Countless service members were discharged from the military simply because of who they are. Adding insult to injury, they were then denied the services and benefits they earned as members of our armed forces who fought to protect our country and defend our ideals. With this measure we are righting that wrong and sending a message to LGBTQ veterans that we have their backs, just as they had ours.
Do you need assistance with applying for NYS Veterans Benefits under the Restoration of Honor Act?
Our volunteer lawyers can help
In 2019, the Restoration of Honor Act (A8097/S45B) was signed into law in New York State.
The Restoration of Honor Act authorizes the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services (NYS DVS) to restore access to State Veterans Benefits to Veterans who have an Other-Than-Honorable Discharge (OTH) or a General Under Honorable Conditions Discharge due to any of the following:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
This determination does not change a Veteran’s official character of discharge on their discharge paperwork. This determination refers solely to a Veteran’s character of discharge for the purposes of qualifying for specific New York State benefits for Veterans and their families.
- Does not change a Veteran’s Official federally issued character of discharge
- Considers only the Veteran’s time of service and not conduct after service
- Mental health conditions will need a diagnosis by the Veteran Health Administration doctor or a doctor in the VHA-approved network.
- NYS DVS will assist Veterans in accessing their Official Military Personnel File
- NYS DVS shall afford liberal consideration to all evidence provided by the Veteran.
- NYS DVA will provide an appeal process for Veterans who are denied
- A list of benefits the Veteran can apply for will be available to them upon a favorable decision (i.e. Real property tax, Burial Services, Education)
- This determination will refer solely to a Veteran’s character of discharge for New York State Benefits for Veteran and their families.
- NYS DVS will provide an initial decision within 90 days of receiving the completed application.
If you need assistance with the application we have volunteer attorneys who can assist you.
HOW DO I APPLY?
All applications should be submitted either by mail or e-mail.
New York State Division of Veterans’ Services
ATTN: Appellate Unit
2 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12223
Directory of Veterans Resources for New York State Courts
A resource for the courts.
LawHelpNY Veterans and Military
New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs
A state resource for veterans. This website offers a directory of services with location and contact information, benefits information, forms, events and other items of interest to veterans.
Click here to view the New York State Veterans’ and Servicemembers’ Laws handbook (updated December 24, 2018)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
A federal resource for veterans. This website offers a directory of services with location and contact information, benefits information, forms, events and other items of interest to veterans.
Veterans Treatment Court Mentor Program Handbook