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Disability Compensation is a monthly payment made to a veteran who has a disability for a disease or injury that was incurred or aggravated by service in the armed forces. Payments are based on the degree of disability. VA pays additional allowances for your dependents if your disabilities are evaluated as 30 percent or more disabling. A special monthly compensation rate may be authorized for veterans whose service-connected disabilities are very severe and meet certain statutory requirements. Service connection for a disability may be granted based on the following conditions:
Important Note: When a service connection for a disability or disease has been established and the condition worsens, a claim for an increase of the rating should be filed.
Total disability will be found to exist when there is an impairment of mind or body which is certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled veteran and renders it impossible for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation. A single or combined disability that is ratable at 100%.
Note: There are specific benefits that apply when a rating is classified as total and permanent.
Individual unemployability may be applied for when there is an exceptional disability factor that substantially interferes with the veteran’s ability to sustain gainful employment. A veteran must meet one of the following criteria:
Temporary 100% Rating for Convalescence
Hospitalization – A total 100% temporary disability rating will be assigned, without regard to the rating schedule, when a service-connected disability has required hospitalization treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs, for a period in excess of 21 days.
Surgery – A total 100% temporary disability rating may be assigned when your service-connected disability resulted in surgery, post-hospital convalescence, immobilization with a cast, or surgery of a major joint. When the requirements are met, the rating will be effective from the first day of hospitalization and will continue for a period of 1, 2, or 3 months. Extensions may be authorized under certain circumstances.
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We work for the veteran and his or her family, not the VA.
The San Miguel County Veterans Services Office was established by state law to advise and assist veterans, their dependents, and their survivors concerning any VA benefits which such person may be, or may have been, entitled to receive under the laws of the United States or the State of Colorado. The office is not a part of the Department of Veteran Affairs, which is a Federal government agency but serves as a liaison between the claimant and the VA.
Every veteran’s situation and service is unique which is why we strongly encourage the veteran and/or dependent to contact our office so we can answer your eligibility questions based on your military service and situation. Some examples of benefits we can help you with are:
In most cases, you are entitled to most VA benefits as long as your discharge was other than a "Dishonorable Discharge".
The Vet Center provides readjustment counseling services to eligible combat veterans and their family members at no cost. Some of the services provided include individual counseling, group counseling, marital and family counseling, bereavement counseling, and assistance applying for VA Benefits, among others.
Grand Junction Vet Center
2472 Patterson Road, Unit 16Grand Junction, CO 81505
Distance from Placerville: 112 miles
Main Number: 970-245-4156
Farmington Vet Center
4251 East Main Street, Suite AFarmington, NM 87402
Distance from Placerville: 157 miles
Main Number: 505-327-9684
The nearest VA Medical Clinic is in Montrose:
Montrose VA Clinic
Facility type: VA Health
154 Colorado Avenue, Suite 100Montrose, CO 81401-3651
Main Number: 970-249-7791
Services listed: primary care, audiology; other services may be available
VA Medical Centers can provide medical, mental health and other services to enrolled Veterans. To enroll for health care services, a Veteran needs to complete a VA Form 10-10EZ and take a copy of their DD214 discharge paper, copies of any insurance the veteran has and verification of last year’s income to the enrollment office located in the Medical Center.
Grand Junction VA Medical Center (VAMC)
2121 North Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Distance from Placerville: 111 miles
Main Number: 970-242-0731
Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center (VAMC)
1700 North Wheeling Street
Aurora, CO 80045
Main Number: 303-399-8020 | 888-336-8262
If you are thinking about suicide: 800-273-8255
Get help for PTSD: call 800-273-8255
Get help for domestic violence: 800-799-7233
Get help for sexual assault: 800-656-4673
If you are a wounded, ill or injured Warrior: 800-342-9647
If you have any questions about Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury: 866-966-1020
If you are a caregiver – Caregivers Resource Directory (2018 edition)
Search the Tri-Care Provider Directory.
Copies of Discharge Documents, Service Medical Records, Official Military Personnel File, and replacement medals can be requested through the National Archives. You may request them on your own or you can contact our office and we will assist you with your request. The Veterans Service Office can send a request to the Military Archives Center in St. Louis, MO for a certified copy of your military records. Replacement records can take a lengthy amount of time to obtain. In some cases, the records are not available at the Records Center and must be constructed from military units, facilities, etc.
You can update an address or telephone number with the VA in several ways:
To change your direct deposit information with the VA, you can:
Special Monthly Compensation Awards include:
Loss of Use:
A special monthly compensation is payable in addition to the basic rate of compensation for the anatomical loss OR loss of use of body members or function, due to a service-connected disability. Examples include: hand, foot, eyes, paired organs or extremities, creative organs, buttocks, kidneys, loss of speech (aphonia), and deafness.
Housebound is an increased monthly pension amount paid to a claimant who is substantially confined to his or her home because of permanent disability. Additionally, if you are a Veteran, you may qualify for the increased housebound amount if:
You may not receive enhanced or special monthly pension without first establishing eligibility for VA pension. However, because enhanced pension is based upon a higher income limit, a claimant may be ineligible for basic pension due to excessive income but may be eligible for increased pension benefits. You may not receive pension at the A&A and Housebound rate at the same time.
Aid and Attendance:
Aid and attendance will be considered when the veteran is so nearly helpless that they are unable to care for themselves and cannot perform basic tasks such as dressing, undressing, keeping clean, feeding, attending to the wants of nature, frequent adjustments of special prosthetic or orthopedic appliances, or to protect them from the hazards and dangers incident to daily living. Conditions requiring this care must be service connected.
When a veteran is in need of a higher level of care (hospitalization, nursing home, or institutional care) because of his service-connected disabilities, a higher level of monthly aid and attendance allowance may be granted.
The 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.
Generally, a Veteran must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period to qualify for a VA Pension. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least one day during a wartime period.
In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the veteran must be:
Additional Pension Allowances:
Veterans or surviving spouses who are eligible for VA pension and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible for an additional monetary payment.
Eligible Wartime Periods
Under current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:
You may be eligible for several types of VA education and training benefits, but there are many things to consider before you apply for a GI Bill program. For most participants, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the best option. Other students would benefit more from the Montgomery GI Bill. Different programs offer different benefits, so it’s important to choose the program that will best meet your needs.
You can use the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) GI BILL COMPARISON CHART to get detailed information on eligibility requirements and compare the education benefits available through the following programs:
You can compare benefits by schools using the VA Online Comparison Tool.
You can find information on two additional programs at the links below:
The VA directory of Colorado's national and state veteran's cemeteries can be found online. The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado in Grand Junction is the closest to San Miguel County.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration maintains three cemeteries in Colorado:
Fort Logan National Cemetery
4400 W. Kenyon Ave.
Denver, CO 80236
Burial Space: Open
Fort Lyon National Cemetery
15700 County Road HH
Las Animas, CO 81054
Pikes Peak National Cemetery
10545 Drennan Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
Burial Space: Closed
The State of Colorado maintains two veterans cemeteries:
Veterans Memorial Cemetery Of Western Colorado
2830 Riverside Parkway
Contact: Joana Iglesias, Cemetery Director
Colorado State Veterans Center At Homelake
3749 Sherman Ave.
Monte Vista, CO 81144
P.O. Box 97
Homelake, CO 81135
Contact: Tyler Chacon, Director
Colorado's Veterans Community Living Centers serve honorably discharged veterans, veterans’ spouses/widows and Gold Star parents of children who died while serving in the armed forces. Services provided include long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, memory care, short-term “respite” care, and hospice services.
State Voc-Rehab is an educational or trade training program available to qualified disabled persons. The veteran must meet certain eligibility criteria for enrollment.
State of Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
504 N 1st StreetMontrose, Colorado 81401
Phone Number: 970-249-4468
VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Chapter 31)
If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program—also referred to as Chapter 31—can help. Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for VR&E benefits and services, like help exploring employment options and any required training needs. In some cases, your family members may also be eligible for certain VR&E benefits.
Veterans Administration (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) eligibility and entitlement information can be found on their website.
Grand Junction VA Medical Center Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
2121 North Ave.Grand Junction, CO 81501
Main Number: 970-242-0731
Mental Health: 970-263-2824