Veterans Service Bureau
Albany County Veterans Service Bureau provides information and services to nearly 20,000 veterans living in the county. The Bureau assists veterans and
their dependents in filing claims, obtaining important documents, and determining eligibility for the benefits and services they have a legal right to. We
frequently aid veterans and their families in obtaining state and federal entitlements such as medical care, disability and compensation, pension,
education benefits, burial assistance, and VA home loans.
The Veterans Service Bureau can also assist in obtaining copies of a veterans medical and personnel records, including Certificates of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214).
Veterans can record their DD Form 214 at the Albany County Clerk's office, free of charge. Copies will be kept on file at the County Clerk's Office and the Veterans Service Bureau.
RETURN THE FAVOR: DISCOUNTS FOR VETERANS
On September 21, 2011 Albany County kicked off the Return the FAVOR (Find & Assist Veterans of Record) program, providing discount ID cards to honorably discharged veterans who present their DD 214. Click to learn more about obtaining an ID or how to register your business.
From the Office of Congressman Paul D Tonko
I'm writing to you today to share the good news that a decades-long quest to see that an Albany native and WWI hero receives his due recognition is now in its home stretch. This month, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (H.R. 3979), which includes language that allows the President to award Sgt. Henry Johnson the Medal of Honor for his acts of incredible bravery during World War I.
if you're from Albany, you know Sgt. Johnson's story. The superhuman acts of valor demonstrated in defense of our nation and his fellow soldiers is a great source of pride for our community, and for almost a century these acts have gone unrecognized. We have jumped a very large hurdle toward appropriately honoring this American hero.
I have followed Henry's story since long before becoming a Member of Congress and have worked hard to make sure his story is heard by others. I thank the many individuals who never gave up on our tireless efforts to accomplish this goal, including Sgt. Johnson's relatives, Senator Schumer, and my predecessor, Mike McNulty. This was a decades-long team effort across the board, and I could not be happier to see our efforts pay off.
This legislation is now expected to be signed into law by the President. After that, he will have the authority to officially award Sgt. Johnson the Medal of Honor. Unless a waiver is passed by Congress, service members who exhibit extreme valor in combat can only be awarded the Medal of Honor if their acts occurred in the previous five years.
Please join me in pausing to honor and remember Sgt. Johnson and his fellow soldiers who have made our nation secure and our communities proud through acts of bravery both seen and unseen.
Thank you for reading. If I can ever be of help, please don't hesitate to call or write. My door is always open.
Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Benefits Expanded
Veterans and their families who lived at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 may be eligible for VA health benefits. A Dec. 12 law changed the eligibility date from Jan. 1, 1957 to Aug. 1, 1953.
Veterans: Enroll online or call 1-877-222-8387 for help.
Family members: You may be eligible for reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses for 15 conditions. Apply online or call 1-866-372-1144 for help.
Veterans Miracle Center
Albany County Veterans Service Bureau (ACVSB) has partnered with the "Veterans Miracle Center" as an authorizing agency to screen Veterans, and issue a voucher and Needs List and offer that Veteran the opportunity to schedule an appointment to visit the VMC.
- As an authorized representative the ACVSB will verify the Veteran status by witnessing the DD214 of the Veteran.
- Vouchers are not transferrable to non-Veterans.
- Albany County Veterans Service Bureau will not guarantee any of the items on the Veteran's Needs List.
- The ACVSB takes no responsibility for scheduling the Veteran for their visit to the VMC.
- The Veteran's Needs List must be completed and returned to the Veterans Miracle Center before an appointment will be scheduled.
- Listing of items and acceptance of needs list does not guarantee the items will be available.
It's part of every Soldier's journey.
Transitioning from combat or adjusting to life outside the Military can be a challenge at best. This hands on training will increase your skills to move on to your next mission.Click here to learn more about the AMVETS Warrior Transition Workshop
Expands Fry Scholarship to Surviving Spouses of Servicemembers Who Died on
Expansion of Post 9/11 GI Bill
Benefits is part of Veterans Choice Act Legislation
Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will
begin accepting applications by mail on Monday, November 3, 2014, for the Fry
Scholarship under newly expanded eligibility criteria to include surviving
spouses. The expanded criteria for the Fry Scholarship is the latest in a
series of VA actions to implement provisions of the Veterans Access, Choice,
and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”).
Specifically, Section 701 of the Choice Act expands the Fry Scholarship to
include the surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty
after September 10, 2001. Prior to this expansion, only children of those who
died in the line of duty were eligible for this benefit.
“We can never fully repay the debt we owe to these families who have lost a
loved one,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “It is a privilege to provide
educational benefits that will make a positive difference in their lives.”
The Fry Scholarship was created to honor Sergeant John David Fry, 28, of
Lorena, Texas. Sergeant Fry had one week left in his tour in Iraq in 2006, when
he volunteered to continue working for seven more hours disarming explosive
devices, despite having already sustained an injury to his hand. He made the
ultimate sacrifice on March 8, 2006, in Anbar province, Iraq, when an
improvised explosive device detonated. He left behind a widow and three young
The Fry Scholarship will entitle eligible spouses to up to 36 months of the
full, 100-percent level of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which includes a
tuition-and-fee payment, a monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and
supplies. Some spouses currently eligible for or already receiving benefits
under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program may
now be eligible for the Fry Scholarship. All surviving spouses eligible for DEA
and the Fry Scholarship must make an irrevocable election for terms beginning
on or after January 1, 2015.
VA will identify surviving spouses eligible for both programs and send them
a letter with comparative information on the benefits available and
instructions on how make an election. Information about these two programs is
available on VA’s website and the GI Bill website (www.benefits.va.gov/gibill). The VA call center
(888-GIBILL-1) also will be able to help individuals understand the differences
between the two programs.
Honor A Veteran
The Honor A Veteran Program is a monthly event that honors deceased local veterans who have served in time of conflict. Learn More
World War II
Each year, the Veterans Bureau in conjunction with the USS Slater Association hosts a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony on December 7. This ceremony remembers our service members who lost their lives in the attack on that Sunday morning and the survivors of the attack who have left us since that Day of Infamy. Special guests are the living Capital District survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack. While the ceremony is held each year on December 7, the location and time does change.
Tax Credit for Employers Hiring Post-9/11 Veterans
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on November 11, 2013 the beginning of a promotional effort by New York State’s Division of Veterans’ Affairs to highlight a $74 million tax credit encouraging employers to hire New York’s post-9/11 veterans who are currently not employed. Beginning on Veterans Day, New York State’s Division of Veterans’ Affairs will send direct informational mailings about the tax credit to organizations committed to hiring veterans. Click here to learn more about the implementation of Tax Credit for Employers.
Small Business Loans for Military Veterans
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on Veterans Day spotlighted the availability of $4 million in competitive fixed-rate small business loans for military veterans through the New York Business Development Corp.DiNapoli said. “The veterans program helps to address the financial hardships of active duty with loans to small businesses owned by military veterans for working capital and expansions.” Click here to learn more.
HUD/VASH funding for Capital Region Announced
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,341,280 in federal funding for cities and towns throughout the Capital Region. The funding was allocated through two U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) and the Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS). Both programs are aimed at curbing the various struggles that low-income and homeless individuals face on a daily basis. Specifically, the FSS program provides training, education, and help with housing, giving the family or individual, time to develop and achieve self-sufficiency within the community. The second program, VASH, works with the Department of Veteran Affairs, with a direct goal of ending homelessness for veterans. The New York State Housing Trust Fund, located in Albany County, will receive a total of $1,976,574 in federal funds from both programs to carryout services and provide housing vouchers for citizens in need. Seventeen other cities and towns throughout the Capital Region will receive funds through both the VASH and FSS programs.