Mission and Programs


Our mission is to connect New York’s Veterans, Service Members, and their families to the full range of economic, medical, and social benefits and services earned through military service. We provide the highest-quality support, assistance, and advocacy to those who served in the U.S. military by helping them obtain state and federal benefits earned by their service to New York State and the United States of America.


The New York State Department of Veterans’ Services advocates on behalf of New York’s Veterans and their families, as individuals and as a group, to ensure they receive benefits granted by law for service in the United States Uniformed Services.

The Department provides free benefits advising. Experienced and dedicated advisors — each a Veteran — work in a network of field offices across the state and offer Veterans and their families with professional help to resolve social, medical, and economic matters.

Through this work, our agency:

  • connects New York's Veterans, Service members, and their families to local, state, and federal veterans benefits;
  • implements diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to honor and serve our state’s veterans, who are broadly diverse in race and ethnicity, age, national origin, gender and gender expression, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability status, service era, branch of service, location of service, and experience;
  • administers a Blind Annuity program that provides a monthly stipend to visually impaired Veterans and eligible surviving spouses;
  • administers a Gold Star Parent Annuity that authorizes payment to eligible parents of Service members killed in action;
  • administers the State Supplemental Burial Allowance to honor Service members who gave their lives in combat;
  • promotes the Restoration of Honor Act to restore access to State Veterans Benefits to veterans who have an Other-Than-Honorable Discharge or a General Under Honorable Conditions Discharge due to post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity; and
  • contains the Veterans Education Bureau, which investigates and certifies postsecondary educational and vocational institutions.