About the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance

​​​​​​​Leadership Team

The Governor’s Veterans Advisory Council

The West Virginia Veterans Advisory Council​ is an eleven-member body made up of state residents who have been separated from the Armed Forces of the United States under honorable conditions.

Our Mission
The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance is a cabinet-level agency providing services and benefits assistance to state veterans. The Department’s work helps bring in more than $3.194 billion in federal funds annually to serve West Virginia’s Veterans. The Department operates fifteen benefits offices statewide, with staff members conducting over 250 consultations daily. Additionally, the Department operates the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, the Barboursville Veterans Home, and the Clarksburg Veterans Nursing Facility. 

Department History

​​The history of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance began in 1945. At the end of World War II, the number of veterans in the state and the number of benefits provided by the federal government increased dramatically. The West Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs was created to assist returning troops and ensure they could access those benefits.

The department has undergone several changes since its inception. About 40 years ago, the name was changed to the Division of Veterans Affairs under the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Administration. In 2011, following an enthusiastic push by veterans across the mountain state, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed Senate Bill 238 into law, which restored the agency’s seat within the Governor’s cabinet and changed its name to the now-familiar Department of Veterans Assistance. 

In recent years, the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance has been on a mission to improve our services for veterans. We have been relocating our offices from older, less accessible locations to more convenient spots, allowing us to serve more veterans. Since 2017, we have successfully moved 12 of our 15 offices. In addition, we have modernized our benefits claims process, enabling our Veteran Service Officers to file claims electronically with the federal VA. This has significantly reduced the time it takes for claims paperwork and supporting documentation to reach the VA’s system for processing.

Today, the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance is a cabinet-level agency dedicated to providing veterans with comprehensive services and benefits assistance. Our veterans, who bring in $3.2 Billion of federal benefits per year to West Virginia, are at the heart of our mission. Our dedicated Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) are instrumental in helping veterans access these benefits. We operate 15 benefits offices across the state, where our staff members conduct more than 250 benefits consultations daily. In addition, we manage West Virginia’s State Veterans Cemetery, a veteran-only domiciliary, and a veterans' nursing facility in Clarksburg. We are also constructing a second veterans nursing facility in Beckley, further expanding our services for veterans. 

Unlike most of the nation, Department Veteran Service Officers are accredited by several service organizations besides our WVDVA accreditation. We can file claims on behalf of veterans for the American Legion, American Red Cross, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fleet Reserve Association, Marine Corps League, and more. This dramatically increases the number of veterans we can reach and help.