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Q: I served in the Air Force for four years. I never really thought about the benefits for which I might be eligible. I am in my 50's now, my children are adults and I am more focused on preparing for my eventual retirement. Finding specific information about various benefits is difficult. Besides reading all the material about VA benefits to find the answer to specific questions, is there a simpler way to find information?

A: The VA is massive and covers a wide variety of benefits and services. The VA is broken down into the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA).

The VA has just released a new online VA Welcome Guide to find specific answers. The overall website is Vets.gov. The telephone helpline is MyVA311 (844-698-2311) or find the nearest VA location to get answers in person at vets.gov/facility-locator. Your McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission office has printed the Welcome Guide. Visit the VAC office at 200 W. Front St., Bloomington, to get a copy.

Cold War recognition

Congress created the Cold War Recognition certificate to honor those who served in the armed forces or as a federal government civilian during the Cold War era, Sept. 2, 1945-Dec. 26, 1991. Any veteran who served at least one day during the time period is eligible to receive the certificate. You will need a copy of your DD214 to accompany your application. Your McLean County Veterans Assistance Office, 200 W. Front St., Bloomington, has the application form and an information sheet concerning frequently asked questions. 

Did you know?

Your VA has prosthetics and sensory aids services for optimal health and independence of our veterans. The department also provides a plethora of durable medical equipment, including eyeglasses, home oxygen, bathroom aids, modular ramps, CPAP supplies, soft and custom orthotic bracing, shoes and inserts, home and vehicle modifications, power and manual wheelchairs, blind aids, surgical implants, and much more. If you are not enrolled in VA Health Care, now is the time. While there is still an income means test, other changes in the regulations may make you eligible. The VAC Office can assist you in applying for VA Health Care. We have the application Form 10-10EZ in our office.

Veterans Corner publishes Monday. It is written by the McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission, 200 W. Front St., Bloomington, IL 61701; call 309-888-5140.

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