Veteran's Affairs

How can I contact the Department of Veterans Affairs?

The VA has toll free numbers for the convenience of veterans and dependents.
Benefits Information 1-800-827-1000

Life Insurance 1-800-669-8477

Debt Management 1-800-827-0648

Mammography Hotline 1-888-492-7844

Tele. Dev. for Deaf (TDD) 1-800-829-4833

CHAMPVA 1-800-733-8387

Headstones/Markers 1-800-697-6947

Gulf War Helpline 1-800-749-8387

Sexual Trauma Hotline 1-800-827-1000

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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.

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What are the types of VA claims?

There are Four Types of claims:

  • 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.
  • Claim for increase: A claim for increased compensation for a disability already found to be service-connected.
  • New Claim: A claim for compensation for a disability not part of the original claim. Also known as a supplemental claim.
  • 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.

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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

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How can I get replacement medals?

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

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

For more frequently asked questions, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website or the website for the Veterans Integrated Service Network 3, serving New York City.