The New Jersey Division of Military and Veterans Affairs conducts Veterans Outreach Campaigns at malls and other public venues throughout New Jersey. Veterans and their family members can learn more about benefits and entitlements. Included is a medal ceremony to award the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal along with other decorations.
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." - George Washington
There are many benefits for veterans and members of the armed forces administered by State and Federal offices. In addition, there are numerous organizations dedicated to the support of veterans. We encourage you to visit the web links listed below to look for benefits or services that may be applicable to you.
New Jersey Division of Military and Veterans Affairs
The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) stands ready to assist all veterans. The NJDMAVA website can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/military/veterans. If you were a member of the New Jersey National Guard or your Home of Record on active duty was in New Jersey, then a copy of your records and/or DD214 may be on file with NJDMAVA. Call the main NJDMAVA number at 609-530-4600 to make a records request. Visit NJDMAVA on Facebook.
New Jersey Veterans Services Offices
Through our network of regional Veterans Service Offices, the N.J. Division of Veterans Services, Bureau of Veterans Benefits provides the state's veterans and their dependents with information and guidance in filing claims. Trained veterans service officers at those offices also assist veterans with issues pertaining to employment, education, burial, counseling, housing, social and medical services, and other areas of concern to veterans and their families. For locations and information go to http://www.state.nj.us/military/veterans/programs.
Resource Guide for New Jersey Veterans and Families
The New Jersey Governor's Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse has published a Resource Guide for Military Veterans and Families. The resource guide is a comprehensive statewide guide addressing issues such as: health care, education, employment and training services, legal assistance, domestic violence, women's assistance programs, housing, medical assistance and substance abuse assistance. http://www.nj.gov/military/veterans/docs/GCADA_Veterans_Guide.pdf.
Veterans Counseling Hotline 1-866-VETS-NJ4
The toll-free helpline, which is accessible 24/7 by dialing 1-866-VETS-NJ4 (1-866-838-7654) is coordinated by UMDNJ's University Behavioral HealthCare, and features peer counseling, clinical assessment, assistance to family members and provides New Jersey veterans and their families with access to a comprehensive Mental Health Provider Network of mental health professionals specializing in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other veteran issues. All services are free and confidential. For more information visit http://www.njveteranshelpline.org.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline and online chat. If you are feeling distressed or hopeless, thinking about death or wanting to die, or, if you are concerned about someone who may be suicidal, please contact http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Veterans Press 1.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
The goal of US Department of Veterans Affairs is to provide excellence in patient care, veterans' benefits and customer satisfaction. The department's employees continue to offer their dedication and commitment to help veterans get the services they have earned. Learn more at http://www.va.gov.
Veterans' Personnel Records
Military personnel records can be used for proving military service, or as a valuable tool in genealogical research. Most veterans and their next-of-kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) and other military and medical records. Request records directly from the National Archives by executing an on-line request at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records.
Make the Connection
Make the Connection is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ national public awareness campaign that features true stories of Veterans who have faced and overcome challenges. Veterans’ unscripted and candid testimonials highlight the strength and resilience of those who have served our country, and demonstrate paths to leading fulfilling lives. Visit their website at http://maketheconnection.net.
The State of New Jersey offers special benefits for its military service members and Veterans including Income Tax Exemptions on retired military pay and property tax, State Employment Preferences, Education and Tuition Assistance, Vehicle Tags, New Jersey Distinguished Military Medals, Burial benefits, Free State Park Admission, Free Private Beach Facilities, as well as Hunting and Fishing License privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status. For more information go to http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/State__Territory_Benefits/New_Jersey.
The eBenefits portal is a one-stop shop for benefits-related online tools and information. The portal is designed for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, Service members, their Families, and those who care for them. eBenefits provides two main services. It's a catalog of links to information on other websites about military and Veteran benefits. And it provides a personalized workspace called My eBenefits which gives quick access to all the online tools now integrated into eBenefits - tools that let you do things like apply for benefits, download forms, and see your benefits status online. Service members, Veterans, and Family members can register for eBenefits, which affords access to the secure features in My eBenefits and allows the portal to be personalized to the user's needs. You must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to create an account. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov.
New Jersey Family Assistance Centers
The New Jersey National Guard Family Programs Office has established regional Family Assistance Centers (FACs) to support all military families specifically during times of deployment and separation. The centers are available to support deployed and military component family members. Family Assistance Centers serve as the point of contact for help with any type of problem you or your family may have. Trained family program staff is available to assist you in solving your problems or direct you to the appropriate program or agency. Visit http://www.state.nj.us/military/familysupport.
Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors
Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of programs and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This publication is a resource of federal benefits for veterans, dependents and survivors. To download as a Portable Document File or epub go to http://www1.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp.
National Veterans Foundation
A national toll-free helpline staffed by fellow veterans, trained to listen, counsel and guide those in need to whatever services they require, no matter where or when they are needed. You've Been There, We've Been There. Don't Wait. Call 888-777-4443 or visit http://www.nvf.org.
The War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center
The War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center is a National Veterans Administration program devoted to post deployment of Veterans and their health care providers through clinical evaluation, research, education and risk communication. The WRIISC in East Orange, NJ is one of only two federally-funded centers designed to improve the care of active duty and veteran patients by focusing on those individuals who have symptoms of no known medical cause which occurred during or after their military service. To get more information visit http://www.warrelatedillness.va.gov.
Wounded Warrior Project
Veterans for America's (VFA) Wounded Warrior Outreach Program is concerned with the staggeringly high levels of mental health problems and neurological injuries experienced by today's troops, and the lack of resources and rehabilitative programs available for our wounded. Members of the military desperately need a voice, and Veterans for America's Wounded Warrior Outreach Program provides it. http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a disorder that occurs after a life-threatening event, such as personal assault, natural disaster, or military combat. The affects of PTSD can be debilitating with symptoms ranging from severe nightmares and flashbacks to insomnia and increasing social isolation. It is common for servicemembers to deal with post-combat depression, insomnia, nightmares and family issues; however, it is the duration and intensity that differentiates PTSD. Each military branch has programs for its servicemembers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs offers free counseling sessions. For more information on PTSD or VA assistance, go to http://www.ptsd.va.gov.
Defense Centers of Excellence
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) was established to integrate knowledge and identify, evaluate and disseminate evidence based practices and standards for the treatment of psychological health and TBI within the Defense Department. DCoE is part of the Military Health System, which provides a ‘continuum of care’ - from initial accession to deployment to discharge. DCoE works across the entire continuum of care to promote resilience, rehabilitation and reintegration for warriors, families and veterans with psychological health concerns and traumatic brain injuries. For more information go to http://dcoe.health.mil.
Mesothelioma Cancer Resource
Countless veterans are currently suffering from life-threatening illnesses that are a result of exposure to asbestos, a material that was commonly used in hundreds of military applications, products, and ships primarily because of its resistance to fire. The Mesothelioma Center has created a veterans-specific section on their website that includes a complete list of occupations, ships, and shipyards that could have put Veterans at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. In addition, they have thousands of articles regarding asbestos and mesothelioma and they even have Veterans on staff to help answer questions as well as give counsel on any health benefits to which they may be entitled. For more information visit http://www.asbestos.com.
afterdeployment.org is a wellness resource focused on helping service members, their families, and veterans with common post-deployment problems. The Web site provides self-care solutions targeting Post-Traumatic Stress, depression, anger, and more. http://www.afterdeployment.org.
National Resource Directory
An online partnership of "shared care" providing information on, and access to, services and resources for wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and veterans, their families and families of the fallen, and those who support them from recovery and rehabilitation to community reintegration.
It is maintained by the Department of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. The information in the Directory is from federal, state and local governmental agencies; veteran service and benefit organizations; non-profit community-based and faith-based organizations; academic institutions, professional associations and philanthropic organizations. Learn more about the features and capabilities of the National Resource Directory at https://www.nrd.gov.
New Jersey Prevention Network (NJPN)
NJPN is a network of independent, non-profit organizations that offer a variety of programs and services that focus on alcohol, tobacco and drug use prevention, targeting everyone from children to senior citizens. Programs and services are available to families, schools, businesses, community groups and professionals throughout the state. Learn more at http://www.njpn.org.
Operation College Promise
There are already some great education resources on the Internet for New Jersey veterans. One of the best can be found at www.operationpromiseforservicemembers.com. This site is the online portal for the Operation College Promise program, which is run by the nine institutions that make up the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities. The association is dedicated to creating some of the most veteran-friendly campuses in the country right here in New Jersey.
Army Review Board Agency
The Army Review Boards Agency, on behalf of the Secretary of the Army, serves as the highest administrative level for review of personnel actions taken by lower levels of the Army and administers 15 boards on behalf on Soldiers, Veterans, and their families. Visit http://arba.army.pentagon.mil.
American Corporate Partners
American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a nationwide mentoring program dedicated to helping veterans transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce through mentoring, career counseling, and networking with professionals from some of America's finest corporations and select universities. ACP is not a jobs program, but a tool for networking and long-term career development. Visit http://acp-usa.org.
One-Stop Career Centers
We believe that those who stood first in line to defend their country should also be first in line to reap the benefits of freedom: a fair chance for a good education, a good job and a good life. One-Stop Career centers are located throughout New Jersey and offer services (free of charge) to help you develop the skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century work environment. Each has a veteran representative on staff or available by appointment. To access service on line or to find a Center near you, go to http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wnjpin/findjob/onestop/services.
Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
Included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) for unemployed Veterans. This program will provide up to 12 months of retraining assistance for unemployed Veterans hardest hit by current economic conditions. Learn more at http://benefits.va.gov/vow/education.
Hiring Our Heroes
In March of 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with a network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the goal was to create a movement across America in hundreds of local communities where veterans and military families return every day. For more info visit http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes.
The DoD Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was designed by the Department of Defense to smooth the transition of military personnel (and family members) leaving active duty. TAP is a partnership among DoD, DOL, and VA. Returning to civilian life is an exciting time, but is also a complex undertaking. The servicemember has many steps to take, and many questions to get answered. The Transition Assistance Program is there to help. Visit http://www.turbotap.org.
Military Legal Assistance Program
The New Jersey State Bar Association, through its Military Law and Veterans' Affairs Committee, in conjunction with McCarter & English, L.L.P. has established the Military Legal Assistance Program. This pro bono program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas as active duty members of reserve components of the armed forces after September 11, 2001. For more info visit http://www.njsba.com/resources/probono/military-legal-assistance.
Healing Hands 4 Heroes
The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), which represents over 1900 chiropractors statewide, is teaming with Army OneSource and the Army Community Covenant to raise awareness of the unique challenges of Military life on our Service Members and their Families and to address the growing need for accessible health services. As part of its commitment, the ANJC has announced participating member doctors would treat returning Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for free for a minimum of 60 days. For more info visit http://www.njchiropractors.com.
G.I. Go Fund
The G.I. Go Fund is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides transition assistance to New Jersey Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as support, recognition, and gratitude to all of our servicemen and women. The GI Go Fund provides returning veterans with counseling assistance, streamlines the VA process for linking veterans with their benefits, provides employment assistance and emergency financial assistance to ease veterans' transition into civilian life. For more info visit www.gigofund.org.