan and the location of the property. Because lenders have this guaranty from the VA, borrowers do not need to make a down payment, if they have enough home loan entitlement.

For information on eligibility and how to obtain a VA home loan guaranty, go to or call 1-877-827-3702

How do I get a copy of my military records?

For copies of your military service records you may contact:

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

What do I do if my records were destroyed in the 1973 fire?

You may contact the National Personnel Records Center at:

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

You can also find out the status of your records by phone at the following numbers:

Army Records: (314) 538-4261

  • For service during 1912 - 1959

Air Force Records: (314) 538-4243

  • For service during 1964 - Present
  • 1947 - 1963 (for individuals with the last names of A through Hubbard, James D.)
  • For service during 1947 - 1963 (for individuals with the last names after Hubbard, James D.) contact Air Force Records at (314) 538-4261

Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Records: (314) 538-4141

How can I get replacement medals?

You can request replacement for lost or stolen medals from the National Personnel Records Center or write to:

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100


Chief Military Awards Branch
Military Personnel Branch
Hoffman Building #2
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332

All requests must be completed in writing.