Veterans Service Bureau

Welcome

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.


The annual Veteran Financial Assessment (Means Test) is being discontinued.

As of March 24, 2014 VA’s annual requirement for Veterans to do a Means Test for non-service connected (NSC) and 0% service connected (SC) Veterans without any special eligibility has been eliminated.  The annual means test is still required for the purposes of pharmacy co-payments and beneficiary travel eligibility. VA will begin mailing letters out notifying Veterans affected by this change beginning next week.

For more information on who will benefits from these changes, click here.

FRAUD ALERT!!!

Veterans and their families are a target for some dishonest advisers who are claiming to offer free help with paperwork for pension claims. The scheme involves attorneys, financial planners, and insurance agents trying to persuade veterans over 65 to make decisions about their pensions without giving them the whole truth about the long-term consequences.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, click here. external website

TGIV - Thank God its Veterans Breakfast Club

Starting this Friday, April 18 at the Gateway Diner (by the Westgate Shopping Plaza). Come anytime between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning. Drop in and have your own coffee & breakfast, stay 15 minutes, stay two hours, meet Veterans and people who enjoy being around Veterans.   There may be drop in special person coming in the back door, special presentations, some videos and just a bunch of fun.  It is held in the separate room and the Patriot Flight signs will be there.  

 The TGIV Breakfast Club will convene it's initial day with a simple lets see what's going on. It will continue every Friday at the same place and time.  

 The nice weather is coming so start your day with a patriotic breakfast.

Albany Law School Veterans Rights Project & SBA Present: Student Wartime Stories. 

Join students from Albany Law School as they tell "Real Deployment Stories" on April 17, at 5:00 p.m. 

For more information click here.

Spring Means Baseball in Albany

Westland Hills Baseball & Softball would like to extend an invitation for everyone to join them at their Opening Day Ceremony to celebrate their 58th season of serving the youth of the City of Albany and surrounding communities. Opening Day is scheduled for Saturday April 26, 2013.  As is the tradition at Westland Hills, they will have their annual parade which will commence at 9:00am on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Van Buren Street.  Players, coaches and parents will march up Lincoln Ave to Zoar Ave to Frank Waterson Park.  Once assembled on the field opening ceremonies will begin.

Veteran's Resource Fair

Join us at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center on May 13th, 2014 from 10am to 2pm at Stratton VA building 67 across from AMC.

Click here to view the event flyer.

Social Security Announces New Expedited Disability Process for Veterans

February 19, 2014—Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, along with Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) unveiled a new initiative to expedite disability claims by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T). Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors.

NYSDA offers FREE dental care for Veterans in need

New York State Dental Assoication (NYSDA) and New York State Dental Foundation (NYSDF), together with national partner Mission of Mercy, is launching the New York State Mission of Mercy (NYSMOM), a free two-day dental clinic to provide oral health services and education to people who, for many reasons, lack access to dental care. Patients will receive cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral health education and assistance in finding a dentist for follow-up care.

To help provide oral health care services to the large number of expected patients, we need volunteer dental and health professionals including general dentists, oral surgeons, dental hygienists, assistants, lab technicians, nurses and pharmacists. Additionally, community volunteers are needed to assist with registration, clinic setup, data entry, escorting patients, translating, and much more.

Click here to learn more about volunteering and how to register.

Click here to learn more about the American Red Cross' reconnection workshop being held during Veterans' law Day at Albany Law School.


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.

Capital Region Stand-Down

The Annual Stand-Down is just one of the many efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand-Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand-Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless.

Stand-Downs in the military are traditionally associated with a break in combat when troops are brought in to a safe haven for a period of rest, relaxation, hot meals and a chance to be free from the rigors of war. This also applies to homeless veterans in the area who need to be free from the rigors of the street. The first Stand-Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam veterans in San Diego. Since then, Stand-Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless veterans.

The 2014 Capital Region Stand-Down is scheduled for September 20, 2014.