Department History

The history of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance begins in 1945. Both the number of veterans in the state and the number of benefits provided by the federal government increased dramatically at the end of the World War II. The West Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs was created to assist those returning troops and make sure they could access those benefits.

The department went through several changes since its inception. About 40 years ago the name was changed to the Division of Veterans Affairs with the division falling under the administration of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. 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. 

Today, The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance is the cabinet-level agency dedicated to providing services and benefits assistance to veterans. The department’s work brings in $2 Billion of federal benefits per year to West Virginia veterans. The department operates 16 field and claims offices throughout the state, with staff members conducting more than 250 benefits consultations daily. Additionally, the department operates West Virginia’s State veterans cemetery, veterans-only homeless shelter and veterans nursing facility.