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Disclaimer: The following web sites are not associated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., or its Board of Directors, and has no official or unofficial affiliation with the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., or its Board of Directors, or its membership. This web page was created as a resource for the members of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. as well as use by the general public.

Below is a message from the Office of Survivor Assistance. GSW works closly with the OSA for benefit and policy changes within the VA, clarification of policy, and in many instances casework intervention: 

Contact the Office of Survivor Assistance at

Vietnam/Korea/Agent Orange birth defects claims 

Below are instructions on how to file for Birth Defects and the VA form 21-0304 for submission of any confirmed birth defects of children from Vietnam, and in some cases Korea.

VA_Form 21-0304 BirthDefects20Feb2021.pdf (February 2021)
BirthDefectsHowToFileClaim.jpg (February 2021)

American Veterans Aid
Wartime veterans and their surviving spouses, 65 years and older, may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called Aid and Attendance provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The Benefit is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term care for those who need assistance with the daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.



Delivers Health Benefits Administration on behalf of those enrolled through the VA.  Once a survivor remarries their eligibility for health care may be restored (after death or divorce) through ChampVA. Members not eligible for active duty or retiree TRICARE may be eligible for CHAMPVA.

PowerPoint slides of CHAMPVA eligibility (April 2018)
Additional VA/DoD Survivors Forum Documents Forever GI Bill (April 2018)
Special Operations Warrior Foundation (April 2018)
National Cemetery Administration Legacy Campaign (April 2018)
Helping Bereaved Men (April 2018)
Online Survivors Benefit Report (January 2019)
DS Logon Brochure (January 2019)
Veterans Education Success Slides (January 2019)
Link to VA Pension and Fiduciary Office final rule from Federal Register (January 2019)
Pension Policy and Procedures mailbox address for questions and/or inquiries:



GSWs in need of immediate crisis intervention are urged to call this number or text 838255

National Associations of County Veterans Service

County Veterans Service Officers provide information and assistance to survivors, veterans, military personnel and family members.

National Association of State Directors of Veterans

This website provides information about the individual state benefits for survivors, veterans, military personnel and families.

Department of Veterans Affairs Handbook

2013 Online Edition of the Department of Veterans Affairs Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors.

Department of Veterans Affairs


Direct Link to the Department of Veterans Affairs

For a complete listing of VA phone numbers:

View the VA Survivor Benefits Quickstart Guide (added 9/17/2019)

View the VA Burials and Memorials Guide (added 6/2/2020)

Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS)

1-800-959-TAPS (8277)
Compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a military loved one. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones.

The National Resource Directory

The National Resource Directory provides access to over 10,000 services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. We are proud to assure our users they can trust the content as resources are reviewed regularly by a content management team that includes several Veterans and subject matter experts.

U.S. Army Survivor Outreach Services

SOS Office

1-855 707-2769

Our Fallen Warriors have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Army has a commitment to their Families. Families deserve our respect, gratitude and the very best we can provide.

U.S Navy Gold Star Program



Navy Gold Star is an inclusive program – regardless of your loved one’s military branch, location, or manner of death. Our commitment to you is that regardless of the branch of service, we will provide you with support and help you locate your branch’s survivor services. Navy Gold Star support coordinators provide dedicated outreach and support when, and for as long as, you desire. Our coordinators are located all over the United States and are ready to help you in any way they can.

Readjustment Counseling Service Vet Center

Readjustment Counseling Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, provides bereavement counseling for spouses, parents and children of servicemembers killed on active duty in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Military OneSource

Military OneSource is a virtual extension of the family support services found on an installation. Consultants are standing by 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. Consultants can assist with big issues or small problems and can also refer callers to six short term counseling sessions in their hometown. All of this is available at no cost to the family.

National Veterans Foundation




The NVF has opened a toll-free helpline (1-888-777-4443) for Troops, Veterans and their families. All calls are answered live by trained veterans, who listen, provide crisis intervention services, emotional support and information, or immediate referrals to local providers who can help. The NVF Helpline has already served more than 275,000 people in need. NVF aims to get the helpline running 24/7, but it currently operates from 9a.m.-9p.m., M-F. All messages received during off hours are returned the next business day, and requests for assistance can also be submitted via e-mail at 
or 1-888-777-4443

U.S. Department of Defense

Link to Department of Defense websites below. 

DFAS- Military and retirement Annuitant pay

888-332-7411, option 1

Military Pay contact for Annuitants


West Region

Health Net

East Region

Humana Military

The Health System of the US Military. This system is divided into regions and is contracted to various companies to manage.

West Region: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa (excludes Rock Island arsenal area), Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri (except St. Louis area), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas (southwestern corner including El Paso), Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

East Region: Under the new regional contracts, the East Region is a merger of the North and South Regions and includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa (Rock Island area), Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri (St. Louis area), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (excluding El Paso area), Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.


Hours: M-F 6am -3:30 pm




To obtain ID CARDS, healthcare and other benefits from the US Military your information must be in DEERS

The link is to a DEERS locator service. Usually this is Pass and ID offices at various installations



888-838-8737 (toll-free)


866-847-1264 (toll-free)


+ 866-721-8737

Provides dental insurance for those survivors of retired members and those enrolled through the VA pilot project. Active duty deaths are covered under another system initially.

Thank you to our 2023 Corporate Sponsors! See 2023 Convention Sponsors.

Gold Level


Silver Level 

VFW 5434 Brown & Small Post
Bronze Level

For additional information, or to become a Gold Star Wives Corporate Sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page.

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Gold Star Wives is a Congressionally Chartered non-profit service organization that is capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses.

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Birmingham, Alabama Office
P.O. Box 279
Kimberly, AL 35091
Phone: 1-888-751-6350

DC Area Office
6412 Brandon Ave Ste 345
Springfield, VA 22150

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)4 National Military Widow/Widowers Service Organization chartered by the United States Congress. Donations are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes but may be deductible as trade or business expenses. Copyright © 2024.

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