Veterans' Affairs

563-568-6135

Veterans' Affairs

Contact Information:
Heather Homewood, Director
Amy Kauten, Administrative Assitant

110 Allamakee St
Waukon, Iowa 52172
Office: 563-568-6135
Fax: 563-568-2451
Email: hhomewood@co.allamakee.ia.us


Office Hours 8:00a.m. - 12:00n/1:00p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Allamakee County Office

Allamakee County Veterans' Affairs Office is a service office, who works with honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, and eligible dependants. The Commission of Veterans Affairs and office was established per Chapter 35B of the Code of Iowa. Allamakee County Veterans Affairs offers assistance in making application for a wide range of benefits to our veterans, service members and their families. We help fill out a large array of forms for pension, compensations, grave markers, burial benifits, life insurance, health benefits, request military records/medals, and much more. We also provide temporary emergency assistance for basic needs to veterans and their families. Some of these programs include assistance with: rent, food, burial, utilities, emergency medical. Please see us for guidelines and requirements. Allamakee County Veterans Affairs also coordinates a van that travels to the Iowa City VA Medical Center Tues.-Fri. picking up from five different counties. If you are in our pick up area please call our office directly to schedule your transportation. We also contract a licensed counselor to provide local counseling for veterans and their spouses. These services are available three days per month located in Waukon. For more information on this program please call Allamakee County Veterans Affair. You may also purchase new flags at our office or bring old flags in for disposal. Upon request, military Honor Guard for military funerals is available in all towns in Allamakee County.

FEDERAL BENEFITS

Disability Benefits- There are two disability programs administered by VA. Both pay monthly benefits to disabled veterans.

Disability Compensation: You may be eligible to receive monetary compensation if you rate at least 10% disabled as a result of an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during your military service.

Disability Pension: You may be eligible for a monthly pension if you are a veteran whose service included one day during a wartime with limited income, and you are no longer able to work or are age 65 or older.

Education & Training- Benefits are paid to eligible veterans, dependents, reservists, and service members while they are in an approved training program. The VA’s Major Programs are:

Montgomery GI Bill: Eligibility generally expires 10 years after the service members most recent discharge. However, there are exceptions for disability, re-entering active duty, and upgraded discharges. Discharges must be fully honorable.

Post 9/11GI Bill: The Post 9/11 GI Bill is for service members and veterans who served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Benefits are payable for training pursued on or after Aug. 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date.

Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP): This Program is for veterans who entered active duty for the first time after Dec. 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985, and contributed funds to this program.

Survivors’ & Dependents Educational Assistance: Some family members of disabled or deceased veterans are eligible for education benefits.

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program: VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to Veterans. Requirements - Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old, Are unemployed on the date of application, Received an other than dishonorable discharge, Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance), Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability, Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment – Veterans with service connected disabilities may be eligible for assistance with finding and keeping suitable employment. For veterans with serious service-connected disabilities, the VA also offers services to improve their ability to live as independently a possible. Some of the services are:

Job Search: Assistance in finding and maintaining suitable employment.

Vocational Evaluation: an evaluation of abilities, skills, interests, and needs.

Career Exploration: Vocational counseling and planning.

Vocational Training: If needed, training such as on–the-job and non-paid work experience.

Education Training: If needed, education training to accomplish the rehabilitation goal.

Rehabilitation Services: Supportive rehabilitation and counseling services.

Time limits: You generally have 12 years from the date you are notified in writing that you have at least a 10% rating for a service-connected disability.

Home Loans- A VA guaranty helps protect your private lender from loss if you should default on that loan.

It can be used to obtain a loan to :

  1. 1.      Buy or build a home

  2. 2.      Buy a residential condominium unit

  3. 3.      Buy a residential cooperative housing unit

  4. 4.      Repair, alter, or improve a residence owned by the veteran and occupied as a home

  5. 5.      Refinance an existing home loan

  6. 6.      Buy a manufactured home and /or lot.

  7. 7.       Install a solar heating or cooling system or other energy-efficient improvements

    Dependents and Survivors Benefits-

    Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): Payable to survivors of veterans who died on Active Duty, died from a service connected disability, or certain veterans who were being paid 100% VA compensation at the time of death.

    Death Pension: is payable to some surviving spouses and dependent children of wartime veterans. The benefit is paid on financial need.

    VA Health Care- Veterans who started active duty after Sept. 8, 1980 must have 24 months of continues active duty. Priority is given to former POW’s, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor Recipients, individuals with service-connected disability ratings, individuals exposed to Ionizing Radiation or Agent Orange, individuals determined to be catastrophically disabled, individuals eligible for VA Pension or Medicaid, and veterans below the geographic means test income threshold.

    Burial Benefits- VA offers certain benefits and services to honor our nation’s deceased veterans.

    Headstones and Markers: The VA will furnish a headstone, marker or medallion to mark the grave of an eligible veteran.

    Presidential Memorial Certificate: are issued upon request to recognize the military service of an honorably discharge veterans.

    Burial Flag: The VA provides an American flag to drape an eligible veterans casket.

    Reimbursement of Burial Expenses:  If the veteran was receiving compensation or pension at the time of death or passed away in a VA facility, VA will pay burial and funeral allowance of $300 and $700 plot allowance. If the veterans death is service-connected, the VA will pay a burial allowance of up to $2,000.

    Burial in National or State Cemetery: Burial is free for the veteran; there is usually a charge for the spouse.

    Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling, counseling for PTSD, marital counseling, substance abuse information and referrals, community education. There are Vet Centers located in all states which provide counseling service in addition to those offered at VA Medical Centers.

    STATE BENEFITS

    Iowa Injured Veteran Grant- This grant provides up to $10,000 to members or former members of the U.S. military who are residents of Iowa and were seriously injured in the Iraq or Afghanistan theatre of operation.

    Homeownership Assistance- This $5,000 grant is available to a service member who is buying a home in the state of Iowa. Members must have served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 and purchased a home after March 10, 2005.

    Property Tax Exemption - This benefit reduces a veteran’s assessed home value for property tax purposes by $1,850. In order to qualify, a service member must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime.

    Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Credit- This recently-enacted legislation (2014) provides 100% exemption of property taxes for 100% disabled service-connected veterans and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) recipients.

    Lifetime Hunting and Fishing- Veterans in receipt of at least a 0% service connected disability can receive a lifetime hunting or fishing license for a $7.00 fee. In order to qualify, the Iowa resident must have served on active federal service and was disabled as a result of that service.

    License Plates- Honorably discharged veterans (as defined in the Code of Iowa 35.1) are eligible to purchase specialty veteran license plates for their vehicle. These special plates are available for an additional charge through the Iowa Department of Transportation.

    Iowa Veterans Trust Fund- The State of Iowa has established a multi-million dollar fund to provide certain services to veterans. Beginning in December 2007, interest from this fund has been available to provide relief for Iowa veterans and their families. At this time, interest funds are received monthly and approved applicants are placed on a waiting list based on the date received and approved. Currently, funds are used for unemployment or underemployment assistance due to service-related causes, assistance with vision, hearing, dental care, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs; counseling and substance abuse services; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency. Trust fund expenditures are approved through the Iowa Veterans Commission.

    Education- The Iowa Department of Education has been designated by the governor of the state of Iowa as the location for the Iowa State Approving Agency. The State Approving Agency is responsible for approving all GI Bill programs in Iowa for veterans and other eligible persons. (Program approval is a function of the State not the Department of Veterans Affairs.)

    Iowa Guard Tuition Benefits- Present Iowa National Guard members in good standing are eligible for up to $2,700 per semester for full time enrollment. Part-time students are eligible for $196 per semester hour. Additionally, Guard members who are mobilized will receive a tuition refund.

    Operation Recognition High School- This program furnishes an honorary high school diploma to qualifying veterans who did not complete high school (in Iowa) due to armed service enlistment. The application form is used by the IDVA and the Department of Education to establish eligibility for honorably discharged veterans.

    Iowa Veterans Cemetery- The Iowa Veterans Cemetery began operation on July 3, 2008. Located 10 miles west of Des Moines, near Van Meter, the cemetery is available to all veterans, their spouses, and dependent children for burial. Honorably discharged veterans will be interred at no charge and spouses/dependents will be buried for a $300 fee.

    Iowa Veterans Home- Located in Marshalltown Iowa, providing a continuum of care to Iowa’s Veterans and their spouses in an environment focusing on individualized services to enhance their quality of life.

    Veterans Designation on Iowa Drivers Licenses and Ids-Honorably discharged veterans may request the “Veteran” designation be placed on their driver’s license or non-operator identification card. Veteran must present a copy of their DD214 or applicable discharge document to the County or State Veterans Affairs Office to have their eligibility certified. That office and the veteran will complete an Iowa DOT Application form. Note: Veterans may request the “veteran” designation ONLY at time of license renewal.

    War Orphan Tuition Assistance- Children of Iowa veterans killed in action following September 11, 2001 are eligible for up to $11,844.00 per year in tuition assistance at an Iowa post-secondary institution. Children qualify up to the age of twenty-six (26). Dependents of those killed in action prior to September 11, 2001 are eligible for $600 per year with a maximum of $3,000. Residency is required to receive this benefit.

    Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund- The Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship fund provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children of deceased military service members who died while in an active military status after September 11, 2001. The Scholarship is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

    Military Retirement Tax Exemption- This recently-enacted legislation (2014) exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income tax.

    Committed to Serve Those Who Served for Us

    ***** Non-Allamakee veterans please contact your county Veterans Affairs Office*****

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