Veterans Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255 Press 1

VA Assistance for Women Veterans

NYS Dept of Health Cancer Services 1-866-442-2262
American Cancer Society National Hotline 1-800-227-2345
National Cancer Institute 1-800-422-6237
Centers for Disease Control and Preventioncdc/gov/cancer

Recent New York State Laws & Initiatives:

Driver’s License Fees — NYS Department of Motor Vehicles now cannot require any payments for the duplication or alteration of an existing driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card prior to its renewal date, if the purpose of asking for the duplication or alteration is solely to add the distinguishing Veteran’s mark on the card. This law became effective on December 7th, 2014.
Property Tax Exemption — New law increases the real property tax exemption from $5,000 to $7,500 for Veterans buying real estate with “eligible funds.” “Eligible funds” under this law means money from a pension, bonus, or insurance (or dividends or refunds on an insurance policy), or payments received from the Federal government as POW compensation. This law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
Temporary Hiring List — For temporary employment in public service positions in NYS, NYS must hire a qualified Veteran from a “Veterans Temporary Employment List” rather than going through a temporary employment agency. NYS Department of Civil Service must maintain this list of Veterans seeking temporary employment in a State public service position. This law is effective now.
Tax “Check-Off” For Homeless Veterans — NYS taxpayers can elect to contribute a monetary gift to a new “homeless Veterans assistance fund” when paying their State taxes. This gift is purely a gift, in that it does not reduce in any way the amount of State taxes that an individual owes. This law becomes effective with the taxable year beginning January 1, 2015.
Supplemental Burial Allowance Changes — Previously, under the law governing the NYS Supplemental Burial Allowance program, a qualifying death had to actually occur inside the combat zone for the surviving family members to qualify for the benefit. Under the amended law, however, a servicemember who dies of wounds incurred in combat will be a “qualifying death” for the benefit, even if the actual death occurs outside of the combat zone. The new application is available on DVA’s website by following this link: This law goes into effect on February 14, 2015.
In-State Tuition For G.I. Bill Recipients — Anyone who is not a NYS resident and is attending a State University of New York or City University of New York college using the G.I. Bill shall receive the in-state tuition rate, even though they are not NYS residents. This allows them to maximize their G.I. Bill benefits, and not have to pay the extra costs that would come from being charged the out-of-state rate. This law is effective now.
Professional Licenses For Military Spouses/Domestic Partners — The spouse or domestic partner of a servicemember who is licensed in another state to practice as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson, or to obtain a barber, esthetics, cosmetology, natural hair styling, or nail specialty license, and who moves to New York State with the servicemember, can receive the same professional license in NYS without re-applying. This law is effective now. Of course, there are several other NYS programs that recognize a Veteran’s MOS or out-of-state professional license without making that Veteran jump through any more hoops to be licensed in NYS. For the current list of MOS and license programs granted recognition by the NYS “Experience Counts” initiative, see:
Lifetime Liberty Pass — Veterans with a service-connected disability of 40% or higher can receive a pass for free admission to NYS parks and other State outdoor facilities for fishing, hunting, camping, etc. The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation administers this program. The full guidelines and application form for this pass is available at this link: This program is effective now.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act — NYS established a goal of awarding 6% of State governments to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses. This program is being administered by a brand-new NYS Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development, operated by the NYS Office of General Services. If a business owner wants to apply as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, the application is available at this link:. Applications are being accepted now.
Veteran Liaison Officers — Each NYS agency has appointed a “Veterans Liaison Officer” to coordinate initiatives affecting Veterans, servicemembers, and military families. This program is effective now. -- No Income Limit For Gold Star Annuitants — Previously, NYS required an income cap for Gold Star Annuity Program eligibility. Now, there is no income requirement for Gold Star Parents to receive this Annuity from NYS. Gold Star Annuity application form is available at this link: This law is effective now.
No Income Limit For Gold Star Annuitants — Previously, NYS required an income cap for Gold Star Annuity Program eligibility. Now, there is no income requirement for Gold Star Parents to receive this Annuity from NYS. Gold Star Annuity application form is available at this link:. This law is effective now.

These organizations provide transitions services, scholarships and vocational programs to help Service Members and their families generally, and also to re-integrate in to the civilian world:
(these links will take you off our website).

  • Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Rochester - The motto "Taking Care of our Own" are not just empty words. MCCC grants an ever increasing number of scholarships to Marine Reservists and provides financial support to a host of individuals and organizations who, in turn, help Marines and Marine families. Through the generosity of contributors, the MCCC annual Leatherneck golf tournament, and the efforts of the hard working and dedicated volunteer members of MCCC, we are able to have a positive impact in the lives of those who serve our country.
  • "Finger Lakes Homes for our Veterans" is a not for profit that provides the opportunity for Veterans and their families to experience weekend and week long vacations on lake front properties in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. These properties are donated by their owners and provided at no charge to the veterans. Preference is given to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan so they can re-connect with their loved ones through the enjoyment of all that the Finger Lakes has to offer - Fishing & Boating with their children, swimming, toasting marshmallows over a lake side campfire; experiencing spectacular sunsets over a serene & beautiful lake. This year, we provided 10 homes to veterans and their families. Our goal for next year is 20. Contact Joe Testa at 585-657-6140
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 and website .
  • TAPS provides immediate and long-term emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America.
  • OASIS Adaptive Sports, Inc . (Outdoor Adventures for Sacrifice in Service) is a non-profit organization offering instruction, equipment and support to disabled military veterans in a variety of sports activities.
  • Military OneSource - A 24/7 Resource for Military Members, Spouses and Families.
  • Veterans Outreach Center Inc. - Services/resources for Veterans, Service Members and Families of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
  • VA Grave Markers and Mediallions
  • Operation Purple - National Military Family Association (NMFA) volunteer program provides educational camps for military children.
  • Armed Services YMCA - Provides educational, recreational, social and religious support to the military.
  • Fallen Patriot Fund - Accepts donations to send to families of those who fell in combat.
  • Homes for Our Troops - Assists injured veterans and their families by building new or adapting existing homes for handicapped accessibility.
  • Military Pets Foster Project - Nationwide network of foster homes cares for the pets of deployed personnel.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars - Features a full range of veteran services and advocacy programs.
  • Yellow Ribbon America - Show your support with a yellow ribbon.
  • American Red Cross Armed Forces - Offers medical services to active duty, veterans, reservists and families nationwide.
  • Fisher House - Support families whose loved ones are being treated at military and VA hospitals.
  • USO - Donations to the USO pay for hospital support for recuperating soldiers, USO entertainment tours and other important services.
  • Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses Q&As
  • Homeless Veterans
  • Veterans Benefits Administration Main Web Page
  • The Recovery Village
  • Veteran’s Guide to Online College Success
  • College Financial Aid for Veterans & Dependents