Frequently asked questions

A Veterans Service Officer can help you complete the form to get a copy of lost discharge papers. The form is sent to the National Archives. You can also request your service records online, by mail or by Fax, through the National Archives. You usually receive a copy in three to four months.

You will need to obtain a Veteran Status Verification Form (VSD-001), which will be issued by the County Veteran Service Officer. This form is not available from DMV. Bring the completed VSD-001 to an MVA field office. Bring in the application and make an appointment with a VSO here.

Bring your discharge papers (DD-214) to our office or bring your service-connected I.D. or service-connected document, and we’ll give you the Veteran Status Verification form. Submit the completed form in-person at the Department of Motor Vehicles, along with a completed application for a driver license, identification card or commercial driver license. On your application, be sure to mark that you wish the veteran designation on your license. You pay a small fee for the specially printed license. You must also pay all fees and complete the requirements for a driver’s license.

If you weren’t given a dental examination and treatment within 90 days of military discharge, you can apply for dental care. You must apply within 180 days after you leave the service. This time limit does not apply to veterans with dental disabilities resulting from combat wounds or service injuries.

The State of California offers a Fee Tuition Waiver program to help pay for college. Call our office to find out if you are eligible at 1-877-4LA-VETS.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs also helps the children of veterans who are 100% disabled due to their military service, or children of military members killed during service or who died of disabilities related to their service.

An MVA Veteran Service Officer can help. Make an appointment or call 1-877-4LA-VETS. There are several education programs veterans can use for a wide variety of approved education and training programs administered by the USDVA. The programs include: apprenticeship and on-the-job training, college degree and certificate programs, flight training, and correspondence courses. Each program provides different benefits to different groups of individuals and usually offers a specific number of benefit “months.” Typically, most education benefits can be collected for 36 months; however, the maximum that can be collected under any combination of USDVA education programs is 48 months. Please note that veterans can only use one USDVA education benefit for training at a time. For more detailed information regarding USDVA education benefits, visit www.gibill.va.gov or call (888) GIBILL-1 (442-4551).

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If you developed diabetes mellitus (Type 2) and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service, you do not need to prove a connection between the disease and your military service to be eligible for benefits.

If your death is due to a cause related to your military service, your spouse may apply for a monthly payment for your loss.

Another benefit your spouse may be eligible for is the Non-service Connected Disability Pension. You must have served during one of the Wartime Periods (such as WWII, Korea, etc.) and your spouse’s monthly income must fall below a specific amount.

A surviving spouse may get a burial benefit if, at the time of your death, you:

Receive the Service-connected Disability Compensation,

Receive the Non-service Connected Disability Pension, or you die while in a Veterans Administration Medical Facility.

The easiest way to order a copy of your military records is to go to the website for the National Archives. These folks also have a video on YouTube showing you how it’s done.

Contact an MVA VSO at 1-877-4LA-VETS or make an appointment here. If outside of LA County, try working with your local vet center or the County Veteran Services Officer for your county. Many veterans learn ways to ask for help from the V.A. through local chapters of the VFW and PVA. Some of these congressionally-chartered veteran service organizations also have personnel who are trained and experienced in working on behalf of veterans to appeal a disability claim or other difficult cases.

The Veterans Administration is a federal organization that oversees the healthcare of veterans, the processing of paperwork for veterans, and death and burial services. CalVet is a state-funded program that assists veterans in working with the V.A. while offering additional and unique benefits provided by the State of California. A Los Angeles based Veteran Service Officer can assist you with federal, state and local resources and benefits to make sure all your needs are met.

Contact AJCC, located in Bob Hope Patriotic Hall by visiting: jvs-socal.org/ajcc-downtownla or veterans@jvs-socal.org.  Additionally, CalVet and the V.A. offer many resources. Visit One-Stop-Career Center: Veteran and Military Transition Center, and career fairs. EDD also offers a list of One-Stop-Career Centers throughout every county in California.

If you have served in the military for any length of time, you should speak to a Veteran Service Officer to learn about your benefits. In most cases, if you have served in the military, then you are a veteran, even if you have never seen combat or been deployed. In Los Angeles County, call 1-877-4LA-VETS for more info.

The best place to start is by registering with a Veteran Service Officer. VSO’s can counsel you about your eligibility for home ownership with support from CalVet and the V.A. Also, it is a myth that you can use the veterans’ home loan benefit only once. It might be possible for a veteran to use this benefit more than once in his/her lifetime. Call 1-877-4LA-VETS for more info.

If you have served in the military, you can learn about your medical benefits through the membership office at the Veteran’s Hospital or by registering with a Veteran Service Officer. Some veterans use their veteran’s healthcare benefits to augment their health insurance, even when they are already employed or have health insurance elsewhere. The V.A. uses a rating system to determine the cost of healthcare, and the rating system might change from year to year. Learn more by contacting a VSO. In Los Angeles County, call 1-877-4LA-VETS.

Ideally, you can learn about free transportation for veterans from a local Veteran Service Officer. You may also contact the nearest veteran’s hospital. When you call their information desk, they can transfer you to an office that arranges for transportation for patients. Some cities offer additional transportation benefits for veterans. For further info on transportation in Los Angeles County, call 1-877-4LA-VETS.

A Veteran Service Officer can talk to you about the many organizations throughout the County that coordinate events for veterans, in addition to veteran museums where many veterans volunteer their time and have an opportunity to meet other veterans. You can also ask a Veteran Service Officer about the nearest vet center or other organizations in Los Angeles County. Learn about congressionally-certified veteran service organizations (VSOs) by searching the National Resource Directory online.

You can call 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone now. You can also visit the website for the Veterans Crisis Line. The website provides a chat line, text numbers, and resources for veterans and family members to learn more about mental health issues. The V.A. has also published video testimonials from other veterans at Make the Connection. This site includes a searchable video gallery of testimonials from veterans of all ages and backgrounds. To speak with a local VSO, call 1-877-4LA-VETS.

All of California’s 1,120 public libraries can have Brainfuse’s JobNow and VetNow platforms. The VetNow platform helps veterans learn new skills, prepare for certification testing, translate military skills to civilian life, create more impactful civilian resumés, improve interviewing techniques for veterans, and search for jobs. For access call your local library or visit them online. You can get an introduction on JobNow and VetNow at the CALL Academy (you need to be logged in to see these tutorials). For more information, call 1-877-4LA-VETS.

Get more info on mental health resources by speaking with a VSO in LA County by calling 1-877-4LA-VETS. Peers in the Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) assist veterans and family members with many types of resources. Call 213-763-0300 or email veterans@dmh.lacounty.gov.

The first-ever community-driven support network serving veterans and their families in the U.S., the Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) connects County departments, non-profits, the VA and L.A. City Programs. Led by veterans for veterans, VPAN helps you navigate often complicated systems so that you receive the services you deserve. VPAN prioritizes hiring veterans as “battle buddies” and systems navigators to connect their brothers and sisters in need with resources that will help. Contact VPAN: 213-763-0300 or email veterans@dmh.lacounty.gov.

Contact your local VSO to see if you are eligible for a housing voucher. For more info on housing resources by speaking with a VSO in LA County by calling 1-877-4LA-VETS. You may also contact US VETS at https://usvets.org/locations/patriotic-hall/, or call 213-223-8366

U.S. Vets is on a mission to end veteran homelessness in the United States. “The streets” are simply no place for veterans; no place for the many men and women who volunteered, giving of themselves and their youth, to protect our great freedoms. US Vets houses staff at Patriotic Hall to assist with homelessness and other vital resources.

Get more info on the Veterans Intern Program and Veterans Readiness & Employment services and other job resources by speaking with a VSO in LA County by calling 1-877-4LA-VETS. The Veterans America’s Job Center of California located in Patriotic Hall is committed to assisting Veterans to re-enter the civilian workforce and to achieve a competitive edge in the labor market. This is done through a combination of education, training, career counseling, and supportive services. Veterans receive premier, priority of service. AJCC strives to provide specialized, attentive services to our Veterans via a dedicated AJCC site that is staffed with Veterans who are distinctly qualified to respond to and address the unique needs of those who have served our country. To learn more, please visit: jvs-socal.org/ajcc-downtownla or contact us at veterans@jvs-socal.org.

Click on the locater here to find a field office near you or make an appointment on our Waitwhile appointment application.

Approximately 95,329 veterans and their families have been assisted by Veteran Services Officers in Los Angeles County. Compensation and pension claims awarded by our VSO’s during 2020-2021 total approximately $31,725,431.

There are 2,000,000 veterans in California, 25% of them reside in Los Angeles County, making the LA County population approximately 281,000. Southern California is the largest residential area for veterans in the United States.

Todd Tortorici at TTortorici@mva.lacounty.gov or speak to a VSO by calling 1-877-4LA-VETS.

You may dispose of the United States flag by donating tattered flags, burning in a ceremony, burying them, and/or shredding them.   For more info, visit: https://starspangledflags.com/proper-disposal-american-flag/

Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.”

Active Duty – All active duty service members are issued a DD Form 214 when they separate from active duty.   If you did not receive a DD Form 214 when you left the service, you should contact your last unit if you separated recently.  You can also contact your branch of service admin headquarters.

Reserve/National Guard – Former or current members of the National Guard or Reserves are not considered to be veterans unless they had prior or subsequent service with an active component of the Armed Forces (activated to federal service).   Since the DD Form 214 is issued to those leaving the active military as well as to members of the National Guard and Reserves completing their initial active duty for training, possession of this document does not necessarily mean the Service Member is a veteran.

Service Members who serve in the National Guard and Reserve without a federal deployment are usually not eligible for veterans benefits, unless they were injured during their basic or advanced training or while on weekend drill or two-week training. They must have reported the injury, filed a claim with the VA, and been rated as disabled for that injury.

* Guard and Reserve members who complete their term of service, without ever being activated to federal service, are issued a DD Form 256 (Honorable Discharge Certificate), DD Form 257 (General Discharge Certificate)  or a NGB form 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service) upon completion of their term.

Other types of people considered veterans are those who served as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Science Services Administration or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor the Coast and Geodetic Survey. These individuals would have a document similar to a DD-214 as proof of this service.

As of March 1, 2022, the building is not allowing filming of any kind.

Contact MVA’s building director, Jorge Reynoso at jreynoso@mva.lacounty.gov

Patriotic Hall does not have a museum open to the public, but houses an artifact inventory of approximately 3500 items, including books chronicling Civil War battles.

Yes. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 was passed by U.S. Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton on October 13,1994 to protect the civilian employment of active and reserve military personnel in the United States called to active duty. The law applies to all United States uniformed services and their respective reserve components. USERRA provides for initial hiring and adverse employment actions by an employer if the action is motivated even in part by the employee’s military service. For more information, contact a VSO at 1-877-4LA-VETS

No, employees must be excused from work for trainings or drills and must re-employ the employee as if he or she has not been absent.

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