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Providing comprehensive resources for Veterans and their families.


For Assistance, Please Click Here for the Santa Cruz VSO


Santa Cruz Veterans Services Office                          Address: 
   842 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
                     Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday 8AM-12PM & 1PM-5PM

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Compensation (Service Connected Disability)

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Disability Compensation is a monthly tax-free benefit paid to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

A disability can apply to physical conditions, such as a chronic knee condition, as well as a mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The benefit amount is graduated according to the degree of the Veteran's disability on a scale from 10 percent to 100 percent (in increments of 10 percent).

Compensation may also be paid for disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.

Disability Compensation is a monthly tax-free benefit paid to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

Benefits by rating 0-100%

Veterans in receipt of compensation have additional benefits based on their overall rating. Click on the buttons below to find what additional resources may be available to you or your dependents.

Contact the VSO Office to learn more. Additional monetary benefits are paid to veterans service connected 30% and higher. For a list of Compensation rates click on the button below.

Presumptive Conditions

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The VA has made a list of Presumptive conditions in which the time of service of the veteran and location is taken into account and provided a generalized minimum rating based upon those conditions.

  • Agent Orange (Now Includes "Blue Water Navy" Veterans)
  • Gulf War
  • Radiation
  • ALS
  • POW
  • Camp Lejeune (Contaminated Water)

Exposed to burn pits? Here’s three things you should know about the Burn Pit Registry:

  • Registry participants can get a free medical evaluation to discuss their concerns and completed questionnaire with a knowledgeable VA provider. Call a local Environmental Health Coordinator today to schedule your evaluation.
  • Joining the registry is faster than ever. We’ve updated the eligibility verification process—greatly shortening or eliminating previous delays resulting from manual eligibility checks.
  • The registry is not just for Post-9/11 Veterans.
  • Many Veterans who deployed after 1990 qualify.

NSC Pension (Non-Service Connected)

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Non-Service-Connected Pension is a needs-based program that serves veterans with the following criteria:

  • Net worth under allowable threshold

  • Wartime service - at least one day during a period of war. Does not require in Country service.

  • Over age 65 or Permanently and Totally Disabled.

Wartime Service is determined by active service during any of the following periods:

  • World War II:

    December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946

  • Korean War:

    June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam War:

    August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961 for veterans who served in country before August 5, 1964) through May 7, 1975

  • Gulf War:

    August 2, 1990 to present day

Aid & Attendance

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Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA Non-Service Connected Pension and require the Aid and Attendance of another person, or are Housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary benefits. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.

In-Home Care

Hands holding a House with the American Flag

Home health care or In-home care is delivered by a community-based home health agency that has a contract with VA. The program is for Veterans who need skilled services, case management, and help with activities of daily living. Examples include help with bathing, dressing, fixing meals or medication management.

The services of a Homemaker or Home Health Aide can help Veterans remain living in their own home and can serve Veterans of any age.

A Homemaker or Home Health Aide can be used as a part of an alternative to nursing home care, and as a way to get Respite Care at home for Veterans and their family caregiver.

Enrolling In VA Healthcare

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VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,200 sites of care, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s top healthcare providers.

Visit our Healthcare page to get an in-depth look at all of the available resources and providers.


Dental for VA

Santa Cruz county has several options for qualifying veterans to receive dental care to include coverage through the VA, the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), Dentists for Veterans, and Dentistry 4 Vets.

VA Dental Benefits

The VA offers comprehensive dental benefits to certain qualifying Veterans. For more information on eligibility requirements for outpatient VA Dental care, please see the VA Dental Fact Sheet linked below.

VADIP (VA Dental Insurance Program):

If not eligible for VA Dental Benefits, Veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare can purchase dental insurance at a reduced cost through the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP). Covered services are offered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Any Veteran enrolled in VA healthcare and any individual enrolled in CHAMPVA is eligible for the program.

Dentists for Veterans

Founded in 2011, Dentists for Veterans’ provides urgent and critically needed quality dental care to under served veterans. For more information on how to sign up or volunteer, please see the Dentists for Veterans' link below.

Dentistry 4 Vets

Dentistry 4 Vets mission is to provide low to no cost, critically needed, quality dental services to veterans in need living in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties. For a full list of available services, please see the Dentists for Veterans link below.

Caregiver Program

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The Family Caregiver Program was established for caregivers of eligible Veterans seriously injured on or after September 11, 2001.

Approved family caregivers are eligible for a monthly caregiver stipend, CHAMPVA health insurance, mental health services, Respite care, travel, lodging, and per diem during mandatory training and Veteran medical appointments, caregiver education and training and information on other VA services.

DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation)

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A tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Death Pension/Survivor Pension

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The Survivors Pension benefit: which may also be referred to as Death Pension, is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried children of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.

Spouse/Dependent/Survivor Benefits

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Family members and dependents of Service-members who have Retired for Active Duty, are Service Connected, died while in service, or were seriously injured in the line of duty may be eligible for many types of VA benefits.

These benefits may be used to advance in a career, get an education, or provide supplementary income. Surviving spouses may benefit from VA-guaranteed home loans, too. Explore other VA benefits you may have earned as a spouse, child, or parent of a Veteran or Service-member by contacting the Santa Cruz County VSO Office.

Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill

Post 9/11 GI Bill, person saluting below the seals  of the Military branches.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides active duty and veteran service members with education benefits for their military service. Eligibility includes those who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001. The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides 36 months of educational benefits.

These benefits may cover up to 100% of tuition, fees, and book cost in addition to a housing allowance based upon the total time spent in military service (36 months of service or more for 100% eligibility). This service time can include Title 10 mobilizations and some Title 32 duty for Reservists & National Guard members.

Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch 31)

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Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) commonly referred to as Voc-Rehab or Ch. 31 is a benefit available to veterans who are service connected (disabled due to time in service) and are unemployed.

Services provided under Voc-Rehab may include education and career counseling, readjustment counseling, career assessments and additional VA funding to complete a degree. Among other eligibility requirements, the service member will need to have a service-connected disability of at least 10% or more from the VA.

VA Work Study

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The VA work-study allowance is available to any person training at ¾ time (9 units) or higher and using any form of the GI Bill including:

  • Ch. 33 Post 9/11
  • Ch. 30 MGIB
  • Ch. 31 Voc-Rehab
  • Ch. 35 DEA

There are multiple work site locations throughout Santa Cruz County including the VSO Office, Vet Center, VIC at Cabrillo, UCSC, and others. Check with the VSO for more info.

Records Requests

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Every veteran needs their DD-214 to receive any type of benefit from any provider. In addition veterans may want their OMPF (Official Military Personnel File), STR's (Service Treatment Records), and awards and decorations. The VSO Office is available to assist with these requests.

Records Request Available
at the Santa Cruz VSO



842 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Home Loans

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VA and Cal-Vet (California Department of Veteran Affairs) provides Home Loan programs to Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses.

The VA provides a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.

Cal-Vet Home loans are designed to make buying a home in California much easier for veterans,  and members of the National Guard or Reserves. Cal-Vet Home Loans offer some of the lowest interest rates and require no down payment in most cases. Cal-Vet Home Loans can be used for many types of property including farmland, mobile homes,  home improvements, or new construction.


Hands holding a House with the American Flag

SSVF Grants:
Provide deposit and rent assistance to eligible homeless or at risk of homelessness veterans. Grants in Santa Cruz County are issued through the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) and the Homeless Services Center (HSC).

Emergency Housing
(HCHV 90-day program)

The Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program has a 90-day emergency housing program for eligible homeless veterans. During their stay, veterans learn to access VA resources are helped in transitioning into permanent housing.

Grant and Per Diem
(Transitional Housing- Up to 2 years)

The Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program offers up to 2 years of transitional housing resources to homeless and at risk of being homeless veterans and their families.


The HUD-VASH Program is a partnership between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and our local Public Housing Authorities (PHA).

The program combines the Housing Choice Voucher providing rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. The Housing Choice Voucher can be used at the the rental of their choosing.


Burial Benefits

Veterans and family members may qualify for a multitude of burial benefits. These include: headstone or marker, presidential certificate, burial flag, honor guards, and National and State Cemeteries.

For service-connected and some non service-connected deaths, the VA can reimburse burial expenses. Contact the VSO Office for more information and assistance.


National Cemeteries:
The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains 136 cemeteries in 40 states. In California there are 9 National Cemeteries.

State Veterans Cemeteries:
Many states have established state veterans cemeteries. Eligibility is similar to VA national cemeteries, but may include residency requirements. State veterans cemeteries are run solely by the state.

In California there are 3 State cemeteries:

-Northern California Veterans Cemetery
-California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery
-Yountville Veterans Home Cemetery

Central Coast Veterans Cemetery

2900 Parker Flats Road
Seaside, CA 93955

The CCVC is the second California Veterans Cemetery developed and constructed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Cemetery Grants Program.

The opening ceremony was held on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. The facility is located in Monterey County in the City of Seaside. The first phase of the cemetery accommodates cremated remains only.

Life Insurance

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SGLI (Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance)

SGLI provides low cost term life insurance coverage to eligible Service members. Coverage is available in $50,000 increments up to $400,000. Covered members will receive 120 days of free coverage from their date of separation and can be extended up to 2 years if the Service member is totally disabled at separation.

VGLI (Veterans' Group Life Insurance)

VGLI provides life insurance coverage to veterans after separation from service. Coverage can be provided for lifetime as long as premiums are paid. Coverage is limited to the maximum SGLI the veteran was covered for upon separation, but can be decreased in increments of $10,000. Once enrolled in VGLI, there is the opportunity to increase coverage by $25,000 every 5 years until the maximum of $400,000 until age 60. In order to be eligible, Veteran MUST enroll within 1 year and 120 days from date of separation. If applied for within 240 days of date of separation, veteran does not need to answer health questions.

S-DVI (Service-Disabled Veterans' Insurance

S-DVI is a program to meet the insurance needs of certain veterans with service-connected disabilities. S-DVI is available in a variety of permanent plans as well as term insurance. Policies are issued for a maximum face amount of $10,000.


eBenefits is a web portal managed jointly by the VA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible dependents the ability to manage their VA and DoD benefits, claims and military documents online.


The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) works to serve California veterans and their families.

With nearly 1.8 million veterans living in the State, CalVet strives to ensure that its veterans of every era and their families get the state and federal benefits and services they have earned and deserve as a result of selfless and honorable military service. CalVet strives to serve veterans and their families with dignity and compassion and to help them achieve their highest quality of life.

California Women Veterans division provides information, advocate, outreach, and support Women Veterans and their families. California has nearly 145,000 women who served in the U.S military and the number are still rising.

They have served in every major U.S conflict and peacetime since the Revolutionary War and for this they are owed a great debt of gratitude. Women Veterans are family members, friends, business owners, professionals, community leaders and advocates.

ID Cards

"VETERAN" On Driver's License

Eligible veterans have the opportunity to add the word “VETERAN” to the front of their DL/ID card to indicate that they have served in the U.S. Military.


1. Bring in a copy of your DD-214 and Driver's License to the VSO.

2. Fill out a Veterans Status Verification form and have it certified by a Veterans Service Officer.

3. Take your completed form to the DMV and pay for license renewal to have a new license with "VETERAN" on it.

VA Healthcare Card

Veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system are eligible to receive a VA healthcare ID card at the nearest VA main healthcare campus.

Veteran ID Card - Press Release

Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the new VA ID card, which can be utilized to provide proof of military service in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain discounts and other services offered to Veterans.

Retiree ID Card

Veterans that are 100% service connected are eligible for a military retiree card that allows access to military installations, the commissary, post-exchange, and other privileges.

Moffett Field

685 Vernon Ave

Mountain View CA 94043

Open: M-F 0800-1530; Closed for Lunch 1200-1300.

From US-101, take the Moffett Blvd exit and go towards Nasa Pkwy. Turn right onto Moffett Blvd. Turn left to RT Jones Rd. Turn left onto Stevens Rd and proceed to Vernon Ave. Office is located second building on the right (Across from NAVY Lodge).

Appointments at Moffett Field

This facility is off-base and therefore does not require access to the base. However, it is by appointment only, use link below to schedule an appointment. Additionally, please check website for required identification materials.

Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey

Building 616, Taylor Hall, Room 111,

412 Rifle Range Road

Monterey, CA 93944-5006

Phone: (831) 242-5209/5949

Appointments at Presidio of Monterey

You will need to make an appointment using the Rapids appointment link below, and print out your appointment confirmation. Review the list of acceptable ID’s, and forms required, provided by the link below for the Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey. Arrive at the Bolio Visitor center approximately 40 minutes prior to your appointment, with your appointment confirmation letter in hand, to register for access to the base.

Vet Court

If you served in the United States Military (Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy or Marines) you may be eligible for alternative sentencing programs and additional treatment at no cost to you.

It does not matter how long you served, whether or not you served in combat, or what your discharge characterization was.

Discharge Upgrade

Veterans with less than honorable discharges have options available. If you have an OTH discharge and a service related disability you can apply for a Character of Service Determination. Please contact the VSO Office for more information.

Links below provide information and assistance with Discharge Upgrades.

Debt Management

Veterans, Service members, and family members who incur debts as a result of their participation in VA compensation, pension, education programs, and home loans have several options available to them.

If you have received letter(s) from Debt Management Center notifying you of your rights as well as your obligation to reimburse the VA, you should contact the VSO Office immediately for assistance with Waiver, Compromise, or Re-payment plans.  


The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries.

To be eligible the recipient must be one of the following: The spouse or child of a veteran who the VA has rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability. Contact the VSO Office for more information and assistance.


Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP) are programs created by Congress to allow eligible military retirees to receive monthly entitlements in addition to retired pay.

CRSC is a special compensation for combat-related disabilities. It is non-taxable, and retirees must apply to their Branch of Service to receive it.

CRDP is a restoration of retired pay for retirees with service-connected disabilities that was lost due to the VA compensation offset. This means that an eligible retiree's retired pay will be fully restored. CRDP is taxed in the same manner as your retired pay, and it is normally considered taxable income.

It is important to note that Retirees cannot receive both CRSC and CRDP and must elect one each year through an annual "program election." Many retirees are confused about which is better for them. When making this decision contact your VSO Office for assistance.

Adding Dependents

Veterans who have a 30% or higher disability rating can add eligible dependents to their compensation benefits to get a higher payment, also known as a “benefit rate.”

Veteran Owned Small Business

Vet Business Enterprise Program

Annually, the State of California contracts billions of dollars for goods and services to ensure California's economy stays healthy, strong, and prosperous and promotes business opportunities and participation for all of its citizenry.

Small businesses, including veterans, disabled veterans, and disabled veteran business enterprises are instrumental to the good health of the State's economy and a principal source of new jobs in California.

National and State Park Pass

National Park Pass is a free lifetime pass available to veterans with a minimum 10% service connected disability.

State Park Pass is available to veterans who are 50% service connected and higher.

Federal Resource Book

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Federal Benefits for Veterans, dependents and survivors 2019 edition.

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