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Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Unless otherwise noted, the following Departments are abbreviated to mean:
MDVA- Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs
USDVA- United States Department of Veterans Affairs

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs is a
Maryland State Government Agency, we collaborate with, but do not have governance over the
United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), the USDVA Healthcare Administration,
USDVA Benefits Administration or USDVA Cemetery Administration

I have questions about USDVA benefits and military discharge records:

Where can I obtain assistance/information regarding USDVA benefits for myself or my family member?
MDVA Veterans Benefit Specialists (VBS) are located statewide to provide benefits information and assistance to veterans and family members.  For best results, MDVA encourages veterans and family members seeking information or assistance to work with an accredited MDVA VBS.  Visit the service program or call 800-446-4926, ext. 6450 for information on benefits and service office locations.

Where can I get a copy of my DD 214 or military separation discharge documents?
Since October 1979, MDVA has been a repository for military separation discharge documents (DD214).  The Department receives only documents for Maryland residents who, at the time of discharge, elected to have a copy sent to MDVA.  Contact the Service Program at 800-446-4926 or 410-230-4444 x 6450 to request copies.  If a copy is not available, records can be requested by visiting
The National Archives or by submitting Standard Form (SF 180) to:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

My parent is a veteran.  We are seeking supplemental income for them or their surviving spouse to help cover living expenses and/or pay for medical costs.  What is Pension and Aid & Attendance?  Is my parent eligible to apply for this benefit?
USDVA Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime veterans.  Veterans or surviving spouses who are eligible for USDVA pension, and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person, may be eligible for an additional monetary payment called Aid and Attendance.
Generally, a veteran must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period to qualify for a USDVA Pension. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions), with at least one day during a wartime period.  In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the Veteran must be age 65 or older, OR totally and permanently disabled, OR a patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR receiving social security disability insurance, OR receiving supplemental security income.

I have questions about assisting living and skilled nursing care for myself or family members:

Does the USDVA cover the full cost of care for veterans at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home?
The USDVA provides three levels of per diem to veterans who reside in a State Veterans Home.

Assisted Living Care – The current per diem (effective 10/01/2017) is $46.25 per day towards the cost of care.
Nursing Home Care – The current per diem (effective 10/01/2017) is $107.16 per day towards the cost of care.
VP1 (70% or greater service connected veteran) – The full cost of care is covered by the USDVA for nursing home care. This benefit does not apply to assisted living care.

Are private rooms available?
Yes. Private rooms are given to residents who have a medical necessity first (i.e. isolation). After that, the residents who have the ability to pay for a private room receive one. Medicaid will not pay for a private room unless there is a medical need for the resident to have one.

Can the residents wear their personal clothing?
Yes. Residents are permitted to wear their personal clothing. The Home can launder clothes or the family can launder them.

Are spouses of veterans eligible for admission to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home?
Yes, a non-veteran spouse may be eligible for admission if the veteran spouse meets eligibility criteria.  The non-veteran spouse is NOT eligible for USDVA per diem.

Is transportation provided to medical appointments?
Yes, transportation is provided daily to the DC VA Medical Center free of charge.  Transportation for other medical appointments can be arranged, but a fee may be charged.

Who can I call to discuss admission to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home?
Please call the admissions coordinator at 301-884-8171, ext.409 for more information on the Home.  Or visit the website at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

I have questions about Maryland burial benefits and memorial locations:

Who is eligible to be interred at the cemeteries?
The MDVA follows criteria established by the USDVA National Cemetery Administration (NCA) to determine eligibility for burial at a Maryland Veterans Cemetery. Eligibility criteria for both veterans and dependents can be found by visiting the National Cemetery Administration.  In addition to the NCA requirements for veteran eligibility, the MDVA also has a residency requirement for the veteran.

When are the cemeteries open?
For visitors to our cemeteries the gates open every day of the year at 8:00 a.m. The gates close at 4:45 p.m. to allow visitors to exit the cemetery. The cemetery remains open until 8:00 p.m. on Memorial Day (the date of State observance).

Do you schedule interments/burials on the weekends?

Interment/burials are not scheduled on the weekend.  Interment services are conducted daily Monday through Friday every forty-five minutes between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:30 pm.

Are graveside services available at the cemeteries?

For reasons of public safety, graveside services are not available at the cemeteries.  In each Maryland State Veterans Cemetery, a Chapel is provided for committal services.  All services in State Veterans Cemeteries are brief committal services, no longer than 20 minutes. If desired, the family may accompany the remains of their loved one to the assigned burial site and view the interment from the roadside where their safety can be assured.

What is the cemetery program’s floral policy?
Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time in metal containers. Glass containers are not permitted.  Flowers and temporary containers will be removed from graves as soon as bouquets become unsightly. During the growing season, when grass requires cutting, both fresh flowers and those that have become unsightly will be removed from graves prior to grounds maintenance.

Artificial flowers and wreaths may be placed on graves from November 1 through March 31 only.  Wreaths and seasonal displays are permitted only from December 1 through January 31. Any seasonal displays remaining on graves as of February 1st will be removed and discarded. It is recommended that family members and friends retrieve valuable floral arrangements before that date to avoid disappointment.  With the exception of Christmas, potted plants and holiday wreaths may be placed on graves 10 days before and 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day (the date of State observance). Potted plants and wreaths are not permitted on graves at any other time.

Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, glass objects, commemorative and religious items are not permitted on graves. All unauthorized items will be removed and discarded by cemetery personnel.  Floral items and seasonal or other decorations may not be secured or placed on trees, shrubs or other appurtenances within the cemetery.  Read more on the policy here.

How are military honors scheduled for a service?
The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, including its employees, or representatives, are not responsible for scheduling or providing military honors. If military honors are desired, the survivors of the veteran, or their dependent, should address their request to the funeral director.

What hours are the memorials open for visitation?
The memorials are open from sunrise to sunset.

How do I book ceremonies/events at an MDVA memorial?
To book an event at an MDVA memorial location, contact the Assistant Director of the Cemetery and Memorial Program, Russell Ware, at 410-354-3550.

Are the memorials owned by the City of Baltimore or Annapolis?
MDVA is responsible for four memorials, Maryland WWII Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument (Annapolis).  The MDVA shares responsibility over a fifth, the War Memorial Building, with the City of Baltimore.  Read more on the Memorial Program here.

I have questions about financial assistance to help in times of hardship:

Can I apply to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund for emergency assistance?
The Fund is not designed to assist with emergency financial situations.  It can take approximately 4 weeks from the date of application to review for grant approval.

What is meant by “temporary” financial assistance?
The situation is such that if the Fund grants the assistance for the prescribed time period (example, one month of rent) the applicant must show that going forward they would be able to pay the bills on their own.

How long does the process take?
The entire process, from date of application to committee review, takes about 4 weeks.

Does the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund assist veterans with buying a new vehicle?
No, the Fund is not designed to assist with the purchase of a vehicle.

What type of assistance is most often provided to veterans in need?
Most often, the Fund is used to assist with rent or mortgage payments and utilities assistance.  To learn more, contact the Fund Administrator at 410-260-3836.

I have other questions related to veteran benefits and services in Maryland:

I am a disabled veteran, am I eligible for a Maryland property tax exemption?
Veterans who are 100% disabled, total and permanent, may receive a complete exemption from real property taxes on the dwelling house and surrounding yard.  Certain non-remarried surviving spouses may also be eligible for this exemption.  Surviving spouses of military personnel killed in the line of duty may apply for an exemption.  An application is required and the USDVA must signed the form verifying the veteran’s disability rating.  Once complete, the form must be submitted to the veterans’ local tax assessment office.  More information and the application can be found here.

I am a veteran and am seeking information on education benefits for myself and/or my dependents.  Where can I learn about applicable financial aid and scholarships?
Veterans and dependents should contact the Maryland Higher Education Commission to learn more about scholarships.  Several are available for veterans as well as dependents, including Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship and the Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship.  Learn more about education benefits here.

My relative, a veteran, has passed away.  Does the MDVA help pay for funeral expenses?
No, the MDVA does not provide assistance with funeral expenses, however the USDVA does provide a burial allowance.  This is a one-time allowance, ranging from $300 to $2000 depending upon whether it was a service related or non-service related death.  There are a number of eligibility requirements required by the USDVA.  To learn more and apply see the USDVA’s Burial Compensation Site.

I am an employer seeking to hire veterans, who do I speak with to share my job announcements?
The MDVA does not have workforce development services.  The MD Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation manages the US Department of Labor’s Veteran Program.  This Program assists employers who seek to hire qualified veterans.  It also works with veterans experiencing significant barriers to employment by assisting them with finding career training and/or employment.  For more information, contact your closest American Job Center and ask to speak with a Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER).

I have other questions about veteran benefits and services not answered here.  Who can I contact?
The MDVA has an Outreach and Advocacy Program which can answer most questions related to veteran benefits and services in Maryland.  For answers to your questions, or referrals to outside sources who might be able to assist, contact the Program at either 410-260-3842 or 410-260-3840.

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