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Incarcerated Veterans

Veterans involved in the criminal justice system resulting in incarceration may still be entitled to their VA benefits. It's important that each incarcerated veterans make contact with their Health Care for Re-entry Veterans Program or VA re-entry specialist. There is a specialist assigned to each state. It may be possible to get your compensation benefit (Disability Compensation or Pension) and health benefits establish while still incarcerated. The amount of benefits paid out to veterans who are incarcerated in a Federal, State, or local penal institution; depends on the type of benefit and reason for incarceration some benefits can be apportioned to the veteran's spouse for more information on benefits while incarcerated click here.  

Health Care for Re-entry Veterans Program (HCRV)

The Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV) Program is designed to address the community re-entry needs of incarcerated veterans. Contact for California: George Kennedy

  • Outreach and pre-release assessments services for veterans in prison

  • Referrals and linkages to medical, psychiatric, and social services, including employment services upon release

  • Short term case management assistance upon release

County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO)

In California, the County Veterans Service Officer plays a critical role in the veteran's advocacy system and is often the initial contact in the community for veteran's services. 

  • Start/Continue claim for benefits if applicable

  • Connect to housing

  • Help connect with medical services

Local Interagency Network Coordinators (LINC)

Local Interagency Network Coordinators (LINC) has established collaborative partners that assist in the distribution of resources for veterans. LINC's have an extensive knowledge of the resources in their covered areas.

  • Provide Resources for veterans

  • Act as liaison between vets and direct service provider

  • Available to answer questions as needed


Health Care for Homeless Veterans Contracts (HCHV) provides emergency housing, shelter and treatment through local community providers. Local VA facilities contract with community agencies for beds which are available to veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare. Provide healthy and safe places to live.

  • Provides housing options

  • Provide contacts for employment and education services

Employment/ Education

There are many different resources for employment and education. Veterans are encouraged to start at the Employment Development Department (EDD). EDD assists veterans and their eligible spouses maximize their employment and training opportunities. Veterans are entitled to many resources designed to help in their search for employment.  

The EDD veterans' representatives specialize in assisting veterans in their efforts to return to work and are located in many local EDD offices. Services provided include a veteran 24-hour priority hold on all job listings, customized job search assistance, job fairs, employer recruitments, and other events and resources.

Veterans are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an EDD veterans' representative for personalized services and assistance to achieve professional goals.


VA Benefits

Eligibility – VA can pay certain benefits to Veterans who are incarcerated in a Federal, State, or local penal institution; however, the amount depends on the type of benefit and reason for incarceration. For more information:

State Forms and Resources

Health Care

Education Benefits

VA Forms and Resources



Request for Military Records



Burial Benefits

Education Benefits

Veteran Services Benefits - Card

Incarcerated Veterans