I've always believed that when we ask our young men and women to defend and fight for our nation, we make a promise to take care of them when they return home. As Senator, I have worked hard to ensure that we provide our veterans with the full benefits and support they have earned.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide variety of benefits to veterans. These range from medical care through the Veterans Hospital Administration, to compensation, pension, vocational rehabilitation, loan guarantee, and educational benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration, to the burial and memorial benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
How can Senator Klobuchar assist me?
The application process for veterans' benefits can take some time, and there are a number of steps that need to be completed before a final decision can be rendered. During this process, it is common for veterans to have a number of questions or concerns. Staff in my office is available to assist you directly with your unique situation. If you have questions, please call 612-727-5220. You can also contact the Department of Veterans Affairs, your local County Veterans Service Officer, or a veterans’ service organization, such as Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.
As a veteran, you may qualify for a number of different benefits from the VA. There are a number of organizations that can assist you in applying for your benefits, beginning with the County Veterans Service Officer in your local area. These officers work tirelessly to help veterans gain access to their benefits, and their understanding of the Department of Veterans Affairs and knowledge of veterans' issues in general, is critical to local veterans' communities. To find your County Veterans Service Officer, please visit the Minnesota County Veterans Service Officers website at www.macvso.org. These officers are also an excellent resource for veterans who are already receiving benefits but who may be eligible for increased compensation, greater medical benefits, and other opportunities.
When you apply for veterans' benefits, your claim is handled by your region's VA Regional Office. In Minnesota, this office is located in the Bishop Henry Whipple Building, 1 Federal Drive, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55111. The Regional Office can also be contacted by phone at 1-800-827-1000. Also located within the Saint Paul VA Regional Office are a number of Veterans Service Organizations, which can also help you gain access to the VA system. For a breakdown of the Saint Paul VA Regional Office, as well as contact information for the Veterans Service Organizations that work there, go to www.benefits.va.gov/stpaul. If you are unable to establish contact with the Department of Veterans Affairs, or if you have further questions, please call my office at 612-727-5220.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers extensive educational benefits, including those provided through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill that I worked hard to pass into law. Detailed information on available G.I. bill benefits and programs can be accessed at: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill. Education benefits are handled by the St. Louis, Missouri, VA Regional Office, which can be reached by phone at 1-800-827-1000 and by mail at 400 South 18th Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63103. If you encounter difficulties, or have further questions, please call my office at 612-727-5220.
VA Medical Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs operates an integrated health care system throughout Minnesota and across the United States. This network includes two VA Medical Centers, located in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, respectively, along with a number of Community-Based Outpatient Clinics across Minnesota. This network is the largest integrated health care network in the nation, and it provides a wide variety of services, including primary care, mental health care, surgery services, health science research, and specialized care such as spinal cord injury treatment and rehabilitation.
To gain access to these benefits, you need to apply through the process described above. For a breakdown of the VA facilities near you, go to www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?STATE=MN&dnum=3. If you are already receiving benefits and have other health-related questions, contact the VA Medical Center near you. You can also call my office for assistance at 612-727-5220.
As a veteran, your personnel records are critical assets you need to pursue your claims. They are necessary for everything from VA compensation and pension applications to securing burial and memorial benefits for you or your loved ones. To request your records, you need to fill out a Standard Form 180 and forward it to the appropriate organization. To access this form, go to www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf. Once you have filled it out, print this form and consult the chart on page three, which will indicate where it needs to be directed. Due to the nature of these requests, it can take some time to complete them. If you haven't received a response after several months, or if there is an emergency, please contact my office at 612-727-5220.
Burial in a National Cemetery
The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration operates 131 national cemeteries across the country. To be eligible for burial, you need to meet certain criteria. To determine whether you or a loved one are eligible, go to www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits. You can also direct inquiries of this nature to Fort Snelling National Cemetery at 612-726-1127. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact my office at 612-727-5220.