The New Jersey Department 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 Department 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 three 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 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. 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 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 dcoe.health.mil.
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. afterdeployment.dcoe.mil.
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 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 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 acp-usa.org.
Hiring Our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, was launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning servicemembers, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. For more info visit www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes.
Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services. TAP provides training that will build skills to enable transitioning service members to meet career readiness standards established by DOD. The training is comprised of interlinked curriculum, services, and processes conducted by numerous partners — DOD, the military services, VA, DOL, SBA, and OPM. Visit www.taonline.com/tapoffice.
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 tcms.njsba.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.