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    If you were a member of the armed forces serving on either active duty or full-time National Guard duty, you qualify for assistance targeted toward veterans who are going through the reentry process.

    As a veteran preparing for reentry, consider contacting veteran-specific resources that are committed to preventing veteran recidivism. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps veterans access health care, through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and general benefits, through the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

    The first step is determining whether you are eligible for benefits, or whether you can become eligible for benefits. Many individuals who have served in the U.S. Military believe they are unable to receive benefits when that is not that case! Every county in Oregon has a designated Veterans Service Officer (VSO). A VSO is there to help veterans identify eligibility and file claims for assistance. See “Veterans Resources” to find a VSO near you.

    If you, as a veteran, have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and you have served more than than 60 days, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires that you notify the VA. According to federal law, a veteran, while incarcerated for a felony or misdemeanor, may not receive their entire reimbursement, however, there is a 60-day grace period. That said, if a veteran, convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, serves 60 days or more and does not notify the VA, they will be required to repay the VA for the benefits received while incarcerated. If you are unsure as to whether you notified the VA upon your entry to prison, contact a VSO near you (see “Veterans Resources”), or keep reading for information regarding the Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program.

    The VA operates a Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program (HCRV) in every state. HCRV services range from pre-release assessments to health care referrals or assistance upon release. Every state has an HCRV Coordinator and Reentry Specialist who helps veteran inmates prepare for their release. It is important to start forming a connection with the VA to ease your transition. You can contact the Oregon HCRV Coordinator and Reentry Specialist at:

    Diana Rogers
    (360) 624-7910

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