West Virginia State Veteran’s Benefits 2021

The state of West Virginia, through legislation, state offices, and the Department of Veteran Affairs, provides services and benefits to its military community in the following areas:

  • Housing
  • Financial Assistance
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing
  • Burial

Support in the above areas of concern is available to the below personnel who were West Virginian residents as of Dec. 31, 2019 plus those who have since moved there:

  • 650 active-duty service members
  • 439 active-duty spouses
  • 904 active-duty children
  • 7,783 National Guard and reserve members
  • 3,939 National Guard and reserve spouses
  • 5,870 National Guard and reserve children

Veteran Housing Programs

The state runs a veterans home in Barboursville (http://www.veterans.wv.gov/offices-facilities/Pages/WV-Veterans-Home.aspx and a nursing facility in Clarksburg (http://www.wvvnf.wv.gov/Default.aspx?pageID=15&mm_=5). They are open to veterans who have been residents of West Virginia for at least 30 days (or entered the service from West Virginia), have an honorable discharge, and who served at least 12 months of active duty service. Charges are based on a veteran’s inc Domiciliary care in Veterans Home is for ambulatory veterans who are able to go to the dining room without help; can dress themselves; can make their own beds, and can participate in an assigned therapeutic activity.

Veterans Home in Barboursville

The West Virginia Veterans Home is a 150-bed facility located on a 23-acre plot that overlooks beautiful downtown Barboursville, West Virginia. The Veterans Home, authorized in 1975 and opened in 1981, serves as a convenient and comfortable home in time of need for veterans who were discharged under honorable conditions. It is considered one of the finest Veterans Homes in the United States, with a one-of-a-kind reputation. Basic eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Must have been discharged from active duty with an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
  • Must be ambulatory and independent in all activities of daily living. The Veterans Home will accept veterans who suffer from disabilities that prevent gainful employment as long as they do not require skilled nursing care or hospitalization.
  • Must have served on active duty or performed active service in a reserve component of the armed forces for a period of at least 12 consecutive months (unless medically discharged for a service connected injury prior to 12 months). If enlisted since September 7, 1980, must have served a minimum of 24 consecutive months on active duty or the full period for which you were called to active duty (unless medically discharged for a service connected injury prior to 24 months).
  • Must be eligible for care at federal VA Medical Centers. Income must not exceed those specified by federal VA guidelines
  • Due to the health and welfare of residents of the Barboursville Veterans Home, there are certain pre-admission medical tests which must be completed prior to being admitted.

The West Virginia Veterans Home provides a nursing department that is staffed at all hours to provide for the health and wellbeing of residents. Among the services provided are first aid, preventive care and assistance with medications. Facility staff provide regular transportation to the nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Center, through which all advanced medical care is provided. A well-equipped cafeteria provides three nutritious meals every day. Dietary Specialists are available to advise residents and help them reach nutritional goals, manage weight and address vitamin deficiencies. If a resident is scheduled to be away during a meal, cafeteria staff can provide a packed lunch to ensure that no resident goes without a meal.

The West Virginia Veterans Home has strong ties to the community. Many residents perform volunteer work with nearby service and community organizations. Many also attend school or work, with the goal of regaining independence. A number of prior residents have moved on to successful careers and stable home lives. The facility employs a recreation supervisor and five recreation specialists that plan events that encourage participation and self-improvement. A well-provisioned library facilitates learning, and several lounges throughout the facility encourage social interaction. There is a security presence round-the-clock. The Veterans Home is a closed facility. Both residents and guests alike are required to sign in and out. Weapons and illicit materials are not allowed.

The home is not a treatment facility and cannot accommodate veterans in need of daily care or skilled assistance. Rooms available for occupancy accommodate two, three or four persons. Every effort is made to ensure compatibility between occupants. Female veterans are most welcome and special lodging accommodations are provided as they become available. A person’s income is not a factor in gaining admission, although residents are required to contribute one-half of his or her monthly income as their maintenance contribution. The home is very liberal in its rules and regulations. Residents may leave on a pass for up to three days by simply signing a daily log sheet. All residents are authorized up to 30 days of furlough per year. Visitation to the home is encouraged and visitors may enjoy a meal with the residents at a nominal fee.

Emphasis is placed on maintaining a warm, attractive and comfortable “home” for the West Virginia veteran who is in need of a place to live. We, the residents and staff, wish to extend an invitation to each of you to visit our facility. You will be proud, as we are, that such a home exists.

Assistance with applications for residency can be obtained through any of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance Field Offices or you may contact the Veterans Home directly at 512 Water Street , Barboursville, WV 25504 Tel: (304) 736-1027 Fax: (304) 736-1093 , Director Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected] | Administrator, Tom McBride,

Veterans Nursing Facility in Clarksburg

One Freedoms Way, Clarksburg, WV 26301 Tel: (304) 626-1600 Fax: (304) 626-1605

Email: [email protected]

The West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility is a 120,000-square-foot, 120-bed, impressively modern facility located in history-rich Clarksburg, West Virginia. The facility, which opened in 2008, is considered one of the finest, veterans-only nursing homes in the United States. The facility features private and semi-private rooms, as well as a 20-bed unit reserved for residents in need of specialized care because of Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia. The innovative design of the facility and the most advanced equipment available allow the staff to provide a full range of care to West Virginia’s veterans. Nurses and a physician are available around the clock. The Nursing Facility also features a pharmacy, as well as breezeway-connected access to the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center.

The facility features security cameras both inside and outside that are monitored continually for the safety and security of residents. All rooms feature full-function hospital beds and an installed nurse-call system. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, cable television and telephones with long distance-calling enabled. There are four congregate whirlpool walk-in tubs, an exercise room and a therapy room for residents’ use. Two wheelchair-capable buses are available to transport residents to medical appointments and recreational activities. The facility employs a recreation director, 10 recreation assistants and a chaplain.

Cost of care at the West Virginia Veteran Nursing Facility is significantly less expensive than the national average. It was the intent of the governing authority from the beginning to not exclude any veteran the opportunity for admission to the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility based on financial reasons.  Vets are charged 65% of their monthly income up to $2,600/month for his or her stay.  There is an additional fee of $250/month for a private room.  The veteran has the option not to disclose any financial information and pay the monthly maximum.  Some veterans may qualify for a partial or complete hardship exception especially if there is a community spouse who needs the veterans monthly income to subsist.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

1.    The following veterans shall be eligible for admission to the WVVNF:

a.   Veterans who have served on active duty or performed active service in a reserve component of the armed forces for a period of at least 12 consecutive months; or who have been medically discharged for a service connected injury prior to 12 months service.  Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980 must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty unless they were medically discharged for a service connected injury prior to 24 months service.

b.   Veterans whose discharge status from military service is under honorable conditions

c.   Veterans who have continuously been a citizen of the state of West Virginia for 30 days immediately prior to application to the WVVNF or who was a resident of West Virginia at the time they initially entered active military service.

d.   Veterans who are physically unable to maintain themselves in their own home by reason of age, disability or disease and meet the criteria for intermediate or skilled nursing care under Medicare and Medicaid regulations.

e.   Non-veteran spouses may be considered for admission ONLY when the veteran’s nursing facility capacity is greater than 75% of the total licensed beds and when there are no veterans awaiting admission on the interest list.

2.    The WVVNF shall not admit any applicant who requires treatment primarily for mental retardation, mental illness, or substance abuse, or who has a documented history of physical violence and/or disciplinary problems, or whose needs cannot be met by the facility. As a matter of clarity, prospective residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are eligible for consideration.

3.     The West Virginia Veterans State Nursing Home is a smoke-free facility. All veterans must agree not to smoke anywhere on facility grounds.

Veteran Financial Assistance Programs

Income Tax

For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, military retirement income, including retirement income from the regular Armed Forces, Reserves and National Guard paid by the United States or the State of West Virginia are exempt from state income tax. This includes any survivorship annuities, to the extent that they are included in federal adjusted gross income for the taxable year. For more information see House Bill 201, passed October 17, 2017, and West Virginia State Code §11-21-12.’’

Veterans Bonus

The West Virginia State Legislature approved separate bonus programs for payment to veterans of World War I and World War II, Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, conflicts in Lebanon, Panama, Granada, and Desert Storm., Iraq, Kosova, and Afghanistan The deadline for making application for these bonus programs has expired for all except Afghanistan. The bonus is available to:

  • Veterans who were bona fide residents of the State of West Virginia at the time of their entry into active service and for a period of at least six months immediately prior thereto.
  • Veterans who were not separated from service under conditions other than honorable.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States or who were members of reserve components called to active duty by the President of the United States.
  • Application for the Afghanistan Veterans Bonus must be made within one year of the end of the veterans service.

Approved applicants will be eligible for a six hundred dollar bonus if they served in the combat zone and received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal, or a four hundred dollar bonus if they had active service outside the combat zone during the time periods specified for Afghanistan. Applicants must have served on active duty between October 7, 2001 and a date yet to be determined. Applicants will be required to fill out the application available at https://veterans.wv.gov/Benefits/Documents/Bonus_Program_Application.pdf and attach a copy of DD-214 covering eligibility period. If applicants are still active duty and do not have a DD-214, they must also complete section of the application.

Homestead Exemption for Certain Eligible Veterans

This program provides for a $20,000 exemption against the total assessed value of a single family dwelling, including mobile or manufactured homes, owned and occupied as a residence by any person who is at least sixty-five years old or totally and permanently disabled and who has legally resided in and paid taxes on a homestead in this State for two consecutive taxable years before filing for this exemption. When a member of the United States military forces maintains West Virginia as his state of residence throughout his military service and returns to this State and purchases a homestead upon his retirement or earlier separation from the military service due to permanent and total physical or mental disability, that person is deemed to satisfy the residency test and shall be allowed a Homestead Exemption if the person otherwise qualifies. Specific information is available through the local County Assessor’s Office. Details are available in West Virginia State Code 11-6B-4. Veterans who believe they qualify should contact their County Assessors’ Office.

Veteran Employment Programs

Military Incentive Program 

The West Virginia Military Incentive Credit encourages the employment of veterans and members of the guard and reserve forces in the private sector by providing tax credits to qualified businesses that employ economically disadvantaged veterans and unemployed members of the West Virginia National Guard and United States Reserve forces. Additional information is available in West Virginia State Code 21A-2C-1 and through Workforce West Virginia.

Veterans Preference

Under the West Virginia Civil Service System, all veterans who have served under honorable conditions in the Armed Forces of the United States during hostile conflict shall have five points added to a final passing score. An additional five points are added to a veteran’s score if in receipt of the Purple Heart or if he/she has a compensable service-connected disability. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 6-13-1.

ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve)

A Department of Defense agency that promotes understanding and cooperation between reserve component service members and their civilian employers. Refer to http://www.esgr.mil.

America’s Heroes at Work Supporting the Employment Success of Returning Service Members with TBI & PTSD. Refer to https://askjan.org/vendors/America-s-Heroes-at-Work.cfm.

VetSuccess

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31. It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. The VetSuccess program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For Veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, VetSuccess offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. (http://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab)

Work Force West Virginia

Work Force West Virginia has implemented an aggressive marketing outreach plan with the following components:

  • Encourage West Virginia employers to hire Veterans.
  • Focus on marketing services to veterans
  • Provide marketing materials for Veteran Services that use an easily-identified template and are available at all One-Stops

Refer to: https://us.jobrapido.com/workforce-wv-jobs?

U.S. Department of Labor

VETS Proudly Serves Veterans & Service Members! Providing Resources and Expertise to Assist and Prepare Veterans to Obtain Meaningful Jobs & Careers, Maximize their Employment Opportunities, and Protect their Employment Rights. Refer to http://www.dol.gov/vets.

West Virginia HVRP

The purpose of the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) is to provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans. Refer to: https://www.voamid.org/pdf_files/hvrp-chattanooga

Job Hero

This guide recommends pages only from trusted organizations and will connect veterans to all kinds of information, advice, tools, and programs that offer real-world help for re-entering the workforce. Refer to http://www.jobhero.com/veteran-career-guide.

Veteran Education Programs

State War Orphans Education

Students who qualify for the War Orphan Education Program will not be charged tuition and fees by a West Virginia post-secondary education or training institution. Award amounts administered by the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance are to cover costs associated with room, board, books and other living expenses. This amount fluctuates according to the number of applications received each semester. No more than $1,000 will be awarded to a student in any one semester and no more than $2,000 will be awarded to a student in any one year. To qualify, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must be at least sixteen years old, but not more than twenty-five (Veteran’s spouses are exempt from this requirement)
  • Must be enrolled in a post-secondary education or training institution in the state of West Virginia
  • Veteran parent (or spouse) must have designated West Virginia as his or her state of record at time of enlistment
  • Veteran parent must have served in the United States Armed Forces on active duty as declared by President under Title 10 and must have been killed in action or have died as a result of his or her war service

Students may not apply for this assistance retroactively. Application deadline for the Fall semester is 21 AUG and the Spring semester is 31 JAN. To complete an application go to https://veterans.wv.gov/Benefits/Documents/War_Orphan_Application.pdf.

Veterans Re-Education Act Fund

The West Virginia Legislature provides tuition assistance to those veterans who need a new vocation due to dislocation or unemployment. Veteran must have exhausted the G. I. Bill and be in need of tuition assistance. To apply submit a DD-214, Proof of enrollment in a West Virginia institution of postsecondary education or training (copy of tuition bill, schedule of courses, test enrollment confirmation, etc.), and a completed application which can be downloaded at https://veterans.wv.gov/Benefits/Documents/Veterans_Reeducation_Assistance_Application.pdf

Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program

All public institutions of higher education are participants of the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program, also known as the “bridging the gap” program. This benefit helps veterans afford programs where costs exceed the amount of funding provided by the G.I. Bill. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 18B-10-7C  or through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

In-state Tuition Rates for Nonresident Veterans

All public higher education institutions will assess tuition at the in state rate for nonresident recipients of the GI Bill who enroll within three years of their discharge (beginning July, 2015). More information is available in Title 133 Legislative Rule Series 25 or through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Medal of Honor & Purple Heart Tuition Waivers

All public institutions of higher education waive tuition and mandatory fee charges for West Virginia residents who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 18B-10-10 or through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

High School Diplomas for Veterans

West Virginia veterans who served in WWII, Korea or Vietnam and did not graduate from high school may be awarded a high school diploma. The diploma may be granted by the veteran’s current county of residence or by the county in which the school he/she attended is located. More details are available in West Virginia State Code 18-2-34 or Title 126 Legislative Rule Series 96. Go to https://veterans.wv.gov/Benefits/Documents/Highschool_Diploma_Application.pdf for an application.

Veteran Recreation

Veteran Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Resident veterans who qualify for federal VA auto grant benefits or who have a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability qualify for free West Virginia hunting and fishing licenses. Services members who are on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, while on leave or furlough, are permitted to hunt, fish and trap without a license. Leave or furlough papers shall serve in lieu of any required licenses. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 20-2-28. Go to https://www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/licensing.shtm for an application.

West Virginia State Parks “Veterans’ Salute”

Veterans and active duty military personnel are provided a year-round 10% discount on all standard lodge rooms, cabins and campsites operated by West Virginia State Parks. Additional discounts and offers for veterans and military members are available seasonally. Click here for more information.

Veteran Vehicles

Automobile License Plates

Special vehicle license plates and disabled veteran tags are provided without fee to veterans who qualify for federal VA auto grant benefits or who have a 100% permanent and total service connected disability. Former POWs, Purple Heart recipients and Pearl Harbor survivors are also eligible for special license plates without fee. Veteran plates are available to all other honorably discharged veterans for a one-time fee of $10 over and above the regular license fee required by the state Division of Motor Vehicles. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 17A-3-14. Interested veterans should contact their local DMV office.

Special Military Plates are available upon request and paying the appropriate fees. Above are images of the available plates. To obtain the acquisition data for each of the plates below click on its image at https://transportation.wv.gov/DMV/Vehicle-Services/License-Plates/Special-Plates/Pages/Special-Plate.aspx?p=8

Veteran Designation on West Virginia Driver’s Licenses

For application information, veterans should contact their local DMV office.

Military Renewal of West Virginia Driver’s Licenses

Military personnel (17B-2-12) driver’s license of any person in the armed forces is extended for a period of six months from the date the person is separated under honorable circumstances from active duty in the armed forces. The DMV may, upon request, renew the driving privileges of a licensee who is temporarily located out of state at the time their license expires. The Division shall not issue a new driver’s license to the licensee. The Division will issue a certified driving record to the licensee indicating that the licensee has renewed his or her driving license with a notation of the new expiration date. The licensee shall obtain a new license upon returning to West Virginia. For further information call 1-800-642-9066.

Veteran Burials

Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery

The (DCKMSVC) is a 354 acre facility designed to provide an honorable, dignified resting place for West Virginia’s cherished veterans and their closest family members. Throughout its lifetime, the cemetery will accommodate burial space for approximately 60,000 qualified individuals. The official dedication of the cemetery was held on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012.

Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery

General Information

  • Provided at no cost to the veteran: Grave Site or Niche, Opening and Closing, Concrete Pre-Set Crypt, Headstone / Niche Cover, Perpetual Care, Presidential Memorial Certificate.
  • Eligibility for Dependents: Order of death does not determine eligibility for benefits. A spouse or child may pre-decease the veteran. Eligibility is based on the veteran’s service.
  • Burial of Surviving Spouse: A veteran’s surviving spouse who married a non-veteran after the veteran’s death is now eligible for burial in the cemetery based on his or her marriage to the eligible veteran. This only applies to deaths of surviving spouses that occur on or after January 1, 2000.
  • Grave Location: The grave location of your loved one is furnished on the map included in the burial document folder. Additionally, there is a grave locator in the Administration Building to assist visitors who may not know the location of a gravesite.
  • Grave Marker: A temporary grave marker is used to mark the grave following the interment. A permanent grave marker will be furnished free of charge by the federal government without application from the family. Every effort is made to have the grave marker delivered and set within 60 days of interment.
  • Flags: The United States flag is flown over the cemetery every day. The flag is flown at half-staff on the morning of Memorial Day and during interment services. Graves are decorated with small US flags the day before Memorial Day and are removed immediately after the holiday. Flags are not permitted on graves at any other time. It is the responsibility of the Funeral Home to provide flags for burial services.
  • Grounds Maintenance: Immediately after each interment, the grave is filled and leveled. As soon as the headstone / marker is set the site will be seeded. Until growing conditions are favorable and turf has been established, burial areas may be substandard in appearance. Because the soil continues to sink after a burial, a new grave requires repeated renovation. Matters which appear to need immediate corrective action should be brought to the attention of the Cemetery Administrator.
  • Floral Policy: Floral Policies at the DCKMSVC are modeled after the policies of federal veteran’s
  • Tree Donations: Tree donations for burial and bench areas are accepted (space permitting) if desired by next-of-kin, family or friends. For additional information please contact the Administrative Office.
  • The State Cemetery will be following Federal guidelines and requirements for eligibility. Eligibility is as follows, but is not limited to:
  • Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty.
  • Any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and had a minimum of   24 months of active duty.
  • The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran.
  • The minor children of an eligible veteran.  For purpose of burial in a national cemetery, a minor child is a child who is unmarried and:  Who is under 21 years of age; or, who is under 23 years of age and pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved educational institution.

Any state or federal Veterans Affairs office can assist in determining eligibility for burial in a VA national or state veteran’s cemetery. For more on eligibility go to http://www.cem.va.gov. To contact the cemetery call or write: Donel Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, 130 Academy Drive, Dunbar, WV  25064 Tel: 304-746-0026 | (Office)   Larissa Wines, Administrator [email protected]

Grafton National Cemetery

The Grafton National Cemetery at 431 Walnut St., Grafton, WV 26354 is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available. The office at the Grafton National Cemetery is closed. For assistance contact the office at the West Virginia National Cemetery. Phone: 304-265-2044 or FAX: 304-265-4336

Jack Bennett Fund

Families of deceased veterans may be provided grave markers for their loved one free of charge from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. However, some families are unable to cover the cost of installing these grave markers. The Jack Bennett Fund provides applicants up to $380 to offset these costs. A family’s need for financial assistance may be used to determine eligibility and is based on the “Means Test Threshold” as published by the federal VA. Any family member of a deceased veteran, licensed funeral directors and cemeteries may apply. Details about the Jack Bennett Fund can be found in West Virginia State Code 29-22A-10Title 86 Legislative Rule Series 4, and Title 150 Legislative Rule Series 28. For an application, click here.

Other West Virginia Veteran Support

Agent Orange Program

The program administered by the West Virginia Division of Health expired July 1, 1989.  However, assistance is provided to Korean and Vietnam veterans exposed to certain chemicals, defoliants or herbicides or other causative agents, including Agent Orange from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicine and Surgery.

West Virginia VA Locations

Veterans Health Administration
    Information Resource Center
       Huntington: Homeless Veterans Resource Center (Huntington, WV)

    VA Medical Center
       Beckley: Beckley VA Medical Center
       Clarksburg: Clarksburg – Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
       Huntington: Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center
       Martinsburg: Martinsburg VA Medical Center

    Outpatient Clinic
       Lenore: Lenore VA Clinic

    Community Based Outpatient Clinic
       Clarksburg: Rural Mobile Unit (540)
       Franklin: Franklin Community Based Outpatient Clinic
       Gassaway: Braxton County CBOC (540GC)
       Parkersburg: Wood County CBOC (540GB)
       Parsons: Tucker County CBOC (540GA)
       Petersburg: Petersburg Community Based Outpatient Clinic
       Princeton: Princeton VA Clinic
       Ronceverte: Greenbrier County VA Clinic
       South Charleston: Charleston VA Clinic
       Westover: Monongalia County (540GD)

    Vet Center
       Beckley: Beckley Vet Center
       Charleston: Charleston Vet Center
       Henlawson: Logan Outstation
       Huntington: Huntington Vet Center
       Martinsburg: Martinsburg Vet Center
       Morgantown: Morgantown Vet Center
       Parkersburg: Parkersburg Outstation
       Princeton: Princeton Vet Center
       Wheeling: Wheeling Vet Center

Veterans Benefits Administration
    Regional Benefit Office
       Huntington: Huntington Regional Office

National Cemetery Administration
    National Cemetery
       Grafton: Grafton National Cemetery
       Grafton: West Virginia National Cemetery

West Virginia Veteran Service Officers

Veteran Service Officers (VSO) will help you write and submit your benefits claims to the VA. Their services are free. They will help you gather the information that supports your claim. Once the claim is filed they will help you track the claim through the system. They can also help you file appeals for denied claims. It is important that you use a Veteran Service Officer. They will help you avoid the delays that missing paperwork or improperly filled out claims can cause. To locate a VSO near you click on the following county below you reside in: Barbour | Berkeley | Boone | Braxton | Brooke | CabellCalhoun | Clay | Doddridge | Fayette | Gilmer | Grant | Greenbrier | Hampshire | Hancock | Hardy | Harrison | Jackson | Jefferson | Kanawha | Lewis | Lincoln | Logan | Marion | Marshall | Mason | Mercer | Mineral | Mingo |Monongalia | Monroe | Morgan | McDowell | Nicholas | Ohio | Pendleton | Pleasants | Pocahontas | Preston | Putnam | Raleigh | Randolph | Ritchie | Roane | Summers | Taylor | Tucker | Tyler | Upshur | Wayne | Webster | Wetzel | Wirt | Wood | Wyoming

In addition most major military fraternal organizations have trained VSOs to assist vets in their paperwork or answer questions.

West Virginia Veterans Transportation Program 

Each year the West Virginia Legislature provides funds to the WVDVA for the purchase of vans to be used exclusively for the transportation of veterans to and from their VA medical appointments. Once vehicles are purchased, they are leased to the federal VA medical centers that serve West Virginia. Those facilities then work in conjunction with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to transport veterans. Any veteran who needs transportation to a VA medical appointment should contact the VA Medical Center nearest him/her and ask for the DAV Volunteer Coordinator.  You can also call:

Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center – 304-623-7621

Beckley VA Medical Center – 304-255-2121 extension 4162

Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center – 304-429-6741 extension 2952

Martinsburg VA Medical Center – 304-263-0811 extension 3310

West Virginia Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program

The Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program is designed to integrate veterans into the field of agriculture and support veterans currently working in agriculture through a variety of training and other support programs. The WVDVA has worked closely with the Department of Agriculture to recruit eligible veterans and develop the program which is administered by the Department of Agriculture. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 19-1-12.  Those who are interested in learning more about Warriors to Agriculture should visit the West Virginia Department of Agriculture website www.wvagriculture.org, call them at 1-800-WV4-VETS, or call the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

West Virginia Veteran Service Decoration / West Virginia Service Cross

The West Virginia Service Decoration may be awarded to any West Virginia resident who served in one of the five federally recognized military branches for at least 30 days during armed conflict. Those who also received certain other federal medals and recognitions may also qualify for the West Virginia Service Cross. Some members of the National Guard also qualify. More information is available in West Virginia State Code 15-1G-10. Verification of qualifying awards and service may be sent to the West Virginia Army National Guard at WVARNG, Attention MILPO, 1705 Coonskin Drive, Charleston, WV 25311. Verification should include a DD214 and current mailing address. Questions should be directed to MAJ Bossie at 304-561-6350. Applications will remain on file until the award is funded and procured.

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

The West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database contains information on more than ten thousand men and women from West Virginia who died during 20th-century military actions. While death did not have to occur in combat, it must have occurred during the official period of conflict and prior to discharge from the military. To qualify for inclusion, the soldier must have been born in West Virginia or must have been a state resident six months prior to military service. Research to identify the men and women who should be placed on the Veterans Memorial was begun by the West Virginia Veterans Memorial Commission, which utilized Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs listings, overseas burial records, and appeals to the public to collect information. Archives staff members have conducted additional research of newspapers, county histories and county records to supplement the original sources.

As a result of this research and through additional public contacts, new names to add and necessary corrections have been identified. If you are planning a visit to view a name on the memorial, it is important to note the “date carved” field. Additional names and corrections are placed at the end of each war’s listing. The names carved prior to the dedication of the memorial in 1995 are marked “original”. Names added since that time are indicated with a year noted in the “date carved” field. Names and corrections which have been verified but not yet added to the memorial are indicated by “to be carved.” The database will be updated on a monthly basis. Refer to http://www.wvculture.org/HiStory/wvmemory/howtouse.html for detailed information on using the database. Go to http://www.wvculture.org/HiStory/wvmemory/index.html to access the database.

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history. For more information contact Debra Basham at (304) 558-0230.

Community Support Programs

The following programs and organizations are not operated by the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, but support the goal of supporting West Virginia veterans. The views and opinions of these organizations do not represent those of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance or the state of West Virginia.

Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families’ mission is to support, connect and engage military families. Are you the parent of a military service member?  Make a difference for the military families that sacrifice so much! Refer to https://bluestarfam.org/about.

Blue Star Mothers

To perpetuate the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., and the memory of all the men and women who have served our country as members of the Armed Forces; the further object of this organization shall be patriotic, educational, social, and for service; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States. Refer to https://www.bluestarmothers.org.

Gold Star Family Registry

The National Gold Star Family Registry provides a searchable database of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardsmen killed while in the service of our country since the beginning of WWII. Refer to http://www.goldstarfamilyregistry.com.

American Gold Star Mothers

An organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country and strive to keep the memory of our sons and daughters alive by working to help veterans, those currently serving in the military, their families and our communities. Refer to https://www.goldstarmoms.com.

Honor Flight

Honor Flight is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials that were built in their honor. This trip is 100% free to veterans and Huntington, West Virginia, is home to one of their 130 chapters covering 42 states. Refer to http://www.honorflighthuntington.org.

The Mission Continues

The Mission Continues empowers veterans adjusting to life at home to find new missions. We redeploy veterans so that their shared legacy will be one of action and service. The Mission Continues has helped thousands of post-9/11 veterans transition successfully by focusing their talents and energy on tackling challenges here at our home front. Refer to https://www.missioncontinues.org.

Project Healing Waters

Dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. Refer to https://projecthealingwaters.org.

Quilts of Valor

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. It is a quality, handmade quilt that is machine or hand quilted and is awarded to a Service Member or Veteran who has been touched by war. The Quilt says unequivocally, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.”Refer to https://www.qovf.org.

Vet Connection

VetConnection serves United States military veterans by providing resources for vets and their families including: jobs, healthcare, job training, education, housing assistance, financial guidance, legal advice and more. Refer to http://vetconnection.org.

Vet Friends

Helping U.S. Military Veterans Reconnect. Refer to https://www.vetfriends.com/reunions/reunion_organizations.cfm

Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Refer to http://www.loc.gov/vets/about.html.

The Veterans Legacy Project 

The Veterans Legacy Project (Glenville State College) will establish an oral history collection that preserves and protects the recollections, memories, and stories of men and women who served in the US military. The collection will be available to interested families, students, and scholars on the Glenville State campus and website. Refer to https://www.schoolandcollegelistings.com/US/Glenville/343723122327880/West-Virginia-Veterans-Legacy-Project .

Veterans Upward Bound Program

Veterans Upward Bound is a free educational program for military Veterans. It is a U.S. Department of Education TRIO program, and it is funded by a competitive grant. Participants in VUB receive preparation for success at colleges and universities, technical and trade schools, and other post-high school training institutions. To find out how VUB can assist you with your postsecondary endeavors, contact the Veterans Upward Bound program at: Veterans Upward Bound, 100 Campus Drive, Elkins, WV  26241-3996 Phone: (304) 637-1257 or (800) 624-3157 ext. 1257 Refer to https://vubwv.org.

WV Memory Project

The mission of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History is to identify, preserve, protect, promote and present the ideas, arts and artifacts of West Virginia’s heritage, building pride in our past accomplishments and confidence in our future. Refer to http://www.wvculture.org/index.aspx.

West Virginia Veterans Database Search

Allows you to search veterans based on name of war, county, name, etc. Go to http://www.wvculture.org/history/wvmemory/vet.aspx.

Wounded Warrior Project

Providing wounded veterans the means and resources for rehabilitation and adaptation to life changing injuries. Refer to https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Dental Care Resources For Veterans

Covers dental care eligibility, available dental care programs and clinic locations, plus other useful resources. Refer to https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/dental-care-resources-for-veterans.

In My Area

Helps veterans save time and money when setting up home services.  The website allows veterans to compare service providers and gain access to localized information pertaining to the community.  InMyArea.com/Military also offers relocation consultations to veterans for free when calling in.  Refer to https://www.inmyarea.com/military.

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For contact information and benefits assistance visit the West Virginia Dept. of Veterans Assistance website http://www.veterans.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx. For current issues affecting veterans residing in West Virginia check out https://www.moaa.org/content/state-report-card/statereportcard.

[Source: http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/west-virginia-state-veterans-benefits.html | February 2021 ++]