The Winona County's Veterans Services Department is responsible for assisting veterans and their dependents in securing information and benefits from the Federal and State government.

Contact Information:
Winona County Veterans Services Office

225 West 2nd Street
Winona, MN 55987

Phone: (507) 457-6455 or (507) 457-6500
Fax: (507) 454-9395

Winona County Veterans Services Department hours:
Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For forms, click on Downloadable Forms

Getting Started
Veterans Services Van

For most benefits, you will need to provide military personnel records. You can receive free copies of your discharge document and other military and medical records by:
Other documents you may need to get started:
  • Civilian medical records
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Identification card or proof of residency
  • Military medical records
  • Military personnel file

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates the nation's largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers and other facilities. They administer a variety of benefits and services that provide financial and other forms of assistance to Service members, Veterans, their dependents and survivors. They operate 131 national cemeteries in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Health & Medical Care
There are many different options for health and medical care.

Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents. For Veterans, Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or a specific disability, such as loss of use of one hand or leg. For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

Education the VA offers a variety of educational and training benefits. They also offer Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) or Chapter 35 provides assistance for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships/on-the-job training, correspondence courses and other programs.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment You may receive vocational rehabilitation and employment services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

Home Loans the VA helps Service members, Veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of their mission to serve you, they provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy. VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.

Life Insurance As part of their mission to serve Service members, Veterans, and their families, VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is protected. VA’s life insurance programs were developed to provide financial security for your family given the extraordinary risks involved in military service.

Pension the VA helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training or survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities.

Funeral and Burial the VA has many programs to assist with the cost of a Veterans funeral and burial.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. 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. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, reserve members and their families. Contact them by phone (800) 342-9647.

VA Home Front is a national call center that provides at-risk and homeless Veterans with access to VA housing services. Contact them by phone (800) 424-3838.

Department of Veteran Affairs National Call Center answers questions on VA benefits. You can get questions answered on your specific claim, make changes to your account, and obtain general VA benefit information. Contact them by phone (800) 827-1000.

For a complete list of all benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs please refer to the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors handbook.

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is dedicated to serving Veterans and their families by assisting them in securing benefits.

Dental Assistance is provided to Veterans and their dependents for routine dental, extraction, and denture procedures. This benefit is income and asset based, and upon MDVA approval of eligibility you and your dependents may receive up to $1,000 for annual routine dental care paid to your choice of providers. If your dental provider determines that dentures are necessary, MDVA will issue an additional denture authorization for up to $3,000 of once-per-lifetime benefits, and if needed, an additional once-per-lifetime extraction authorization for up to $2,000 specifically for tooth extractions in preparation for the dentures.

Optical Assistance is provided on an annual basis to Veterans and their dependents. This benefit is income and asset-based, and upon approval of eligibility you and your dependents may receive up to $400 paid to your choice of providers for annual eye exams and prescription eyewear, to include contact lenses.

Special Needs Grant provides a once-per-lifetime financial grant to help Veterans and dependents stabilize their lives in a time of hardship. Requests are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis and applicants must demonstrate future sustainability beyond the requested amount of assistance. Approved amounts of assistance are paid directly to the vendors chosen by the Veteran as part of their application.

Short Term Financial Assistance (Subsistence) provides temporary assistance with shelter payments (rent/mortgage), current utility bills and health insurance premiums to eligible Veterans and their dependents. This benefit is income and asset based, and is designed to assist Veterans for up to six months for those who are unable to work his/her normal occupation due to a temporary disability, or who are permanently disabled and are waiting to receive a permanent disability benefit from VA Compensation, VA Pension, Social Security or other long term benefit.

Disaster Relief Assistance provides up to a $1,000 reimbursement to Veterans and dependents that live in an area affected by a natural disaster, such as tornado and flooding, when declared a state of emergency by the Governor of Minnesota. Veterans and dependents must provide receipts verifying proof of the pre-approved expenditures listed per type of disaster.

Veteran Educational Assistance is provided to Veterans in the form of a one-time $750 grant for tuition to Veterans who have exhausted, through use, all of their GI Bill benefits to assist with completing a bachelor’s degree. This grant is paid directly to the institution, or may be reimbursed to Veterans upon verification that tuition has been paid.

Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit is provided to spouses and dependents, including adopted and step-children, whose Veteran spouse and/or Veteran parent died while on active duty, or as a result of a service-connected condition. The Veteran must have been a resident of Minnesota when entering the U.S. military, or have been a resident of Minnesota for at least six months prior to passing away due to a service connected disability as determined by the USDVA. Applicants must be Minnesota residents and the spouse cannot be remarried. There is no age limitation for eligible survivors.

Bronze Star Markers mark the grave site of any Veteran buried in the state, where permitted. For more information and/or to obtain a bronze star marker for an eligible MN Veteran, please contact the Washington County Veteran Service Office.

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) Veterans Homes mission is to serve Minnesota Veterans and their families through quality health care in an environment and community of trust, dignity and sharing. Minnesota's five state Veterans Homes are located in Fergus Falls, Hastings, Luverne, Minneapolis and Silver Bay.

Minnesota Department of Economic Development states that former military members, no matter the era of service, receive priority services in all WorkForce Centers across the state. WFC staff provide the fastest, most effective service possible – in person or online.

Market Value Exclusion on Homestead Property Taxes provides a market value exclusion for property tax purposes for the homestead property of an honorably discharged Veteran who has a service-connected disability rating of 70 percent or higher, surviving spouses of qualifying Veterans and service members, and primary family caregivers of qualifying Veterans.

Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota helps Minnesotans by providing a wide range of human support services related to the basic necessities of life, food, shelter, physical health, safety, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been assisting Veterans for over 25 years. Their goal is to provide assistance throughout Minnesota to positively motivated Veterans and their families who are homeless or experiencing other life crises. MACV accomplishes its mission by providing services directly or in collaboration with other service agencies.

Minnesota Family Assistance Centers are geographically dispersed throughout the state to offer resources, referrals and support to all Service members and military family members. FACs are connected to communities and the military units in the surrounding area. They understand that asking for support is difficult for military families and they also know that challenges occur that require outside support. No matter what the challenge or question, the FC supports military families.

Veteran Linkage Line (LinkVet) support is available seven days a week for Minnesota Veterans and their families. LinkVet is staffed by a team of support specialists trained through the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA). Contact them at (888) 546-5838.

Senior LinkAge Line can make your life easier by connecting you to services. Senior LinkAge Line is a free information and assistance service that makes it easy for seniors and their families to find community services. With just one call you can find services near you or get help reviewing your situation to determine what service might be helpful. Contact them at (800) 333-2433.