Benefits and Services

Alternative Method to Receive Services

Additional Assistance

Additional assistance is offered when filing for the following unique services.  In most cases, an appointment will be needed. Please call our office to schedule your appointment. 

Apply for VA Healthcare

The very first step in obtaining access to your VA Health Benefits is to apply for enrollment. Effective immediately, Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, can complete applications for enrollment in VA health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper application. All other Veterans may apply by phone starting July 5, 2016 or schedule an appointment by calling our office at (805) 781-5766.


Cal Vet College Tuition Fee Waiver

The College Tuition Fee Waiver is a California Department of Veterans Affairs benefit for Veterans' Dependents. It is a State Benefit, not a VA benefit. It waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California community college, campus of the University of California, or campus of the California State University system. This program does not cover campus based fees like books, housing and parking. The student must meet the in-state residency requirements as determined by the school.


Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is 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.

Most Requested Information & Referrals

The following websites are in reference to the most requested information. The list consists of specific VA department websites, as well as the websites of outside agencies that offer assistance or benefits to the veteran community.

Parents' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Parents' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a tax free income-based monthly benefit for the parent(s) of military Service members who died in the line of duty or Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

Special monthly compensation (SMC) is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents. For Veterans, Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or by specific disability, such as loss of use of one hand or leg. For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

Aid & Attendance and Housebound

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.

Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

Survivors' & Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) is an education benefit for eligible spouses and children of certain Veterans. Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of full-time or equivalent benefits for:

• College, Business, Technical or Vocational Courses, High School Diploma or GED, Independent Study or Distance Learning courses
• Correspondence Courses (Spouses Only)
• Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training
• National Exams (e.g. SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT)
• Remedial, Deficiency, and Refresher Training (in some cases)
• The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance in a job

Survivors Pension

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 child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.

Veterans Treatment Court (VTC)

The County of San Luis Obispo Veterans Treatment Court is a treatment program for veterans suffering from mental health such as PTSD, depression, anxiety etc., Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma.

Veterans Preference

If you are applying for employment with San Luis Obispo County and you served in the United States Armed Forces, you may be eligible for veterans preference.  Some dependents and survivors of eligible veterans may be eligible for preference points as well.

Veteran Burial Allowance

VA burial allowances are flat-rate monetary benefits that are generally paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. A VA regulation change in 2014 simplified the program to pay eligible survivors quickly and efficiently. Eligible surviving spouses of record are paid automatically upon notification of a Veteran’s death, without the need to submit a claim. VA may grant additional benefits, including the plot or interment allowance and transportation allowance, if it receives a claim for these benefits.

Veterans Burial Benefits

For Burial in a National Cemetery
Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 135 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Veteran Disability Compensation

Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service 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.

Veteran Driver License and Identification Card

The State of California honors and recognizes veterans by allowing them to apply for a "Veteran" designation on California driver licenses and identification cards. It can also play a critical role in enabling access to certain privileges, benefits, or compensation associated with being a veteran without having to carry and produce a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. 

An accredited Veterans Services Representative can verify veteran status and provide the necessary Veteran Status Verification Form (VSD-001). An appointment may be needed. 

Veterans Pension for War-time Veterans

Veterans Assistance (VA) helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension benefit. Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, United States Code, Chapter 31. It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. The VR&E program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap and Servicemembers who are in the process of transitioning from military to civilian employment prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For Veterans and Servicemembers with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, VR&E offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.