Sen. Vincent J. Fumo
 

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148
215-468-3866

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120
717-787-5662

 





  

A GUIDE TO VETERANS BENEFITS IN PENNSYLVANIA

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS
BUREAU FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS
Annville, PA 17003-5002
(717) 865-8911

     The Pennsylvania Bureau for Veterans Affairs is a State Agency created for the purpose of assisting veterans, their dependents and survivors. The Director and employees of this office shall at the request of the veterans, the dependents or survivors, endeavor to obtain for the requester any benefit or advantage due to such persons under the law of the United States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any other State or Governmental Agency by reason of the veteran's military service. The Bureau for Veterans Affairs and the counties maintain offices strategically located throughout the State. These offices are staffed with qualified personnel to assist in the filing of claims.

STATE BENEFITS

     VETERANS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Provides aid on an emergency and temporary basis (not to exceed three (3) months) for the necessities of life (food, dairy, shelter, fuel and clothing) to honorably discharged veterans who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during the established war service dates, or their widows, infant children or dependents, who are sick, disabled or without means. Applicant must be a legal permanent resident of Pennsylvania on date of application. Upon recent death of veteran, his widow or orphan children are eligible provided veteran would have qualified prior to death. Telephone Number: (717) 865-8909/8910.

     REAL ESTATE TAX EXEMPTION- Any honorably discharged veteran who is a resident of the Commonwealth shall be exempt from the payment of all real estate taxes levied upon any building, including the land upon which it stands, occupied by him as his principal dwelling, provided that as a result of wartime military service the veteran has a 100% service-connected disability rating by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; that such dwelling is owned by him solely or jointly with his spouse (an estate by the entirety), and the NEED for the exemption from the payment of real estate taxes has been determined by the State Veterans Commission. Upon decease of veteran, tax exemption passes on to unremarried surviving spouse. Telephone Number: (717) 865-8907.

     EDUCATIONAL GRATUITY - Payments of Educational Gratuities are for children of honorably discharged veterans who have been certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as having wartime service-connected disabilities rated as totally and permanently disabled or children of veterans who die or have died of war service-connected disabilities. If approved by the State Veterans Commission, children between the ages of sixteen (16) and twenty-three (23) within the Commonwealth, may be entitled to this Education Gratuity. Telephone Number: (717) 865-8910.

     BLIND VETERANS PENSION - Providing for a pension of $100.00 per month for any person separated under honorable conditions from the Armed Forces of the United States; who gave the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as his or her place of residence at the time of entering the military or naval forces of the United States; and who while performing duties connected with such service suffered any injury or incurred a disease which resulted in blindness to the extent that he or she has three-sixtieth (3/60) or ten two-hundredth (10/200) or less normal vision. Telephone Number: (717) 865-8911.

     PARALYZED VETERANS PENSION - Providing for a pension of $100.00 per month for veterans who entered military service in PA and currently reside in PA. Veterans qualify for the pension if they suffered an injury or disease resulting in the loss or loss of use of two or more extremities (arms/hands or legs/feet) during an established period of war or armed conflict or as a result of hostilities during combat-related activities in peacetime. Telephone Number: (717) 865-8911.

     STATE VETERANS HOMES - Veteran must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States or Pennsylvania Military Forces, released from service under honorable conditions. Veteran must be a bona fide resident of this Commonwealth upon making application. Applications are processed on a "first come, first serve" basis. For information or application contact your County Director of Veterans Affairs or one of the following agencies:

Hollidaysburg Veterans Home
P.O. Box 319
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
(814) 696-5201

Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home
P.O. Box 6239
Erie, PA 16512
(814) 871-4531

Southeastern Pennsylvania Veterans Center
Veterans Drive
Spring City, PA 19475
(215) 948-2400

Department of Military Affairs
Veterans Homes Division
Annville, PA 17003-5002
(717) 865-8906

     GRANTS FOR VETERANS AND POW/MIA DEPENDENTS - Qualified veterans of the U.S. Armed Services are eligible for consideration for State Grants while they are full-time undergraduate students. Veterans must comply with Pennsylvania's residency (domicile) requirements and other PHEAA eligibility requirements. Dependent children of members or former members of the U.S. Armed Services who served on active duty after January 31, 1955, who are or have been listed as missing in action or prisoners of war and who were residents (domiciliaries) of Pennsylvania for at least twelve (12) months preceding service on active duty are eligible for undergraduate State Grants. Telephone Number is 1-800-692-7435.

     SCOTLAND SCHOOL FOR VETERANS CHILDREN - To be eligible to apply for admission to Scotland School for Veterans Children the following requirements must be met: (1) the child's natural or adoptive parents, biological grandparent, sibling, or parent's sibling (child's aunt or uncle) must be an honorably discharged veteran from one of the United States Armed Forces, or have died in such service; (2) the custodial parent or guardian of the child must have lived in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for at least three consecutive years prior to admission; (3) a child must be in the third grade or above and not older than 15 years of age. For additional information and application materials, contact Mr. Glenn Smith, Director of Admissions, Scotland School for Veterans Children, Scotland, PA 17201. Telephone Number: (717) 264-7187, ext. 699. Email: glesmith@state.pa.us.

     CIVIL SERVICE PREFERENCE - Honorably discharged veterans receiving a PASSING score on a State Civil Service Examination are given an additional (10) points on initial appointment only. Widows of veterans and wives of disabled service-connected veterans are also extended the same preferential rating. For information contact Civil Service Commission, P.O. Box 569, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Telephone Number: (717) 787-6039.

     BIRTH AND DEATH RECORDS- Certified copies of birth and death records are issued to veterans and their dependents without cost by the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, 101 South Mercer Street, New Castle, PA 16103. Telephone Number: (412) 656-3100.

     VEHICLE REGISTRATION (SEVERELY DISABLED VETERAN/ DISABLED VETERAN) - On the application of a totally disabled veteran whose service-connected disability is certified at 100% by the United States Veterans Administration the Department of Transportation shall issue a special registration plate designating the vehicles as belonging to a severely disabled veteran. On the application of any veteran having a disability certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as service-connected the Department of Transportation shall issue a special registration plate designating the vehicle as belonging to a disabled veteran. For further information concerning these plates, call telephone number (717) 787-3130 or toll free 1-800-932-4600.

     PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT OR EX-PRISONER OF WAR REGISTRATION PLATE - Any former POW or Purple Heart recipient owning a vehicle may apply for this special red, white and blue plate. The plate may be used for a passenger car or truck with a registered gross weight of not more than 9,000 lbs. This special Registration Plate may be obtained by submitting Form MV-150 to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles & Licensing. Certification of Imprisonment from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the appropriate branch of the armed forces will be required in order to issue the plate to an applicant. When registering a POW vehicle, the applicant shall pay a $10 charge to cover the costs of processing for issuing or renewing the registration. For any additional information call Harrisburg (717) 787-3130 or Toll Free 1-800-932-4600.

     PARKING PLACARD FOR DISABLED VETERANS - No fee is charged a disabled veteran, having a disability certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as >service-connected and who desires a parking placard designating the vehicle in which it is displayed as being used for the transportation of a disabled veteran. Any vehicle displaying a disabled veteran parking placard will qualify for parking in areas designated for use by handicapped persons. Use of the parking placard shall be restricted to passenger vehicles and vehicles with a registered gross weight of not more than 9,000 pounds. To apply for this parking placard a letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs must accompany Department of Transportation Form MV-145A explaining the nature and percentage of such disability and forward to the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Harrisburg, PA 17122, Telephone Number: (717) 787-3130 or Toll Free 1-800-932-4600.

     FREE FISHING LICENSE FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS - A resident of Pennsylvania who has a disability incurred in war or armed conflict consisting of the loss or use of one or more limbs, total blindness or who is certified by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs as being 100% disabled as a result of war or armed conflict military service may be entitled to a free resident fishing license upon application to a county treasurer or the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Applicants should have V.A. certification, discharge papers, and proof of wartime service. Physician's certificates of disability are not acceptable.

     FREE HUNTING LICENSES FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS - A resident disabled veteran of any war whose disability consists of the loss or use of one or more limbs or who presents a physician's certificate of total or 100% disability as a result of wartime service may be entitled to a free hunting license upon application to a county treasurer. Applicants need physician's certificate, discharge papers and proof of wartime service. The application for the issuance of a license in such case shall in addition to the other information required, contain a statement that the applicant is a war veteran and that his disability was service incurred. The county treasurer may likewise require of such applicant the production of such applicant's discharge papers.

     ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE - Qualifying disabled veterans who are residents of Pennsylvania can receive an antlerless deer license upon application to the county (county treasurer) of their choice, regardless of the county allocation. The fee for this guaranteed disabled veteran antlerless deer license is the same as the regular or military antlerless license. Do not confuse this antlerless license with the Free Regular Hunting License available to qualifying disabled veterans.

     STATE RETIREMENT - Honorably discharged veterans employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a period of three (3) years may buy back their time spent in the United States Armed Services (not to exceed five (5) years) for retirement purposes.

     VETERANS EMPLOYMENT - Veterans Employment Representatives are located throughout the Commonwealth. These representatives will assist veterans with job counseling and placement information. For assistance contact your local Job Service Office.

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COUNTY BENEFITS

For the following County Benefits, see your County Director of Veterans Affairs office.

     BURIAL ALLOWANCE - County burial allowances are provided to veterans and spouses of deceased veterans as indicated in the County Code. The allowance is provided whether or not the person died in the county or was buried in the county. Application for the burial allowance must be made within one year after date of his or her death.

     GRAVE MARKERS - A county grave marker is provided to deceased veterans as indicated in the County Code. The initial grave marker is provided free of charge by the county in which the deceased service person had legal residence at the time of death, whether or not the veteran died in the county or was buried in the county. Future replacements or deteriorated or missing markers may be replaced by the county in which the veteran is buried.

     GOVERNMENT/PRIVATE HEADSTONES - County headstone allowances are provided for qualified veterans as indicated in County Code. The one time expense shall be borne by the county in which the veteran had legal residence at the time of death, whether or not the veteran died in the county, or was buried in the county. There is no time limit to apply for this benefit.

     MARRIAGE & DIVORCE RECORDS - Certified copies of marriage and divorce records are issued without cost to disabled wartime veterans, or members of the armed forces, of any war or armed conflict in which the United States has been, is now or shall hereafter be engaged, or by or on behalf of any dependent of any such veteran, or member of the armed forces.

     DISCHARGE CERTIFICATES- Honorable Discharge certificates are recorded free at the Court House of the County Seat.

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BUREAU FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS

The Bureau for Veterans Affairs operates the following three field offices to assist Pennsylvania's veterans, widows and children in receiving those entitlements and benefits mandated by legislative act for which they are eligible:

EASTERN

The Adjutant General's Office
Veterans Administration Center
Wissahickon Avenue & Manheim Street
P.O. Box 13399
Philadelphia, PA 19101-3399
Telephone Number: (215) 951-5613/5614

CENTRAL

The Adjutant General's Office
19 North Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701-2605
Telephone Number: (717) 826-6244

WESTERN

The Adjutant General's Office
Veterans Administration Building
Room 432F, 1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4003
Telephone Number: (412) 644-6798

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GOVERNOR'S VETERANS OUTREACH & ASSISTANCE CENTERS

Governor's VOAC
600 Rugh Street
Greensburg, PA 15601
Telephone Number: (412) 837-7988 Toll Free Number: (800) 442-6815
Center Director: Edward R. Neminski

Governor's VOAC
916 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16501
Telephone Number: (814) 453-5719 Toll Free Number: (800) 352-0915
Center Director: Elmer C. Smith, Jr.

Governor's VOAC
2 Wyoming Avenue
Wyoming, PA 18644
Telephone Number: (717) 693-2020 Toll Free Number: (800) 432-9735
Center Director: Ronald Faust

Governor's VOAC
1500 North Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-2505
Telephone Number: (717) 234-1681 Toll Free Number: (800) 932-0930
Center Director: Nicholas P. Kafkalas

Governor's VOAC
25 Moser Road
Pottstown, PA 19464
Telephone Number: (215) 326-5233 Toll Free Number (800) 247-2323
Center Director: James M. Dunning

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MISCELLANEOUS

Willie F. Crosby, Cemetery Director
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery
Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA 17003-5002
Telephone: (717) 865-5254

Dwight D. Edwards, Executive Director
Vietnam Health Initiatives Commission
Department of Health
Health & Welfare Building
Room 1013
Harrisburg, PA 17108-9990
Telephone: (717) 787-5264 Toll Free Number: (800) 222-1993

Statements in this web page are intended for general information
and do not have the effect of law or regulation.

Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo