Woman's Service Center
Woman's Veteran Service Center
Too many women Veterans don’t know that they are eligible for a full range of VA benefits specific to their service and needs. Below is a general guide that addresses a variety of topics relevant to women veterans. For more information or additional VA outreach please check out the VA Women’s Center.
Does VA provide maternity benefits?
The VA provides maternity benefits to eligible women Veterans. Public Law 111-163 authorizes VA to furnish health care services, for not more than 7 days, to a newborn child of a women Veteran who delivered the child in a VA facility or in another facility pursuant to a VA contract for such care.
Children born to women Veterans who served in Vietnam may also be eligible for monthly monetary benefits, medical care, and vocational training if they have certain birth defects linked to their mother’s service. Contact the nearest VA regional office on the nationwide toll-free number 1-800-827-1000.
Fertility and Women’s Health
What services are available to women Veterans?
A full continuum of comprehensive medical services, including health promotion and disease prevention, primary care, women’s gender-specific health care; e.g., hormone replacement therapy, breast and gynecological care, maternity and limited infertility, acute medical/surgical, telephone triage, emergency and substance abuse treatment, mental health, domiciliary, rehabilitation and long term care are available to women veterans. To enroll in VA health care or find a facility, visit (hyyp://www.va.gov/health) VA Enrollment.
How can I receive gender-specific services, including Pap smears, mammography, prenatal and childcare?
To access benefits apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ which may be obtained by visiting, calling, or writing any VA health care facility or Veterans’ benefits office. You can also call toll-free 1-877-222 VETS (1-877-222-8387) or access the form on the Internet at www.va.gov. The provision of health care to non-Veteran children is limited to those instances where specific authority is given to VA by law. Contact Jonna Brenton the Women Veterans Program Manager at (406) 447-7315.
Where can I get inpatient psychiatric care as a woman Veteran?
Most VA Medical Centers have inpatient mental health programs. If you already have a therapist and need inpatient care, please discuss your concerns with your therapist.
There are programs that offer specialized care for trauma in residential or inpatient settings for Veterans who need more intense treatment and support. Some of these programs serve women only or have women-only treatment cohorts.
There is also a hotline to provide emergency support and resources to homeless Veterans. The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is 1-877-4AIDVET (1-877-424-3838).
Domestic Violence and Homelessness
How do I contact a coordinator for options for women Veterans who are homeless with children?
Contact the local VA homeless coordinator, Social Work Services department, or Women Veterans Program Manager at For Harrison. A listing of Homeless Veteran Coordinator offices, by state, can be found at www.va.gov/homeless. There is also a hotline to provide emergency support and resources to homeless Veterans and Veterans facing the possibility of homelessness. The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is 1-877-4AIDVET (1-877-424-3838).
Dual Military Relationships
Actions every dual military couple should take
If you and your spouse understand the challenges of dual military careers, accept the demands on your marriage and family, and plan to stay in the military together, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of achieving personal and professional goals. Here are a few suggestions:
* Take a proactive role in finding joint assignments. Each branch of service has a program for assigning married couples to the same duty location or within 100 miles of each other. Programs such as the Air Force Joint Spouse Program and the Married Army Couples Program do their best to ensure joint assignments, but there are never guarantees.
Joint spouse programs also coordinate assignments of service members married to active-duty members of another branch or to members of the Reserve and Guard, but these situations tend to be more difficult to accommodate. Experienced couples usually recommend taking a personal and active role working with military personnel managers to identify assignments that meet both family and career goals.
* Seek agreement on dual career expectations. Married service members rarely pursue their individual careers with equal drive or expectations for career advancement. When both spouses are on ambitious career paths, they have made a choice to accept more separation and hardship in their marriage, and they usually don't try to raise children at the same time. But if you're like most dual military couples, one of your careers takes the lead and the other follows. Or perhaps you've agreed that neither career is more important than staying together as a family, and you make career decisions accordingly.
To avoid marital conflict resulting from different expectations for joint careers, it's important to come to an understanding as a couple about your career aspirations. Having a shared vision for your future and a commitment to joint decision making when choices have to be made will help you keep career goals from getting in the way of relationship goals.
* Meet all military requirements for deployment planning and keep plans current. As a dual military couple, you are required to have a Family Care Plan if you have children or certain other categories of people who depend on you. Wills and powers of attorney are also essential legal documents for military personnel. Your command, installation Family Support Center, Legal Assistance Office, and Military OneSource can provide you with information and help with creating a Family Care Plan and obtaining legal directives if you don't already have them.
* Have realistic contingency plans with options for different scenarios. After completing the required planning documents, you may discover a need to develop contingency plans for different situations that go beyond the military's requirements. For example, you will need a plan for making sure your bills are paid and your finances are in order when you, or your spouse, or both of you are deployed. You may also need to have different plans depending on the time of year or length of your deployment. For example, if a grandparent is caring for your children during a joint absence, the children may go to her home in the summer, but if you'll be absent during the school year, she might come to stay in your home until summer recess.
* Give your best to every military assignment. It may seem obvious, but service members in dual military marriages improve their chances of favorable consideration on dual career issues when they work hard and do an outstanding job. Your chain of command will be more invested in keeping you in the service and together with your spouse when you are a proven performer. It's also likely that commanding officers will take a greater interest in both of your careers when they know you both, so participating in each other's command activities may have benefits beyond simply being there for each other
Military Sexual Trauma
Where can I get treatment for conditions related to sexual assault or sexual harassment I experience while in the military?
You may be eligible for Military Sexual Trauma (MST)-related care, even if you are not eligible for other VA services. Every VA facility provides free care for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. Women veterans may be eligible for service connection or disability compensation for injuries or illnesses related to MST. To receive care, contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at Fort Harrison at (406) 447-7315.
What kind of specialized services are available for women Veterans who have experienced a trauma?
Every VA health care facility has providers knowledgeable about treatment for the aftereffects of trauma. Contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at Fort Harrison for more information. Vet Centers provide counseling for combat Veterans who are experiencing readjustments difficulties (www.vetcenter.va.gov). Additional information can also be found at www.ncptsd.va.gov.
Caring for Veteran Parents
How do I get evaluated for nursing home care for my loved ones?
Veterans must first be enrolled in order to receive benefits regardless of their age. Then, you must enroll them in a primary care clinic and ask for an evaluation for nursing home care. The evaluation will be done either by the primary care provider or a geriatrics care team.
Am I eligible for burial benefits? What are my options?
If you served in a branch of the military and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, you may be eligible for burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery of a State Veterans Cemetery.
Female Veterans married to a Veteran are entitled to their own separate grave, headstone or marker, burial flag and Presidential Memorial Certificate. However, they may choose to be buried in the same gravesite as their spouse.
To locate the nearest VA National Cemetery or State Veterans Cemetery, visit: www.cem.va.gov. For more eligibility information call 1-800-827-1000. For information regarding burial at Arlington National Cemetery, visit www.arlingtoncemetery.org.