The benefit programs referenced below are very complex and the applications can be overwhelming. You are welcome to utilize the technical expertise and skills of our Veterans Service Office Staff to complete the forms, provide technical advice, package and submit your claims and be your advocate on your claims.


Unauthorized Representation of Claimants and Unlawful Solicitation of Fee


Veteran Drivers License Poster

Veterans disability claims. There are two categories:

1. Compensation is a claim for official recognition of a medical condition that was treated while on active duty or within a presumptive period after leaving active duty. Compensation provides monetary monthly disability payments and free medical treatment for service connection conditions. (Ref: VA Form 21-526EZ)

2. Pension is a program for war time veterans only, who are totally disabled, not related to military service, or are age 65 or older and have a below the poverty level annual family income. The Pension Program provides a monetary benefit that is the difference between the federally defined poverty limit and the eligible veterans annual family income. The application for either pension program is a 21-527EZ.

This benefit provides compensation for service connected conditions including Diabetes II, any one of several cancers from Vietnam service or radiation exposure, Hepatitis C from Vietnam service, or any medically diagnosed condition that was diagnosed during the period of active duty. Certain medical or psychiatric conditions that were diagnosed years after leaving active duty may also lead to viable claims. Totally disabled veterans with low income and wartime period of service may be eligible for veterans pension compensation under this claim benefits in certain cases.

All veterans with an honorable discharge are entitled to receive no cost internment in a National Veterans Cemetery. Mortuary charges will be paid by the veterans family or friends. Please view VA Form 21P-530.

Surviving spouse or children of a deceased veteran may be entitled to receive benefits if the veteran’s death occurred in service, when a veteran dies of a service-connected disability, or in certain circumstances if a veteran rated totally disabled from service-connected disability dies from non-service-connected conditions. Please view VA Form 21-534EZ.

You may be entitled to receive VA Education Benefits under Chapter 30, Chapter 32 or Chapter 1606. Please view VA Form 22-1990.

Character of discharge or service is an important part of determining basic eligibility to access benefits administered by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In general, to receive benefits and services under the Veterans Administration, anyone who served in the United States Armed Services must have a character of discharge or service that is determined to be under other than dishonorable conditions. If you have questions about basic eligibility, please visit the Orange County Veterans Service Office. Please view the Benefits Based on Character Service chart.

To request military medical records, medals, or discharge documents complete Form SF-180. Requested documents will be mailed via hard copy files and / or microfiche records. For more information regarding military discharge documents, medical records and medals, visit the National Personnel Records Center. Please view Standard Form 180.

College Tuition Fee Waiver


Updated Information regarding FEE WAIVER FOR NON-FILING STATUS - Form VSD-022 will no longer be accepted in lieu of a non-filing letter, beginning AY 2021-22.

Student who claim non-filing status will be required to obtain a non-filing letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Franchise Tax Board (FTB) after the 2021 tax deadline of May 17, 2021.

Please note that many IRS and/or FTB offices will not issue non-filing letters until after June 30th.

In preparation for the upcoming 2021-22 Academic Year, please review the "New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation" letter from the IRS that may affect students applying for the College Fee Waiver Program (CFW) under Plan B.

The letter explains how the American Rescue Plan, enacted on March 11, 2021, allows individuals to exclude up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation, from their taxable income for the 2020 tax year. If the Student is married, each spouse will receive the same consideration. This does not change the DVS-40 application process under Plan B or any other plan. This memo and the attached letter are being provided so counties can share this information with interested parties.

  • The College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veterans' Dependents waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, Campus of the University of California, or Campus of the California State University system. This program does not cover expenses like books, housing and parking. The student must meet the in-state residency requirements as determined by the school.

  • Academic Year varies for each school and it is the responsibility of the student to verify the Academic Year for the college they are applying to.

New student's must complete and submit the following required documents:

If you are re-applying, complete and submit the documents listed in the check-list above.

  • Should you have any questions regarding any of the required documents listed in the links, please contact the Veterans Service Office at

  • Verification of Income:
    A copy of the Student's Income Tax Return filed with IRS (1040, 1040EZ, or TeleFile) or FTB must be submitted with the application and must include the signature of the student. If a copy is not available, a statement from the IRS or FTB must be provided verifying the Student's Annual Gross Income (AGI) or that no record of a return was filed. 

    In addition, the student must provide confirmation that the taxes filed were accepted by the IRS.

    In addition, if FTB or IRS tax return was electronically submitted, confirmation that the return was accepted must also be provided.
  • Note: Student's Annual Gross Income (AGI) for 2021 - 2022 Academic Year is: $13,465.

  • Note: Student's Annual Gross Income (AGI) for 2020 - 2021 Academic Year is: $13,300.

  • Note: Student's Annual Gross Income (AGI) for 2019 - 2020 Academic Year is: $13,064.


ATTENTION: Effective July 6, 2020 the updated College Tuition/Fee Waiver form (DVS-40) dated 07/20 is the only form the OCVSO will accept.  Please ensure you submit the correct DVS-40 form along with the required documentation listed above in the updated “Requirements Check-List”.  Please ensure you submit government issued documentation (i.e., birth certificate, marriage certificate, ID, etc.) which contains signatures, dates, seals and embossments (if applicable), as wallet editions, or confidential versions will not be accepted.  If we are unable to verify the authenticity of the vital records you submit with your application (i.e., birth certificate, marriage certificate etc.), you may be required to present original or certified copies. 


  • Applications MUST be complete with all the required supporting documents. Incomplete applications will be Rejected

  • All College Fee Waiver applications submitted to the OC Veterans Service Office are processed through our NEW automated system, please see link below to submit your application.
  • Please upload all supporting documents in PDF format. All files not to exceed 10 MB. All other file formats (JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF) will not be accepted.
  • Please allow 14 business days for processing. Notification of acceptance and eligibility will be generated electronically through the email provided on the application.
  • Once approved, eligible students may download the College Fee Waiver Letter from the email address listed on their application that they then MUST provide to their respective college campuses. The OC Veterans Service Office does not email eligibility letters directly to students or their colleges/ universities.

    Note: Please be advised that when a waiver is granted, many schools do not waive summer sessions. Students taking classes during the summer will have to pay all tuition and fees if the college does not waive the summer session. 


Effective January 1, 2020, new legislation passed that California veterans will no longer need to pay pet adoption fees at public animal shelters. Under Senate Bill 245 (aka the Pets for Vets Act), veterans will be able to adopt a cat or dog and have their adoption fee waived. OC Animal Care will verify the veteran status by using the state’s existing “VETERAN” driver’s license designation.

A few important notes regarding SB 245:

  • Only a current and valid CA Driver's License or ID with the word "VETERAN" will be accepted.
  • No other form of verification or documentation will be accepted; i.e. DD214 or VA Medical Card.
  • This new law is only available to California veterans; spouses and family members are not eligible.
  • OC Animal Care may limit the number of animals to one per veteran in a 6-month period.
  • Veterans will need to pay any pet license and microchipping fees is applicable.

Orange County is proud to support this new law and looks forward to connecting veterans with OC Animal Care for assistance with discounted pet adoption!