The mission of the Department of Veterans Service is to serve Georgia's veterans and their families in all matters pertaining to veterans benefits.

The State Board of Veterans Service recommends policy, procedure, and work projects to the Commissioner, and through the Commissioner controls overall GDVS policy.

The GDVS mission falls into two basic tasks: informing veterans and their families about veterans benefits, and directly assisting and advising veterans and their families in securing the federal and state benefits to which they are entitled.

The GDVS maintains an Appeals Division in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Atlanta Regional Office; operates Veterans Service Field Offices across the state; and provides representatives in the Atlanta, Augusta, and Dublin VA Medical Centers and various VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinics throughout the state.

The GDVS owns the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville and the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta, which is operated under contract with Augusta University.

The GDVS owns and operates two state veterans cemeteries, one in Glennville and the other in Milledgeville. These cemeteries are governed by the same standards for operations and burial policy as VA National Cemeteries across the nation.

The GDVS also serves as the state approving agency for veterans education and training programs.

Who qualifies as a veteran when applying for veterans benefits? 

Per Title 38 U.S. Code § 101 - Definitions, the term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.

The term “active duty” means —

  • Full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than active duty for training;
  • Full-time duty (other than for training purposes) as a commissioned officer of the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service (i) on or after July 29, 1945, or (ii) before that date under circumstances affording entitlement to “full military benefits” or (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
  • Full-time duty as a commissioned officer in the commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessor organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey (i) on or after July 29, 1945, or (ii) before that date (I) while on transfer to one of the Armed Forces, or (II) while, in time of war or national emergency declared by the President, assigned to duty on a project for one of the Armed Forces in an area determined by the Secretary of Defense to be of immediate military hazard, or (III) in the Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941, and continuously in such islands thereafter, or (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
  • Service as a cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy; and
  • Authorized travel to or from such duty or service.
  • A Reservist or member of the National Guard called to Federal active duty or disabled from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty or while in training status also qualify as a veteran.