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Veterans with Disabilities: Getting Started

When a service member is released from active duty, the Department of Defense notifies the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA then sends a letter with information about VA benefits and assistance to aid in the transition to civilian life. However, especially for veterans with disabilities, finding out about and applying for services is often difficult. The following are links to resources that may help you in getting started with finding and applying for services that you and your family may qualify for.

Know your rights: The U.S. Department of Justice offers a publication that explains the rights of returning service members with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides information on where to get assistance. Read the publication: ADA: Know Your Rights - Returning Service Members with Disabilities. See also the VA's Patient and Nursing Home Resident Rights and Responsibilities.

In Ohio: Contact your County Veterans Service Office. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services - Veterans with Disabilities Resources also provides information.

Apply online: The VONAPP (Veterans On Line Application) website is an official U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website where service members, veterans and their beneficiaries, and other designated individuals can apply for benefits online. Check for other programs to apply for on the VA's eBenefits website.

Call the VA: You can call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 (for benefits information) and 1-877-222-8387 (for health care eligibility information). You can also visit the VA's Returning Service Members Web site.

Apply for Social Security benefits: The Social Security Administration offers expedited processing of disability claims for veterans and military personnel who became disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001. Social Security benefits are different than those from the VA and require a separate application. For more information visit the Disability Benefits For Wounded Warriors section of Social Security's Web site.

Online Resource Directories:

Booklets and fact sheets:

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