California is home to nearly 2 million veterans, and Orange County has the fourth-largest veteran population in California, numbering just over 130,000. Our veterans deserve the care they were promised and the benefits they have earned in service to our country. Fortunately, Orange County is home to organizations and agencies that offer a wide range of services, and are dedicated to assisting local veterans.
The following links highlight a number of critical resources that are available to veterans here in Orange County:
myCalVet - Provides veterans and their families the opportunity to create a customized profile which targets the benefits, resources, and services available in their community and throughout the state.
VETERANS CRISIS LINE - Veterans and their loved ones can call (800) 273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, or call your local 24-hour mental health crisis line.
FIND A COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES OFFICE NEAR YOU - County Veteran Service Offices (CVSO) are the key agencies in providing California's Veterans with assistance and connection to benefits and services in local communities throughout the state.
U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Database - FIND A VETERANS HOSPITAL OR CLINIC NEAR YOU
Assisted Living - Veterans who are injured in the line of duty face many challenges when they return home, including the inability to live an independent life. Whether fully or partially disabled, many need assistance with daily activities.
Thankfully, there are assisted living options that can help veterans who have disabilities, as well as elderly veterans who need help as they grow older.
Access to Housing and Education
The College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents - The College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus for qualified dependents of certain Veterans.
CalVet Veteran Homes - Veterans who are age 55 and above, and discharged from active military service under honorable conditions, are eligible to apply for admission. The age requirement is waived for disabled or homeless veterans needing long-term care.
CalVet Home Loans - If you are ready to buy a home, CalVet Home Loans is here to meet our Veterans' home financing needs.
Vietnam Veterans of America
US Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Services
California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance
Employment Development Department
State of California
Work for Warriors
General Assistance and Information
The Minority Veterans Division is the California Department of Veterans Affairs model for inters-and intra-agency co-operation, to ensure all Veterans receive equal service regardless of race, origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
CalVet division for Women Veterans provides information, advocacy, outreach, and support to Women Veterans and their families.
VETERANS RESOURCE BOOK
The California Veterans Resource Book is a comprehensive guide that provides detailed information about the wide variety of the services and benefits available to Veterans and family members. Many benefits and services have been expanded and improved. CalVet’s Resource Book is updated every two years and is available in hard copy and online.
Today there is no accurate record of the total number of veterans' organizations, but among them all, none has grown so large or has exercised such wide influence as The American Legion. None is so intimately identified with the word "veteran".
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America's Armed Forces, AMVETS provides, not only support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, but also community services that enhance the quality of life for this nation's citizens.
Veterans Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars has been a voice for our nation's veterans for more than a century and is the nation's oldest major veteran's organization. To America and the world, the letters "VFW" symbolize volunteerism and community service.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
Special Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards Help Veterans Gain Access to Benefits
Through their service to our country, veterans have earned a wide range of benefits.
However, it can be difficult to verify their service in order to acquire those benefits. In fact, not having proof of military service is one of the biggest obstacles veterans face gaining access to resources, benefits, and services. As such, a new law that I had the privilege of supporting is fixing this problem by adding the word “veteran” to California identification cards.
Veterans can easily prove their eligibility to receive California state and federal veterans benefits without having to carry inconvenient and inefficient papers.
Applying for the veteran driver’s license and ID is easy:
- Simply find your military discharge certificate (DD214). If you need help obtaining your military records, then contact your local County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO).
- Stop by your local CVSO with your DD214 for verification.
- Go to www.dmv.ca.gov, or call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133, to make an appointment. Bring your verified application form, and the small $5 application fee.
You must complete all applicable requirements. The application form certifies the veteran applying for the veteran ID card is from the active armed forces, and was discharged under honorable circumstances.
Your Local CVSO office:
Orange County Veterans Service Office
1300 S. Grand Avenue
Building B, 2nd Floor
Santa Ana, CA 92705