Some people are surprised to learn that the government doesn’t automatically grant
veterans’ benefits and services; veterans and their families must apply for them.
In addition, these claims must be thoroughly verified and justified. Faced by the
complexity of disability claims and a flurry of bureaucratic red tape, disabled
veterans and their families need expert help to obtain the rights and benefits their
blood and sacrifices have earned. That expert is their DAV National Service Officer
The DAV employs 260 NSOs and 34 Transition Service Officers (TSOs) in approximately
110 offices across the United States and Puerto Rico, providing numerous services
to veterans and their families free of charge. Veterans need not be members of the
DAV to take advantage of the free service of the DAV’s veterans’ benefits experts.
DAV NSOs do much more than just counsel veterans and their families on veterans’
benefits and services. They assist veterans in filing claims for VA disability compensation,
death benefits, pension, and other benefits provided under federal, state and local
The DAV’s National Service Program and its NSOs are crucial to America’s disabled
vets and their families. If you’re a veteran who needs DAV help getting the benefits
you earned, check the directory of DAV National Service Offices that follows. You
should also look up the nearest DAV National Service Office if you know a veteran
who needs our assistance.
The DAV has a keen interest in contacting military people before or shortly after
discharge. We need to make sure every disabled veteran gets all the help he or she
needs in the move to civilian life. DAV has Transition Service Officers (TSOs) assigned
to more than 100 military sites in the U.S. to conduct or participate in pre-discharge
transition assistance briefings, review service medical records, and confer with
Rating Specialists, physicians, and other participants in the discharge process.
They assist in the development of evidence and completion of required applications
for filing for VA benefits. However, we can’t reach everyone. That’s why we need
the public’s assistance in identifying recently discharged veterans who could use
the professional help of a DAV NSO.
In an effort to reach out to more veterans, DAV implemented the new Mobile Service
Office program. This program is designed to educate disable veterans and their families
on specific veterans benefits and services. It is an opportunity for you or a veteran
you know to get questions answered personally by a DAV NSO. Watch for announcements
of the time and place where a Mobile Service Office will be in your area. This schedule
of MSO locations can be found on our website at
under the Benefits Assistance
Veterans often live a long distance from the nearest VA medical facility. Among
them are many who are too disabled, too sick, or too elderly to drive themselves
to the VA for the medical attention they need. Others, quite simply, are too poor
to provide for their own transportation. No one in America should go without health
care simply because they don’t have a ride. That’s particularly true of a man or
woman whose sacrifices in our nation’s armed forces have made the American way of
life possible. The DAV’s local Chapters and state-level Departments are actively
involved in providing transportation to veterans who have no way to get to VA hospitals
and clinics for the medical attention they need. They’re driving more than 22.3
million miles each year, providing more than 595,718 rides to VA medical facilities.
To tell us of a veteran who needs a lift to a VA medical facility, you’ll find your
point of contact on the following list of state-level DAV Departments. Also, if
you want to volunteer as a driver, please contact the DAV Department in your state.
In recent years, DAV National Service Officers have substantially expanded outreach
efforts aimed at specific groups of veterans. These projects include efforts aimed
National Employment Program. Disabled veterans have historically
fared far worse than non disabled veterans and other workers in the job market.
Various studies and surveys bear this out. Because of this shocking situation, the
DAV is fighting to win a higher profile for veterans’ employment and training programs,
particularly those aimed at disabled veterans. DAV NSOs are involved in the effort
to make sure disabled veterans get a decent break in the job market. They provide
veterans with the information on their rights in filing complaints with the appropriate
government agencies when these veterans feel they’ve suffered discrimination based
on their service-connected disabilities. And, while the DAV is not a job referral
agency, DAV NSOs also help ensure disabled veterans get the job placement assistance
they need from government agencies.
Women Veterans. Despite progress, women veterans still
use the VA health care and other earned benefits at lower levels than their male
counterparts, a problem that urgently calls out for solutions. Today, women make
up 15% of our armed forces. Even if their numbers in the veteran population weren’t
growing so rapidly, simple justice demands equal treatment for women who served
in the armed forces. DAV is making a difference by educating and informing women
veterans about their benefits.
DAV’s Disaster Relief Fund. When floods, tornadoes, earthquakes
and other natural catastrophes strike, misfortune falls on everyone in the affected
region, but a veteran’s disability only makes an already tragic ordeal even more
difficult to cope with. At such a terrible time, DAV National Service Officers go
to the area, search out disabled veterans and, when needed, provide grants on the
spot from the DAV’s Disaster Relief Fund. So very often, this fund has made the
difference for disabled veterans who needed a temporary roof over their heads, a
hot meal, or some clean clothes. In the confusion of a natural disaster, we need
the public’s help in identifying disabled veterans who need our assistance.
Veterans with PTSD. After funding the ground-breaking
1978 Forgotten Warrior Project, the DAV set up a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
outreach program on which today’s extremely successful VA Vet Center program was
modeled. Though we phased out our initiative as the VA program evolved, we continue
efforts to educate mental health professionals about PTSD. We also understand that
a veteran may want to talk to a fellow vet before agreeing to go to the VA for help.