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Returning Veteran Checklist

Welcome home, Veteran! Pennsylvania thanks you for your service!

(Please Note: If you are a severely disabled Veteran and need any special accommodations, please identify that to your service officer or career counselor when making appointments.)
Things to do within one year from Separation
  • Have your DD 214 recorded in the County Recorder's Office for FREE 
    • Safeguard all your records. You will need them again.
  • Visit your County Director of Veterans Affairs (normally located in the County Courthouse) or Accredited Service Organization Representative for FREE 
    • Take a copy of all your records with you for your appointment 
      • Service Medical Records 
      • Personnel File 
      • Dental Record
    • Have your County Director of Veterans Affairs or Accredited Veterans Service Officer review your records and advise you on the benefits you qualify for 
    • File for disabilities through an Accredited Veterans Service Officer 
  • Fill out VA form 10-10 EZ for VA Healthcare benefits 
    • Go to your local VAMC to turn in Form 10-10 EZ and schedule an appointment 
    • You may qualify for 5 years of FREE healthcare through the VA from your separation date
  • Visit your local CareerLink Office (Pennsylvania Job Service) FREE SERVICE 
    • Ask to speak with the Veterans Employment Representative 
    • File for unemployment 
    • Get help finding a job 
    • Attend classes to help in your search for employment 
    • Military skills that be used in civilian life are identified 
  • Visit colleges you are interested in / use the GI Bill 
    • Ask to speak with the Veterans Representative on campus 
    • Always identify yourself as a Veteran and inquire about Yellow Ribbon funding in addition to GI Bill payments for college 
    • Many non-traditional programs are included in the Post 9-11 GI Bill 
  • When you are ready to buy a home inform your lender you are a Veteran and that you are interested in using the VA Home Loan Guaranty 
    • This is as easy as informing your lender you are a Veteran and wish to use your benefit (you will need to provide a copy of your DD 214) 
    • Disabled Veterans (USDVA Rating) have the funding fee waived 
    • You can include the down payment in the loan 

Pennsylvania Veterans Service Organizations available to assist you 

An Accredited Veterans Service Officer is your advocate (FREE) to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and is thoroughly trained to represent you and to manage your claim for benefits. Once you have assigned a Power of Attorney (Veterans Service Officer) always visit them regarding ANY correspondence you receive from the USDVA. 

(Please note: If you are a severely disabled Veteran and need any special accommodations, please identify that to your Veterans Service Officer.) 

County Director of Veterans Affairs (Click for a county-by-county listing of the County Directors of Veterans Affairs)

Adjutant General's Office of Pennsylvania

Fort Indiantown Gap (Headquarters)                       800-547-2838 

Pittsburgh                                                                866-754-8636 

Philadelphia                                                             866-754-8637 

American Legion 

State Headquarters                                                  717-730-9100  

Pittsburgh                                                                 412-395-6230  

Philadelphia                                                             215-381-2032  

American Veterans (AMVETS)  

State Headquarters                                                  717-865-9982  

Pittsburgh                                                                 412-395-6248  

Philadelphia                                                             215-381-3294  

Disabled American Veterans

State Headquarters                                                  717-761-4060  

Pittsburgh                                                                 412-395-6241  

Philadelphia                                                              215-381-3065  

Jewish War Veterans

Philadelphia                                                              215-842-3140  

Marine Corps League 

State Headquarters                                                   800-779-7301  

Military Order of the Purple Heart

State Headquarters                                                   724-437-1220  

Pittsburgh                                                                  412-395-6255  

Philadelphia                                                               215-381-3064  

Paralyzed Veterans of America

State Headquarters                                                    412-781-2474  

Pittsburgh                                                                   412-395-6260  

Philadelphia                                                               215-381-3057  

United Spinal Association

Philadelphia                                                               215-381-3037  

VFW

State Headquarters                                                    717-234-7927 

Pittsburgh                                                                   412-395-6260 

Philadelphia                                                               215-381-3123 

Vietnam Veterans of America

Altoona                                                                       814-943-8164 X7085