Sonoma County Veteran Services is reaching out to the Sonoma County LGBT community to ensure that all people who served in the military are aware of or are receiving benefits that they earned through service to our nation. With last summer’s decision by the Supreme Court recognizing same sex marriage, the agency has successfully assisted a number of Vets who have service connected disabilities to add their same sex spouse to their VA award.
The agency wants to encourage all members of the LGBT community who served in the military to call 707.565.5960 to schedule an appointment to review potential benefits with staff. Potential benefits include: Enrollment in the VA health care system; monetary compensation for disabilities related to military service; Non-service connected disability pension (aid and attendance; need based monetary benefit for Veterans needing caregivers or who have low income)
Additionally, people who were discharged from the military based on their sexuality when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was in effect may be able to apply to have their discharges either upgraded to honorable status, or have certain information removed from the original discharge.