Providing comprehensive resources for Veterans and their families.
For More Information Contact:
Santa Cruz Veterans Services Office
842 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Monday-Thursday 8AM-12PM & 1PM-5PM
Compensation (Service Connected Disability)
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
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.
Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses. If you have dependents, an additional allowance may be added if your combined disability is rated 30% or greater.
NSC Pension (Non-Service Connected)
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
June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961 for veterans who served in country before August 5, 1964) through May 7, 1975
August 2, 1990 to present day
VA Priority Groups
The VA Healthcare system determines eligibility for each veteran, but certain veterans with service-connected disabilities are entitled to priority care. When a veteran enrolls in the VA Healthcare system, the VA assigns veterans to a priority group, numbered 1 through 8.
The lower the number of a priority group, the higher priority the veteran gets in receiving care. This priority takes the form of earlier appointments, priority in the timing of noncritical care, placement in local programs, and care in a local facility when the availability of care is limited.
CalVet Homes Mission:
The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) offers long-term care toCalifornia veterans who are aged or disabled and, under certain circumstances, to spouses and domestic partners of veterans. These services are provided at eight Veterans Homes throughout the state, as far north as Redding and as far south as Chula Vista. CalVet’s oldest home, built in 1884, is in Yountville in the Napa Valley.Its newest homes opened in2 013i n Fresno and Redding.
This mission acknowledges the tremendous sacrifice California veterans have made and recognizes them for their noble service to our nation.
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.
While many Veterans qualify for enrollment and cost-free health care services based on a compensable service-connected condition or other qualifying factors, certain Veterans will be asked to complete a financial assessment to determine their eligibility for cost-free medical services, medications and travel benefits.
Non-VA Care is medical care provided to eligible Veterans outside of the VA when VA facilities are not available. All VA medical centers can use this program when needed.
The use of the Non-VA Care program is governed by federal laws containing eligibility criteria and other policies specifying when and why it can be used. A pre-authorization for treatment in the community is required for Non-VA Care, unless the medical event is an emergency. Emergency events may be reimbursed on behalf of the Veteran in certain cases.
Long Term Care
The VHA offers many long term care services to Veterans enrolled in its health care system. Find out about our programs, get tools, or learn how to stay healthy as you age.
In Home Care
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.
Palliative Care offers comfort measures that focus on relief of suffering and control of symptoms so that you can carry out day-to-day activities, and do what is most important to you – like visiting your grandchildren in another state.
Palliative Care focuses on improving your quality of life – in your body, mind and spirit. It can be combined with your treatment and Palliative Care can be started at any time, and may be provided throughout the course of the illness.
Hospice Care is comfort care provided to you and your family if you have a terminal condition, with less than 6 months to live, and are no longer seeking treatment other than palliative care. Hospice Care can be provided at home, in an outpatient clinic or in an inpatient setting.
The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains 135 cemeteries in 40 states. In California there are 9 National 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.
Medicare & Mental Health Benefits
Medicare covers mental health care services to help people with conditions like depression, anxiety, and alcohol use. For most mental health services like counseling or psychotherapy, you pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount after the Part B deductible is met.
Follow the links below for more information.