THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FEMALE VETERANS, INC.       - "Sisterhood of Female War Heroes"

Helpful Links and Documents

Women Veterans

For the first time in U.S. history, women comprise about 11 percent of American troops serving in combat theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates women will soon account for 10 percent of the total veteran population. Women veterans have unique needs and challenges that affect their ability to maintain meaningful employment – for instance, many are single parents with dependent children and have histories of trauma, especially of a sexual nature. VA and community-based service providers have developed programs offering specialized services for women.
  • All VA medical centers and many Readjustment Counseling (Vet) Centers have a designated Women Veterans Program Manager to help women veterans access VA benefits and health care services. For a state-by-state listing of Veterans Health Administration facilities, click here.
  • VA began a systemwide initiative in November 2008 to make comprehensive primary care for women veterans available at every VA medical facility (medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics). According to a GAO report released in July 2009, the facilities are in various stages of implementing this initiative.
  • All Veterans Benefits Administration regional offices have a Women Veterans Coordinator to help women veterans apply for VA benefits and assistance programs. To locate your local office, click here.
  • Most State Departments of Veterans Affairs have a designated Women Veterans Coordinator to help women veterans. A list of coordinators can be found here.
  • Some community-based organizations have programs specifically designed for homeless women veterans; find an organization near you here.
A collection of employment-specific resources for women veterans can be found below.

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VA Women Second Source-Book

VA Releases Second Women Veterans Source-book: The Department of Veterans Affairs has released Volume 2 of their Women Veterans Source-book. Some details:
• Healthcare Usage: The number of women VA healthcare nearly doubled over the past decade, from 175,698 in fiscal year 2001 to 316,903 in FY10. Women veterans now comprise 6% of VA patients. They also use outpatient care more than men.
• Age Distribution: A decade ago, the age distribution of women veterans showed two peaks, at ages 44 and 77. In FY10, a third peak appeared, at age 27. In FY10, 42% of women veteran patients were 18-44 years old, 45% were 45-64 years old, and 13% were older than 65.
• Residence: More women veterans resided in urban areas than rural areas in FY10 (urban 64%; rural 36%).

My Healthevet
This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook defines the scope of VHA services to women veterans.
This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook establishes procedures for providing and coordinating maternity care for pregnant women Veterans enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Authority: Title 38 United States Code §§1703, 1710, and 8153; and Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations §17.38.
ViewPublication.pdf (PDF — 132 KB)
 Number of Female Veterans by State
WomenVetPopFS1111.pdf (PDF — 93 KB)
 Military Exposures  -  Burn Pits

U.S. Department of Defense  Burn pits have operated widely at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan.On Jan. 10, 2013, President Obama signed a new law (218 KB, PDF) requiring VA to establish a burn pits registry for Veterans who may have been exposed to burn pits in Iraq or Afghanistan.  VA will announce how to sign up once the registry is available.

The new registry will enhance VA’s ability to monitor the effects of exposure and keep Veterans informed about studies and treatments.  Additionally, VA is conducting studies on possible health effects.   Health concerns?  If you are concerned about your exposure to burn pits, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.  

VA health care is available to all combat Veterans for conditions possibly related to service for five years after discharge.   Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.  Free Gulf War Registry exams are available to Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans regardless of the number of years after deployment.  You don’t need to enroll in VA health care to take part.   Health effects from burn pit smoke Veterans  exposure to airborne toxins from burn pits may affect the skin, eyes, respiration, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract and internal organs.

Veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan also were exposed to sand, dust, and particulates.   Most of the irritation related to solid waste burning exposure is temporary and resolves once the exposure is gone.  This includes eye irritation and burning, coughing and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, and skin itching and rashes.Health effects depend on a number of factors, such as the kind of waste being burned, individual susceptibility, duration, air flow patterns, and closeness to the pit. You may be at greater risk if you burned waste at the pit compared to those were only in the vicinity of the smoke. 

Type of waste burned Waste products in burn pits include, but are not limited to: chemicals, paint, medical and human waste, metal/aluminum cans, munitions and other unexploded ordnance, petroleum and lubricant products, plastics and Styrofoam, rubber, wood, and discarded food.

VA benefits Veterans may be eligible for VA disability compensation benefits and health care benefits for health problems associated with exposure to burn pits during military service.  Veterans' dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits. Read Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors to learn more.

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