Where to Start?
There are a wide variety of benefits for which veterans, service members, and their families may be eligible and the process of identifying, understanding and accessing ones appropriate for an individual can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming. Listed below are a number of resources that may be good places to start, by helping identify the programs for which you may be eligible and then linking you with them.
Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs - Visit the Veterans Dashboard for the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs. It contains links to services available from various Maryland departments and agencies. To speak with someone in the Service Program, call 800-446-4926, ext. 6450.
Maryland Commitment to Veterans - This programs works to link veterans and their families with resources, primarily related to behavioral health needs. These include: crisis and emergency services, substance abuse, individual, family and group counseling and other mental health services. Regional Resource Coordinators work with the VA system as well as private providers and other types of agencies to provide assistance. Both veterans eligible for VA benefits as well as those that are not are encouraged to call. They can also sometimes help with arranging transportation to and from medical appointments and may have information on other types of services as well. Maryland Commitment to Veterans can be reached at 877-770-4801.
eBenefits - This program, run by the federal government, serves as a one-stop shop to help you determine for which benefits you are eligible. The programs can also then be applied for through eBenefts, and individuals can create an account, allowing them to monitor the status of applications and keep documents and information on benefits organized. The website also includes a number of links to other useful websites, which may provide additional information and assistance.
Operation Homefront National Resource Directory - The mission of Operation Homefront is to "provide emergency support and morale to our military troops, the families they leave behind during deployment and Wounded Warriors when they return home." To that end, their National Resource Directory provides an extensive listing of resources to assist with a variety of needs including: financial assistance, food assistance, physical and mental health care, child care, home repair, moving assistance and many others. Helpful information on military ranks and acronyms is also available in the directory. If you have additional questions, Operation Homefront can be reached at 800-722-6098.
Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors Guide - The Department of Veterans Affairs created this guide, which outlines information on many of the types of benefits offered by the VA. Topics include: health care, services for wounded service members, pensions, home loans, life insurance, transition benefits, services for family members, burial assistance as well as others. Also included is information on eligibility requirements as well as contact information to help begin the application process.
In many cases, when seeking information on federal VA benefits, it is best to contact the local Benefits Office, which will provide screening and assistance to get connected with the programs for which you are eligible. To speak with someone from the USVA, US Veterans Benefits Administration, Marylanders should contact the Baltimore Benefits Office at 800-827-1000.
Wounded Warrior Project - In keeping with their vision of helping to "foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history", the Wounded Warrior Project has a number of programs designed to support the mind and body, as well as encouraging economic empowerment and engagement. Their programs are focused on assisting veterans with injuries sustained on or after September 11, 2001. In many cases, wounded warrior's family members are also encouraged to participate. Please visit their visit for additional specifics and information on how to get connected to assistance. The local office serving Maryland is in Washington D.C. and can be reached at 202-558-4301.