The VA Welcome Kit makes it easier for service members, Veterans, family members, Caregivers and Survivors to understand the many different benefits and services offered by VA.

“The Welcome Kit can help guide you whether it’s time to go to school, get a job, buy a house, get healthcare, retire or make plans for your own care as you age,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.VA Welcome Kit image

People can learn how to apply for VA healthcare, a disability rating, education benefits and more.

While still serving or a Veteran, there are many VA benefits and services available. The VA Welcome Kit includes handy one-page Quick Start Guides focused on specific topics. VA regularly updates the Welcome Kit online as new information becomes available.

Download the kit

People can download and print the VA Welcome Kit at People can provide general feedback and suggestions on ways VA can improve the Welcome Kit via email at  A YouTube video on the welcome kit is at

Hundreds of Veterans provided input into the VA Welcome Kit. The team who manages the VA Welcome Kit are mostly Veterans and people with many years of VA experience.

This story is part of the Secretary’s Priorities series, which was outlined to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Military Constructions, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies on Feb. 26, 2019, by VA Secretary Wilkie. The Secretary’s Priorities are Customer Service, MISSION Act, Electronic Health Record, Transforming Business Systems, and Suicide Prevention. These stories are designed to give a closer look at the improvements VA is making in how we relate to, interact with, and ultimately serve our Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.

Mike Galloucis is the Executive Director of Veterans Experience Office’s Benefit Experience Directorate and a retired U.S. Army colonel who served 30 years on active duty. He commanded an Army brigade in Iraq for 15 months in 2006-07.

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Published on Feb. 19, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.7 min.

Views to date: 458


  1. Dennis B. Ginther February 28, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    This site is the Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or not? and your going to remove my blog.

  2. Dennis Barry Ginther February 28, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Note: to Robert Wilkie, VA Secretary. Re: Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act 2017. Our Family are Proud American Citizens and have given our military service and health to our country. My father an WW2 Vet, Medic, Battle of the Bulge, Bronze Star Winner and myself an Vietnam War Vet, Spec E5, 1965-67. The wars have left deep scars both psychologically and medically. Myself, I filed years ago Presumptive VA Claim for Diseases (Urinary Bladder Cancer) associated with military duty related exposure to ionizing radiation. My MOS, calibration and repair of radic equipment, a radiation-risk activity, without the required OSHA standard or now required protection. See VA Public Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (
    VFW San Diego Office. 8810 Rio San Diego, Ste 1161, San Diego, CA 92108, represented by under staffed and without required knowledge to represent me. The VA governing body has no desire to classify my claim as a one off presumptive situation, would rather throw me under the bus and bundle my claim with Atomic Veterans who were involved in atomic test sites and other work related activities. I am now 77 years old, with only a few years remaining. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals has taken years but like Agent Orange Claimants, they just wait for you to die. On October 29 2019, VA Order for presumptive exposure to ionizing radiation, is again denied. Mr. Wilkie, Thanks for your time. God Bless America..


  3. CORENE RUSSELL February 27, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    I am the spouse a Vietnam Veteran who passed away in 2015 of respiratory illness and prostate cancer related to Agent Orange. We received the diagnoses just before his passing. After his burial, I went to our local designated VA officer to apply for benefits. After telling him my reason for being there, without viewing any documentation, he immediately asked me about my income. When I told him, he did not hesitate to tell me I did not qualify for benefits.
    Without my husband’s income, I struggled for four years to manage my obligations. Four years later in 2019 the same designated officer published an article in the local newspaper inviting suspected benefactors to apply for VA benefits. He explained possible qualifying categories to include issues for Vietnam Veterans and the documents we needed to bring. I gathered my documents and returned to this same officer, and again he overlooked my qualifying documents and sent me home to look for income verification. Two days later when I returned with my documents, he decided that I may surely qualify based on my husband’s service and diagnosed cause of death.
    Please know how appreciative I am for the approval and help from VA that I am now receiving. However, it is hard for me to forget the fact that I had to struggle for four years due to an unsympathetic/uncaring employee. I also understand that VA may not be able to rectify my problem, but I pray that those in places to serve the VA community would take the time to assure that others would not miss out or be delayed in getting benefits that are due them. Because of this unconcerned worker, I missed four years of benefits that would have been extremely helpful during this readjustment period in my life.
    My advice to others is not to give up when they are told you don’t qualify. The loss of a loved one is already a life altering situation, not receiving benefits due you should not be a part of the problem.

  4. VictORIA ENRIQUEZ y February 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Please send me my tool kit at Apo /dpo

  5. Ronald R Lewis February 19, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Just found out I was covered since May of 2019 by a letter I received about a week ago.
    Have no clue for what am I covered? Do I need to carry my 214 to an interview?

    Thank You
    Ronald R Lewis

  6. Ronald R Lewis February 19, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Hi, received a letter in the mail along instructing men was for tax purposes. Said I have been covered since May of 2019. I had no idea I was being covered, nor what I am covered for. Is there any hopefully easy way I can learn more.

    Thank You
    Ronald R Lewis

    • Tom Purcell February 27, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Hi Ronald,
      I receive one every year. I use private insurance for my service-connected cancer. However i do get hearing aid benefit. All of us that get one Need to take to tax preparer when you file.
      it does not mean you have VA medical. Form is a technical requirement surviving from Obamacare.

      Bottom line: does not mean you have VA medical. Must
      take to tax preparer when file
      My comments cover form IRS 1095-B. This comes with
      cover letter stating no action needed by veteran.
      Hope this helps.

  7. Stephen Lee Neal February 19, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    I have been a homeless veteran and for some reason the VA Medical Hospital has been taking money out of my social security for years. They have been taking $130 a month and I don’t understand how they can do this when I’m a disabled veteran. I incurred my injuries while on active duty. My military medical file states this and I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and cracked six disc in my spine. This is all clearly stated on my records and every time I’ve had to be admitted in the VA Medical facility in Washington DC no one wants to recognize the medical proof of my injuries that I suffered while on active duty. I’m supposed to get $900 a month in my social security but when they take my money its impossible to find a place to live, buy food, personal hygiene products, medicines and everything else I need. Can you help me or point me in the right direction of someone who can and are willing to help me and not make another empty promise. I’ve been applying for my benefits for 30 years. No one is listening or caring even when I show them accurate medical documents with my discharge.
    Please, if you don’t want to help me please just don’t. I would appreciate that a lot more than being told that I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect only to be disrespected any longer. You didn’t do this and I’m just asking that you don’t.
    I fight battles every day in my mind and my heart and I’m tired of getting my hopes up with false promises. I appreciate you reading this and I would appreciate you telling me the truth and do nothing if you don’t want to do anything. Having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, physical injuries like diabetes, heart condition and now being diagnosed with cancer is not easy live with day by day. My life could have been a lot better if I would have been at least told the truth.


    Stephen L. Neal

  8. Larry Milham February 19, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Is there a printed version that can be snail mailed to me?
    I have no way to print anything.
    (address redacted)

    • Edwina Cain February 26, 2020 at 11:47 am

      Where do you live? If you go to the VA Regional Office in your area, dependant upon your type of discharge (honorable, other than honorable, etc) someone will point you in the right direction!!!
      It is also possible to get an upgrade to your discharge, and please note that I said POSSIBLE, to get an upgrade. It depends upon the circumstances if you received anything except an honorable discharge!
      If I were in your locale, I’d make it my personal business to fight your cause! It annoys me when my brothers/sisters in arms must fight for benefits, in your case for 30 years, that should be so readily available to them without all of the red tape and shenanigans that some of us are put through!!!
      Was it not bad enough that we mistreated our Viet Nam Veterans upon their return to the United States of America when it was not their choice to enter the military? We spat on them, degraded them in every possible manner, and even imprisoned them for their PTSD! We denied them the military benefits we promised them and then reniged on the ones that we did give them and either started charging them for the services or took them away completely!!!!
      We even denied poisoning them with Agent Orange when we knew the effects upon humanity prior to spraying it on vegetation. I guess we either hoped the affected populace would wither and die as the vegetation did or quite frankly we just didn’t give a DAMN!!!!!!
      Anyway Sir, I pray that you get the help that you need before your demise!!!!!! God’s blessings upon you!!!!

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