Code Section Group

Military and Veterans Code - MVC


  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389. )

CHAPTER 1. Department of Veterans Affairs [690 - 715]
  ( Heading of Chapter 1 amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 86. )


As used in this division, “department” means the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(Amended by Stats. 1947, Ch. 328.)


The department constitutes a public corporation and may on behalf of the State hold property, request and receive donations, contract, sue and be sued, and has all other rights and powers provided by the Constitution and laws of the State as belonging to public corporations.

(Amended by Stats. 1947, Ch. 328.)


The department may cooperate and contract with the duly authorized representative of the United States Government in carrying out the provisions of this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1947, Ch. 328.)


All State and county officials shall furnish all required information to the department, upon request, and shall further assist the department in any manner in accordance with law and without charge therefor.

(Amended by Stats. 1947, Ch. 328.)


(a) The processing of claims for veterans and their dependents and survivors shall include the filing of the initial claim, the representation of the claimant before boards and offices of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the filing of appeals related to the claims.

(b) The claims may include the following types of benefits and services:

(1) Disability compensation benefits.

(2) Disability pension benefits.

(3) Dependents’ indemnity compensation.

(4) Widow’s death pension.

(5) Burial benefits.

(6) Confirmed and continued claims.

(7) Vocational rehabilitation and education.

(8) Waivers of indebtedness.

(9) Other benefits that result in monetary awards to the claimant.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 804, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)


(a) The department may assist every veteran of the United States and the dependent or survivor of every veteran of the United States in presenting and pursuing the claim as the veteran, dependent, or survivor may have against the United States arising out of military service and in establishing the veteran’s, dependent’s, or survivor’s right to any privilege, preference, care, or compensation provided for by the laws of the United States or of this state. The department may cooperate and, with the approval of the Department of Finance, contract with any veterans service organization, and pursuant to the contract may compensate the organization for services within the scope of this section rendered by it to any veteran or dependent or survivor of a veteran. The contract shall not be made unless the department determines that, owing to the confidential relationships involved and the necessity of operating through agencies that the veterans, dependents, or survivors involved will feel to be sympathetic toward their problems, the services cannot satisfactorily be rendered otherwise than through the agency of the veterans organization and that the best interests of the veterans, dependents, or survivors involved will be served if the contract is made.

(b) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that services provided by veterans service organizations play an important role in the department’s responsibilities to assist veterans and their dependents and survivors in presenting and pursuing claims against the United States, and that it is an efficient and reasonable use of state funds to provide compensation to veterans service organizations for these services.

(2) The Legislature further finds and declares that paragraph (1) shall not be implemented by using the General Fund until the annual budget for county veterans service officers reaches a minimum of five million dollars ($5,000,000). This subdivision shall not be construed to preclude the use of federal funding in implementing these provisions.

(c) Veterans service organizations that elect to contract with the department in accordance with this section shall document the claims processed each year by the veterans service officers employed by the veterans service organization at offices located in California. The documentation shall be in accordance with procedures established by the department.

(d) The department shall determine annually the amount of monetary benefits paid to eligible veterans and their dependents and survivors in the state as a result of the work of the veterans service officers of the contracting organizations. Beginning on January 1, 2006, the department shall, on or before January 1 of each year, prepare and transmit its determination for the preceding fiscal year to the Department of Finance and the Legislature. The department shall also identify federal sources to support the efforts of veterans service organizations pursuant to this section. The Department of Finance shall review the department’s determination in time to use the information in the annual Budget Act for the budget of the department for the next fiscal year.

(e) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Survivor” means any relation of a deceased veteran who may be entitled to make a claim for any privilege, preference, care, or compensation under the laws of the United States or this state based upon the veteran’s war service.

(2) “Veterans service officer” means an individual employed by a veterans service organization and accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to process and adjudicate claims and other benefits for veterans and their dependents and survivors.

(3) “Veterans service organization” means an organization that meets all of the following criteria:

(A) Is formed by and for United States military veterans.

(B) Is chartered by the United States Congress.

(C) Has regularly maintained an established committee or agency in a regional office of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in California rendering services to veterans and their dependents and survivors.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 186, Sec. 1. (SB 815) Effective January 1, 2014.)


The department may make rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1947, Ch. 328.)


In the event that the provisions of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 are amended in such manner as to make the guarantees by the United States of loans to veterans for farms and homes applicable to purchases of farms and homes from the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to Chapter 3 and Article 3 of Chapter 6, the State of California hereby accepts the benefits of such federal act, and agrees to comply with all the requirements of said act.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is hereby designated as the official agency of the State to apply to the United States for such guarantees and to do all acts required in connection therewith. The board is authorized to adopt such rules and regulations and standards as may be required by the federal act and are not in conflict with the provisions of this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 86.)


All salaries and expenses of the Division of Farm and Home Purchases shall be paid out of the Farm and Home Building Fund of 1943 and no part thereof shall be paid from the General Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 484.)


(a) The Department of Veterans Affairs may establish a pilot project for the purpose of establishing a cooperative housing project.

(b) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall work in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Community Development to implement the pilot project.

(c) The Department of Veterans Affairs may use existing home loan funds to establish the pilot project. These funds shall be used in accordance with all laws and regulations governing the use of the funds.

(d) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe the rules, regulations, and conditions necessary to implement this section.

(e) Any cooperative housing project established pursuant to this section shall be restricted for use and occupancy by military veterans and their families for a period of at least 55 years.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 524, Sec. 1. (AB 1330) Effective January 1, 2010.)


(a) The department shall publicize information pertaining to benefit programs that are available to qualified homeless veterans, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The veterans pension programs administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (38 U.S.C. Sec. 1501 et seq.), especially the eligibility for those veterans who are 65 years of age or older or are permanently and totally disabled.

(2) The Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program (Public Law 110-161), and any programs that assist homeless veterans in securing rental housing with that information including, to the extent possible, the information that veterans not eligible for loans under the Veterans’ Farm and Home Purchase Act of 1974, and subsequent acts, may be eligible for housing assistance under the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program.

(3) CalFresh (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code).

(b) The department shall publicize this information using any of the following methods:

(1) Printed material, including, but not limited to, flyers and posters, with the information that can be provided to county veterans service offices, homeless shelters, Veterans Affairs hospitals, and other public and private entities that come into contact with homeless veterans.

(2) On the department’s Internet Web site.

(3) Any other method that the department determines would publicize and create awareness to homeless veterans about the benefit programs available to them.

(c) The information shall also state that veterans may receive assistance from a county veterans service office in applying for any benefits that they may be qualified to receive.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 408, Sec. 1. (SB 1198) Effective January 1, 2013.)


(a) If the federal government acts to reinstate benefits to discharged veterans, regardless of their discharge classification, who were denied those benefits solely on the basis of sexual orientation pursuant to any federal policy prohibiting homosexual personnel from serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, the state shall reinstate to those veterans any state-offered benefits they were denied due to those federal policies.

(b) To the extent practicable, the department shall do the following:

(1) On the department’s Internet Web site, provide Internet resources or links to Internet resources that provide information regarding veterans’ legal services organizations that specialize in military discharge upgrades.

(2) In the department’s offices and walk-in locations, provide printed resources, to the extent available, created by veterans’ legal services organizations that specialize in military discharge upgrades.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 397, Sec. 2. (AB 1505) Effective January 1, 2013.)


The department shall do both of the following:

(a) Make available to family members of veterans returning from active duty both of the following:

(1) (A) User-friendly Internet resources that provide information on the signs of pertinent ailments from various conflicts, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(i) From the Vietnam War, exposure to Agent Orange and post-traumatic stress disorder.

(ii) From Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, exposure to depleted uranium and Gulf War Syndrome.

(iii) From Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

(B) The Internet resources shall provide links to the appropriate agency or person that may help the family members of the veteran address any issues arising from the ailments specified in subparagraph (A).

(2) Printed material regarding the ailments specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) at any public function of the department.

(b) Update its Internet Web site to prominently display a link to the Network of Care for Veterans and Service Members site, which is an online educational tool for municipal employees and community-based organizations that allows for easier access to information and resources relating to veterans.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 515, Sec. 1. (SB 1127) Effective January 1, 2011.)


(a) By July 1, 2016, the department shall do both of the following:

(1) Create a list of unused or underutilized nonresidential real property owned by the department, including property on or near the premises of existing department facilities.

(2) Propose one or more potential uses of those properties that will benefit California veterans and make a preferred recommendation for use of each property, and in doing so, consider uses including, but not limited to, the following services for veterans:

(A) Housing.

(B) Supportive services.

(C) Health care and mental health care.

(b) When identifying the unused or underutilized nonresidential real properties, the department shall consider its inventory of properties as an integrated system, and shall address how prospective uses of the properties could complement each other.

(c) The list of options shall be structured as a prioritized list of projects determined by the department to constitute appropriate uses for the properties identified in the plan.

(d) The Legislature finds and declares that after a use option for a given location is identified pursuant to this section, further study and evaluation may be necessary in order to fully determine the feasibility of that use option and take steps toward its implementation.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 641, Sec. 1. (AB 585) Effective January 1, 2015.)


(a) The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Consumer Affairs shall both, in consultation with each other, take appropriate steps to increase awareness regarding professional licensing benefits available to veterans and their spouses.

(b) The awareness efforts in subdivision (a) shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:

(1) Posting information and resources on each department’s respective Internet Web site.

(2) Including information about these benefits in any communications that these agencies have with veterans when it is appropriate.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 414, Sec. 1. (SB 1137) Effective January 1, 2019.)


(a) The department shall provide one employee, trained and accredited by the department, for every five state prisons to assist incarcerated veterans in applying for and receiving any federal or other veterans’ benefits for which the veterans or their families may be eligible.

(b) The department shall cooperate and collaborate with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to ensure that department employees have the greatest access and effectiveness practicable, while taking all necessary safety precautions, in order to assist veterans incarcerated within the state prisons.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 599, Sec. 1. (SB 776) Effective January 1, 2018.)

MVCMilitary and Veterans Code - MVC