Table of Contents
The most frequently asked questions from women veterans, along with the answers, can now be found on the Center’s website. "These 25 questions are the ones we hear most often," said the Director of the Center for Women Veterans. “Too many women veterans don't know that they are eligible for the full range of VA benefits. Too many are unaware of special programs for them." The Director of the Center for Women Veterans notes that the information will be helpful to male veterans as well. Topics include services available to women veterans; information about gender-specific services (including Pap smears, mammography, and prenatal and child care), evaluations for nursing home care, and employment options for women veterans.
2. How do I access the system for health and benefits services?
Veterans can apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ, “Application for Health Benefits.” The 10-10EZ may be obtained by visiting, calling or writing any VA health care facility or veterans’ benefits office. You can also call the VA Health Benefits Call Center toll-free at 1-877-222 VETS (1-877-222-8387) to determine your eligibility or access the form from the Health Administration Eligibility Reform website: www.va.gov/elig.
For VA benefits, refer to Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents at www1.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp.
This booklet, which may be downloaded, discusses the variety of Federal benefits available to veterans and their dependents, such as:
• Compensation and Pension
• Montgomery GI Bill (Education)
• Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
• Veterans Group Life Insurance, and
• Home Loan Guaranty
Additional information and application forms can be obtained at VA’s website: www.va.gov or by contacting a Veterans Service Officer with Idaho Division of Veterans Services.
You may also call the VA nationwide toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000, or the for specific benefit information.
3. Does VA provide maternity benefits?
VA provides maternity benefits to eligible women veterans. You must be enrolled with VA which will determine your eligibility. Pregnancy is verified by VA but prenatal and delivery services are provided in community hospitals near the veteran’s home. Newborn care is currently not authorized.
Children born to women veterans who served in Vietnam may also be eligible for monthly monetary benefits, medical care, and vocational training if they have certain birth defects linked to their mother’s service. Contact the nearest VA regional office on the nationwide toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000, for information and eligibility requirements, or visit VA’s home page at www.va.gov.
4. How can I receive gender-specific services, including Pap smears, mammography, prenatal and childcare?
Apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ which may be obtained by visiting, calling, or writing any VA health care facility or veterans’ benefits office. You can also call toll-free 1-877-222 VETS (1-877-222-8387) or access the form on the Internet at www.va.gov. The provision of health care to non-veteran children is limited to those instances where specific authority is given to VA by law. Contact your local VA health care facility and ask to speak with the Women Veterans Program Manager.
Currently the Women Veterans Program Managers for this area are:
Boise ID VA Medical Center Ami Reno, (208) 422-1324
Spokane WA VA Medical Center Julie Liss, (509) 434-7608
Salt Lake City UT VA Medical Center Gina Painter, (801) 582-1565 Ext 5423
5. How can I obtain emergency assistance with payment of my delinquent utility bills, rent, mortgage, etc.?
IDVS has a State Emergency Program, however eligibility for this can be stringent. Contact your local Veterans Service Officer with Idaho Division of Veterans Services for more information. You may also contact the Idaho Careline by dialing 211or your local County Health and Welfare office. Local veterans service organizations, churches, and community organizations may be able to assist veterans in need.
6. How long does it take to get a clinic appointment?
Every eligible veteran who contacts VA for a health appointment will receive an initial appointment within 30 days. If you have an urgent problem, bring your DD214 to the nearest VA to be enrolled and evaluated immediately for your urgent problem.
7. Where can I get inpatient psychiatric care as a woman veteran?
Most VA Medical Centers have inpatient mental health programs. Contact your VA Primary Care Provider or the local Mental Health Program office for assistance. If you already have a therapist and need inpatient care, please discuss your concerns with your therapist.
There are programs that offer specialized care for trauma in residential or inpatient settings for veterans who need more intense treatment and support. Some of these programs serve women only or have women-only treatment cohorts.
8. Where can I get treatment for conditions related to sexual assault or sexual harassment I experience while in the military?
You may be eligible for Military Sexual Trauma (MST)-related care even if you are not eligible for other VA services. Every VA facility provides free care for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. Service connection or disability compensation related to MST. To receive care, ask your VA provider for a referral for MST services, contact the MST Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center, or contact your local Vet Center.
The Boise VA Medical Center MST coordinator is: Jaime Marshall (208) 422-1000 Ext 7695
The Boise, ID VetCenter is located at 2424 Bank Drive, Boise, ID, 83705. Their phone number is (208) 342-3612. They conduct outreach throughout the State of Idaho. Therefore services may still be provided to you even if you do not live in the Boise area. Contact the Boise VetCenter for further information.
9. What kind of specialized services are available for women veterans who have experienced a trauma?
Every VA health care facility has providers knowledgeable about treatment for the aftereffects of trauma. Contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local health care facility for more information. Vet Centers provide counseling for combat veterans who are experiencing readjustments difficulties www.vetcenter.va.gov . Additional information can also be found at www.ncptsd.va.gov.
10. How do I get evaluated for nursing home care?
If you have never been seen at a VA health care facility, you must first enroll for benefits. Then you must enroll in a primary care clinic and ask for an evaluation for nursing home care. The evaluation will be done either by the primary care provider or a geriatrics care team.
Please also note that there are three State Veterans Homes / nursing care facilities located in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello.
11. What is the process of getting quality of care issues addressed?
Contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VA health care facility. Please see above for those contact names and phone numbers.
12. How do I get my disability compensation claim reevaluated?
You may request a reevaluation of your claim anytime that you believe your condition has changed or worsened. Ideally you should work with a Veterans Service Officer with Idaho Division of Veterans Services to submit this request, as they can assist you throughout this process. Should you choose not to work with a Service Officer you can submit the request to reopen or reevaluate your claim to the VA Regional Office by either letter or statement or on VA Form 21-4138, “Statement in Support of Claim,” www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/21-4138.pdf. Your request should include the following information:
• VA claim number, Service Number, or Social Security Number
• Day and evening contact information
• Current address
• Statement explaining change requested
• Any new and pertinent medical evidence that supports your request
13. How and where do I apply for home, business, or car loans?
VA Home Loan Guaranty Program provides loan guaranties to service members, veterans, reservists, and un-remarried surviving spouses for the purchase of homes, condominiums and manufactured homes, and for refinancing loans. Some of the ways a VA loan guaranty can be used include:
• Buy a home
• Buy a residential condominium
• Build a home
• Repair, alter, or improve a home
• Refinance an existing loan
• Buy a manufactured home with or without a lot
You must complete VA Form 26-1880, “Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits, http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/26-1880.pdf and submit it to one of the VA Eligibility Centers along with acceptable proof of service as described on the instruction page of the form.
The VA Regional Loan Center located in Denver, Colorado covers veterans living in Idaho, Washington, Utah, Montana, Alaska, Colorado and Wyoming.
Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Regional Loan Center
155 Van Gordon Street
Lakewood, CO 80228
(Mail: Box 25126, Denver, CO 80225)
The Center for Veteran Enterprise partners with the Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration to provide information, assistance, and mentoring for veterans who would like to start their own business. See www.vetbiz.va.gov/ for additional information.
VA does not provide assistance for automobile purchases except for certain veterans and service members who need special adaptive equipment. To apply, contact a VA regional office (1-800-827-1000) or a VA medical center.
14. I have been out of the military for more than 10 years. How do I get an extension to my GI Bill educational benefits?
Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) Benefits end 10 years from the date of your last discharge or release from active duty. If your benefits expire mid-term, your benefits are extended to the end of the term or semester. (Example: Your benefits expire in November but the course ends in December. You will be paid for December.)
The delimiting date can be extended past your 10-year period if you were prevented from attending classes due to:
• A severe disability, or
• You were held against your will by a foreign government or power.
The delimiting date can be extended past your 10-year period if you were prevented from attending classes due to:
• A service-connected disability, or
• You were held against your will by a foreign government or power.
The delimiting date is only extended by the amount of time you were prevented from attending classes. VA can also extend your 10-year period if you reenter active duty for 90 days or more after becoming eligible. The extension ends 10 years from the date of separation from the later period
Periods of active duty of less than 90 days can qualify you for extensions only if you were separated for:
• A service-connected disability,
• A medical condition existing before active duty,
• Hardship, or
• A reduction in force
If your benefit eligibility is based on two years of active duty and your fears in the Selected Reserve, you have 10 years from your release from active duty, or 10 years from the completion of the four-year Selected Reserve obligation to use your benefits, whichever is later. For more information, you may visit www.gibill.va.gov.
15. How do I contact a coordinator for options for women veterans who are homeless with children?
Contact the local VA homeless coordinator (or point of contact), Social Work Services department, or Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VAMC. A listing of Homeless Veteran Coordinator offices, by state, can be found at www.va.gov/homeless.
Boise ID VA Medical Center (208) 422-1000 Ext 7806
Spokane WA VA Medical Center (509) 462-2500
Salt Lake City UT VA Medical Center (801) 746-5561 Ext 6330
16. Am I eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery? What are my options?
If you served in a branch of the military and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, you may be eligible for burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery or a State Veterans Cemetery.
Female veterans married to a veteran are entitled to their own separate grave, headstone or marker, burial flag and Presidential Memorial Certificate. However, they may choose to be buried in the same gravesite as their spouse.
To locate the nearest VA National Cemetery or State Veterans Cemetery, visit: www.cem.va.gov. For more eligibility information call 1-800-827-1000. For information regarding burial at Arlington National Cemetery, visit www.arlingtoncemetery.org.
17. How do I locate my military records or those of a relative?
The easiest and most timely way to request copies of your military records and/or “Report of Separation from Active Military Service” (DD Form 214 or equivalent), from the National Personnel Records Center is online at www.archives.gov/research_room/vetrecs/index.html. You will need to have a printer available so that you can print your request and either fax or mail it to NPRC (address and fax number noted below). Please note that if you do not have a computer or internet access at home most local libraries have these available. You can also contact a Veterans Service Officer with Idaho Division of Veterans Services to assist you in making this online request.
You can also submit a “Request Pertaining to Military Records” form (SF 180) to the records custodian of your branch of service. Addresses for each service’s records custodian are found on page 2 of the SF 180. The SF 180 requires a signature and must be submitted either by mail or fax. The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records is located at 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100, fax requests should be faxed to (314) 801-9195.
18. How do I locate a buddy whom I served with in the military?
The Privacy Act obliges the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as a Federal agency, to protect the privacy of veterans’ personal information. Therefore, VA cannot release personal information about a veteran in its records system without that person’s permission. VA can, however, forward a message from you to the veteran, providing VA has a current address on record.
Write your message to your friend and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope. Include a note to VA explaining who it is that you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have. Put all of this in another envelope and address it to the nearest VA Regional Office.
If the veteran is in VA records, your message to the veteran will be sealed and the envelope will be sent to the address on file for the veteran. It is then up to the veteran to contact you. This process is designed to protect the privacy of veterans as required by law. If you have questions, you may call VA at 1-800-827-1000.
You may also contact the Women In Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) located at the ceremonial entrance of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, at www.womensmemorial.org or by telephone at 1-800-222-2294.
19. Where can I find information regarding benefits and services for National Guard and Reserves?
Current and former members of the Selected Reserve who served on active duty may establish veteran status and may therefore be eligible for VA benefits, depending on the length of active military service and the character of discharge or release. Members of the National Guard activated for federal service during a period of war or domestic emergency may be eligible for certain VA benefits, such as VA health care, compensation for injuries or conditions connected to that service and burial benefits. Activation for other than federal service does not qualify Guard members for all VA benefits.
Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom Veterans:
VA provides two years of free health care for veterans who served in certain combat locations during active military service, beginning on the date of separation from active duty. This benefit covers all illnesses and injuries except those clearly unrelated to active military service. For more information call 1-877-222-8387. A Summary of VA Benefits for National Guard and Reserve Personnel is available online at: www1.va.gov/environagents/docs/SVABENEFITS.pdf. Every VA medical center has a team standing ready to welcome OEF/OIF Service members and to help coordinate their care.
Polytrauma care is available for veterans who sustained an injury to the brain in addition to other body parts or systems resulting in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairment and functional disability. The polytrauma system of care consists of four levels: Level (comprehensive care), Level II (specialized care), Level III (follow-up care), and Level IV (lifelong care). To coordinate care, consult with a VA primary care physician or a Women Veterans Program Manager at the local VA medical center.
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services. The law creating TAP established a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), to give employment and training information to armed forces members within 180 days of separation or retirement. TAP helps service members and their spouses make the initial transition from military service to the civilian workplace with less difficulty and at less overall cost to the government. TAP consists of comprehensive three-day workshops at selected military installations nationwide. Professionally-trained workshop facilitators from the State Employment Services, military family support services, Department of Labor contractors, or VETS’ staff present the workshops.
Transition resources are available to both active duty and Guard/Reserve members at the www.turboTAP.org portal.
For more information about U.S. Department of Labor employment and training programs for veterans, contact the VETS office nearest you, listed in the phone book in the United States Government under the Labor Department or visit the Web site at: www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm.
20. How do I access employment options for women veterans?
Some job websites for veterans include the following:
• Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Human Resources Management:
• Department of Labor veterans site:
• Office of Personnel Management:
You may also with to research job opportunities through:
• VA National Employment Office Web site:
21. Where do I find research studies and surveys on women veterans?
The Office of Research and Development at VA Central Office oversees research within the Veterans Health Administration through its four service areas:
The Medical Research Service provides knowledge of the fundamental biological processes to form an understanding of disease pathology, diagnosis, and treatment.
The Cooperative Studies Program applies the knowledge gained from medical research to patients by determining the effectiveness of novel or unproved therapies using multi-center clinical intervention trials.
The Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) contributes to improving the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of health care services for veterans.
The Rehabilitation Research and Development Service addresses the minimization of disability and restoration of function in veterans disabled by trauma or disease.
Some important VA research websites to know are:
Website for the HSR&D: www.hsrd.research.va.gov/
For HSR&D studies: http://www.va.gov/resdev/programs/womens_health/
Focusing on women veterans’ research:
22. How and where do I find historical information on women veterans?
Contact the Women In Military Service For America Memorial (WIMSA) located at the gates of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, through their website, www.womensmemorial.org
23. How do I locate statistics on women veterans by state and nationally?
VA provides statistics and demographic information on various veteran populations at the following website: www1.va.gov/vetdata. Additional statistics by state can be found on the same web site.
24. Where do I locate legislation on women’s and related issues?
You may access legislative information and follow up on Congressional bills through the Thomas website http://thomas.loc.gov/.
25. How do I get the names of local veterans in my area to interview for a school project?
Veterans Service Organizations are available in most communities. Telephone book yellow pages will list local veteran groups under "Veterans" or "Veteran Service Organizations." Examples of organizations include AMVETS (American Veteran), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), The American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW).
WIMSA can also help arrange for members to either speak at civic or educational events or to be interviewed about the Women's Memorial, a specific era, or women in the military. Contact the Public Relations Department, at 1-(800) 222-2294 or (703) 533-1155.
This information is provided courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans.
Egress Sidewalks at Idaho State Veterans Home - Lewiston
You can request a copy of your DD-214 online
Legislative Updates & News
Job Opportunities for Veterans
Has been relocated to http://veterans.idaho.gov/benefits-a-services/employment-services