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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Veteran / Military Affairs Acronym Breakdown

ACS: Army Community Service provides comprehensive, coordinated, and responsive services that support readiness of soldiers, civilian employees and their families

CBOC: Community Based Outpatient Clinic that is attached to a regional hospital

CRRC: Community Resource and Referral Center consolidates federal and local partners to provide services to homeless and at-risk Veterans

CVSO: County Veterans Service Officer works for the State VA within their county, assists veterans to get state and federal VA benefits, and maintains a copy of the veterans DD-214 paperwork

CWT: Compensated Work Therapy program is a VHA program that matches/supports work-ready Veterans in competitive jobs and consults with businesses regarding specific employment needs

DD-214: Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty

DEERS: Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is a database of service members and qualified dependents who receive military benefits

Dependents: The spouse(s), children, and possibly other familial relationship categories of a sponsoring military member for purposes of pay as well as special benefits, privileges and rights

DFAS: Defense Finance and Accounting Services provides payment services for the United States Department of Defense

EFMP: Exceptional Family Member Program provides family support and assignment coordination of dependents with disabilities

GPD: VA provides capital grants & per diem operating resources to public & non-profit entities to provide transitional housing & services to homeless Veterans

HCHV: Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program contracts with providers for community-based residential treatment for homeless Veterans

HCRV: The Health Care for Re-entry Veterans Program is designed to address community re-entry needs of incarcerated Veterans by reducing the impact of medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse

HISA Grant: Home Improvement Structural Alterations Grant obtained through prosthetics at the VAMC where the Veteran is seen

HUD-VASH: Supportive housing initiative for homeless Veterans, providing case management and housing choice vouchers

Military One Source: The 24/7 go-to-place for answers for the military community

NCCHV: National Call Center for Homeless Veterans with trained counselors 24/7­­

RRTP: Residential Rehab Treatment Program provides Veterans a safe and therapeutic transitional living environment to optimize successful recovery; inpatient program is 24/7

SBP: Survivor’s Benefit Plan is an insurance plan that will pay a surviving spouse a monthly payment

SC: Service Connected is a VA determination that an illness or injury was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, in the active military, naval or air service

  • Compensable: A VA determination that a service-connected disability is severe enough to warrant monetary compensation
  • Non-compensable: A VA determination that a service-connected disability is not severe enough to warrant monetary compensation
  • Non-service-connected (NSC): A Veteran who does not have a VA determined service-related condition

SHA: Special Adaptive Housing Grant (higher than HISA grant amount)

SSVF: The VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program awards grants to private non-profit organizations that provide supportive services to low-income Veteran families

Stand-Downs: One to three-day events that provide services to homeless Veterans such as: food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, benefits counseling, employment referrals, etc.

State DVA: Each State has a Department of Veterans Affairs that covers Veterans; each state has established its own residency requirements for services

TSES: The Therapeutic Supported Employment Services Program provides vocational opportunities to Veterans recovering from chronic mental illness, chemical dependency, and homelessness

VA: Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly Veterans Administration) has two parts, VBA and VHA

  • VBA: Veterans Benefits Administration is comprised of regional and national offices
  • VHA: Veterans Health Administration is comprised of hospitals and outreach clinics

VA-IRIS: Inquiry Routing and Information System is the VA’s internet-based, public message management system

VAMC: Veterans Affairs Medical Center

VA-WARMS: Web Automated Reference Material System includes manuals and directives on VA benefit policies

VD-HCBS: Veteran Directed Home & Community Based Services is a VA program that allows Veterans to self-direct their care as they live at home or in their community

VEAP: Veterans Educational Assistance Program

Vet Centers: Community-based counseling centers located in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam providing readjustment counseling & outreach services to combat Veterans

VISN: Veteran Integrated Service Network comprised of VHA, VBA and CBOCs

VJO: Veterans Justice Outreach program works to avoid unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration among Veterans

VR&E: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment assists service-disabled Veterans prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment

What’s the difference between Enlisted and Officer?

Enlisted Soldiers are the backbone of the Army. They have specific specialties within an Army unit. Officers act as managers to those soldiers. They plan missions, give orders, and assign tasks.

What’s the difference between Active Duty and Reserve?

Active Duty is similar to working at a full-time job. The Reserves is a part-time job that enables you to keep your civilian career while you continue to train near home.

What’s the difference between TDY, deployment, and PCS?

A TDY is a temporary duty assignment to a location other than your home station. You can go TDY to a conference, a military-sponsored event, or a shorter-term change of station, usually less than six months. A deployment is when you individually or as a unit deploy to a combat zone or combat exercise. A permanent change of station is the official relocation of an active duty military service member, along with any family members living with him or her, to a different duty location.