The Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs is dedicated to serving our state's military families and caregivers. Below are various state and federal resources available to spouses and dependents of active duty military and veterans.
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VA Family Benefits
As the spouse or dependent child of a veteran or service member, you may qualify for certain benefits offered by the VA, such as health care, life insurance, or money to pay for school or training. Additionally, if you are the survivor of a veteran or service member, you may qualify for added benefits, including help with burial costs and survivor compensation.
Blue Water Navy
The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 extended the presumption of herbicide exposure to veterans who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam and extended certain benefits for certain dependents, surviving spouses, and children with eligible health conditions. See if you or your family members qualify for any of these benefits from the USDVA.
VA Caregiver Assistance
The VA has different programs for caregivers of veterans that provide resources, education, support services, and in some cases financial assistance. Additionally, you can find resources for caregivers and information on how to find your caregiver support coordinator.
Nebraska State Veterans' Homes
Nebraska's State Veterans' Homes are open not only to Nebraska's veterans, but also spouses, surviving spouses, and Gold Star Parents. The homes provide services such as restorative nursing therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and hospice and palliative care.
Thrive Spouse Guide
The Air Force has produced this guidebook as part of the Five & Thrive initiative, which increases focus and attention on the top five quality of life challenges military families face, which are childcare, education, healthcare, housing, and spouse employment. The guidebook is divided into three sections: "In This Together", "Five & Thrive", and "Military Life".
Wounded Warriors Family Support
Wounded Warriors Family Support's mission is to provide support to families of those who have been wounded, injured, or killed during combat operations. Their programs include caregiver respite, family retreats, grants and modified vehicles for combat-wounded veterans, veteran welding training, combat wounded parking signs, veteran thank you baskets, and other resources.
USDOL Information for Military Spouses
The USDOL has occupational licensing information, including recognition options of occupational licenses, information about military spouse licensing reimbursement programs offered through the different branches of the military, and contains information on occupations with Interstate Reciprocity Agreements.
DAS Military and Veteran Resources
The Department of Administrative Services' Veteran and Military Resources page contains information on Nebraska's work to make the state more military and veteran friendly, including information about Nebraska's veteran's preference law, which is extended to eligible spouses of veterans and service members, and information about Nebraska's Military Spouse Transition Program.
NDOL Priority of Service
The Nebraska Department of Labor offers the opportunity to receive access to NDOL's programs or services as long as they are a veteran or eligible spouse that meets the eligibility requirements for the program or service.
DHHS Occupational Licensure Information
If you are a military spouse and you have an active credential in another state you may be issued a temporary credential pending completion of the permanent credential requirements. The temporary credential is issued for a period not to exceed one year.
Military Spouse Transition Program
The Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP) helps military spouses plan, prepare, and be ready for the life their family wants after transitioning out of the military, whenever that time comes.
GI Bill/Education and Training
Service members who meet certain qualifications can transfer all or a portion of their GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children. Additionally, Fry Scholarships are available to children and dependents of service members who died in the line of duty or members of the Selected Reserve who died from a service-connected disability on or after September 11, 2001.
Waiver of Tuition
Waiver of Tuition is a state program available to dependents of an eligible veteran that may be used to waive 100% of a student's tuition charges and tuition-related fees.
Lutheran Family Services
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska offers Veterans Services programs, which provide confidential, individualized counseling services for active military personnel, veterans and their loved ones regardless of ability to pay.
NAMI Homefront is a free, six-session class for family, friends, and significant others of Military Service Members and Veterans. Topics covered include mental health, communication, handling crises, treatment, and recovery.
Vet Centers (Readjustment Counseling)
Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families.
VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
If you're the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, you may be able to get a tax-free monetary benefit called VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
VA Survivors Pension
VA Survivors Pension offers monthly payments to qualified surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children of wartime veterans who meet certain income and net worth limits set by Congress.
Nebraska Homestead Exemption
A homestead exemption is available to the surviving spouse of qualified veterans. Click on the Nebraska Homestead Exemption Information Guide to see if you qualify.
Nebraska Veterans Aid
NVA is a temporary emergency aid fund that assists veterans, their spouses, and dependents when an emergency occurs disrupting their normal method of living and when other resources are not immediately available.
Gold Star Family License Plates
The Nebraska DMV offers Gold Star Family License plates in lieu of regular plates to families of persons who have died while in good standing on active duty in the military service of the United States.
Vietnam Veteran Surviving Spouse Pin
The Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes surviving spouses, at the time of death, of a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period 1 November 1955 - 15 May 1975, regardless of the location of service, with a special surviving spouse lapel pin.
Hidden Heroes, a major campaign from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, brings attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and seeks solutions for the tremendous challenges and long-term needs they face. Their goals are to raise awareness of the issues military caregivers confront every day, inspire individuals, businesses, and communities to take action in supporting military caregivers in their communities, and establish a national registry by encouraging military caregivers to register at HiddenHeroes.org to better connect them to helpful resources and support.
The Hidden Heroes campaign allows military and veteran caregivers in the United States to register themselves on an interactive map to get connected to services and support. The map also shows the location of nearby Dole Caregiver Fellows, Hidden Heroes Cities, and VA Medical Centers.
To help the public understand the challenges military and veteran caregivers experience, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation collaborated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Philips to create the Caregiver Journey Map. The map is an ongoing effort to document the military caregiver journey and the impact it can have on the caregiver's wellbeing.
Learn more about the Caregiver Journey Map
A Call To Action
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation challenges the entire nation to respond to the military caregiving crisis with helpful solutions. Resources are available on their website for how businesses, nonprofits, communities, and individuals can help. The foundation also offers toolkits to provide ideas about how to get involved in supporting military caregivers.
Hidden Heroes Proclamation Ceremony
On September 14, 2020, Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation recognizing military caregivers as "Hidden Heroes" and announcing that the State of Nebraska has become a Hidden Heroes state. Andrea Dorsey of Omaha spoke on behalf of military caregivers in Nebraska and as a representative of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation's Hidden Heroes program. She described the challenging and rewarding work of caring for her husband, Joe, a military veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was injured in an explosion while serving in Iraq. You can read more of Andrea's story here.
With the signing of this proclamation, Nebraska has become the 156th community and the fourth state to become a Hidden Heroes Community. Read Governor Ricketts' press release on the signing here.
In the News
- Gov. Ricketts proclaims military caregivers as “Hidden Heroes”
- Nebraska Becomes Fourth State To Sign Hidden Heroes Proclamation
- Pledging Support for Military Caregivers
- Nebraska honors caregivers of wounded military members as ‘hidden heroes’
- Nebraska 156th community to join "Hidden Heroes" campaign
- Governor Ricketts declares Nebraska a ‘Hidden Heroes’ state
- Nebraska governor recognizes military caregivers as ‘Hidden Heroes’
VA Caregiver Resources
VA Caregiver Support Home - Find resources for caregivers, learn what programs are available, find your caregiver support coordinator, and more.
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers - Find out if you may be eligible and how to apply for PCAFC, which provides resources, education, support, a financial stipend, and health insurance (if eligible), beneficiary travel (if eligible), to caregivers of eligible Veterans.
Call the Caregiver Support Line at 855-260-3274, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT, and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT.