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Congressman Polis' office is here to help veterans who have questions about disability compensation and veterans health care or who are having other difficulties with the Department of Veterans Affairs. We can also help obtain copies of military records or service medals. If you have tried to work with the VA and have run into problems getting an answer, we might be able to help. Many common questions about federal benefits for veterans, dependents and survivors can be answered in this online VA booklet or in this brief summary of available benefits.

Important Documents:


Commonly Asked Veterans Questions

I would like more information about the new education benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Where can I find information about this program and how can I apply?


As of August 1, 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides eligible individuals with the opportunity to receive graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on the job training, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains an up-to-date website dedicated to helping veterans access these benefits. Please visit this site to learn more and see if the program is right for you and also contact the Veterans’ Services Coordinator at the institution you plan to attend for more specific information.

I am a Veteran and pursuing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Can Congressman Polis assist me with the process?

Yes. Congressman Polis' staff works with the Department of Veterans Affairs on a daily basis. We are happy to assist you with claims you are pursuing, including matters as simple as receiving an update about your case. Our close working relationship with the VA allows us to have information added to your file quickly, and we usually receive information about the progress of your claim within hours of an inquiry. Additionally, if your case has been outstanding for a considerable amount of time, an inquiry from my office can sometimes speed the processing so that you get the answers you need.

As a veteran, I find it takes too long to submit updated information concerning my health benefits. What’s the easiest way for me to go about this?

The Department of Veterans Affairs has automated its online Health Benefits Renewal (10-10EZR) form as part of its ongoing effort to streamline access to benefits. You can find the form at the following link: https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/Form/1010ezr.pdf.

I am a Veteran and I am having difficulty getting an appointment or appropriate care at an area V.A. Medical Center. Can Congressman Polis assist me with this issue?

Yes. The congressman's office maintains a working relationship with staff at area V.A. Medical Centers and speaks to them on behalf of veterans on a regular basis. If there is an urgent situation, an inquiry from our staff can often reduce wait times for appointments or get you updates on your case. The staff at the VA Medical Center works very hard, but if you are not pleased with the care that you are receiving, our office can make inquiries with them on your behalf.

What are the types of Veterans Affairs claims?

There are four types of claims:

  1. Original Claim: The very first claim for disability benefits (compensation or pension) filed by a veteran. All original claims must be filed on VA Form 21-526.
  2. Claim for increase: A claim for increased compensation for a disability already found to be service-connected.
  3. New Claim: A claim for compensation for a disability not part of the original claim. Also known as a supplemental claim.
  4. Reopened Claim: A claim asking for reconsideration of an issue previously considered and finally disallowed by VA (after more than one year has passed).
The type of claim determines how much development is required by VA and/or the nature of the supporting evidence the veteran must submit in support of the claim. The processing time for a claim varies depending on the type of claim and the supporting evidence provided by the veteran.

How do I get a VA Home Loan?

There are 5 steps to get a VA loan:
  1. Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. A Veteran who doesn't have a certificate can obtain one by making application on VA Form 26-1880, Request for Determination of Eligibility and Available Loan Guaranty Entitlement, along with proof of military service to:   

    VA Loan Eligibility Center
    PO Box 20729
    Winston-Salem, NC 27120

    For overnight delivery: 
    VA Loan Eligibility Center
    251 N. Main Street
    Winston-Salem, NC 27155

  2. Decide on a home the buyer wants to buy and sign a purchase agreement.

  3. Order an appraisal from VA. (This is usually done by lender.)

  4. Apply to a mortgage lender for the loan. While the appraisal is being done, the lender can be gathering credit and income information. If the lender is authorized by the VA to do automatic processing, upon receipt of the appraised value determination, the loan can be approved and closed without waiting for VA review of the credit application. For loans that must first be approved by VA, the lender will send the application to the local VA office, which will notify the lender of its decision.

  5. Close of loan and you move in!

Who is eligible for a VA Home Loan?

Veterans with active duty service, that was not dishonorable, during World War II and later periods are eligible for VA loan benefits. WWII, Korean conflict and Vietnam era veterans must have at least 90 days service.

Veterans with service only during peacetime periods and active duty military personnel must have had more than 180 days active duty service. Veterans of enlisted service which began after September 7, 1980, or officers with service beginning after October 16, 1981, must in most cases have served at least two years.

Persian Gulf conflict reservists and National Guard members who were activate on or after August 2, 1990, and served at least 90 days with an honorable discharge are eligible.

Members of the Select Reserve, including National Guard, who are not otherwise eligible and who have completed six years of service and have been honorably discharged or have completed six years of service and are still serving may be eligible. The expanded eligibility for Reserves and National Guard individuals will expire in October, 2003. 

Call the VA toll free at 1-888-487-1970 for further information on eligibility.

I am having difficulty receiving a military record that I need, or receiving medals that I earned in service, or replacements of medals that I earned in service. Can Congressman Polis help me with this situation?

Yes. The congressman's staff works with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis to gain records more quickly than under normal circumstances. We can also help you receive medals that you have earned but never were awarded, or obtain replacements for lost or stolen service medals.

How do I get a copy of my military records?

For copies of your military service records you may contact:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138-1002

What do I do if my records were destroyed in the 1973 fire?

You may contact the National Personnel Records Center at:

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

You can also find out the status of your records by phone at the following numbers:

Army Records

  • For service during 1912 - 1959 -- (314) 538-4261

Air Force Records

  • For Service from 1964 to Present -- (314) 538-4243
  • Service from 1947 - 1963 (individuals with the last names of "A" through "Hubbard, James D.") -- (314) 538-4243
  • For service during 1947 - 1963 (individuals with the last names after "Hubbard, James D.") -- (314) 538-4261.

Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Records

  • (314) 538-4141
How can I get replacement medals or service records?

Our office can assist in getting either in a timely manner. Please contact Stuart Feinhor in the Boulder office, who will assist in getting the appropriate forms completed to make the request.

You can also request replacement for lost or stolen medals from the National Personnel Records Center or write to:

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

OR

DATC-PAP-BC
Chief Military Awards Branch
Military Personnel Branch
Hoffman Building #2
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22332

Office Contact
In order to open a case on your behalf, we need a signed letter or privacy authorization form from you, giving permission to look into your case. Due to the Privacy Act of 1974, no inquiries can be made without such written consent. As such, an e-mail will not suffice as a release. A written signature must be given.

For all Veterans issues, please download and fill out the privacy authorization form and mail or fax it to Stuart Feinhor in the Boulder Office.

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