Veteran benefits are a form of financial assistance available to United States veterans and their families. These benefits are essential for those who have served in the military, as they can help ease the transition back into civilian life.
Several different types of Veteran benefits are available, each designed to serve a specific purpose. However, some eligible veterans don’t know how to utilize these benefits or even realize they exist.
If you’re a veteran, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with all of these. This way, you can make the most of the assistance that is available to you and your family.
In this article, we will discuss what VA benefits are and how veterans can use these resources. We will also explain why veteran benefits are essential for life after military service and who is eligible to claim them.
What Are Veteran Benefits?
Veteran benefits are a type of financial and welfare assistance provided by the United States government to veterans and their families. The VA benefits can help with housing, education, healthcare, and more. The Department of Veterans Affairs created the veterans’ benefits policies to cater to active duty service members, those who rendered military services, wounded veterans, and the families or surviving spouses of veterans who died in action.
There are several different types of veteran benefits available, and each one is designed to help with a specific need. For example, some benefits can help with the cost of housing, while others can help with the cost of education.
Summarily, veteran benefits aim to help those who have served our country transition back into civilian life. These benefits can make it easier for veterans to find a job, attend school, and support their families.
History Of Veterans Benefits
Records the benefits granted to wounded warriors and veterans of the American Civil War began after 1865. In the late 19th century, Congress passed a series of laws that provided for medical care, pensions, and other benefits for veterans of the Civil War.
In 1888, the Veterans Administration (VA) was established to oversee all veteran benefits programs. The VA was later absorbed into the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1930. Since then, the VA has continued to administer benefits programs for veterans of all wars and conflicts.
Veteran benefits have come a long way since the late 19th century. Today, there are several different types of benefits available to eligible veterans and their families.
Types Of Veterans Benefits
The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers many benefits for veterans, active duty service members, and their families. Some of the most popular types of VA benefits include:
The VA provides free or low-cost health care to eligible veterans. Veterans can receive primary care, mental health services, prescription drugs, and more. Undoubtedly, the years of constant battles have taken a toll on the mental and physical well-being of our heroes. The VA health care benefits provide them with much-needed medical assistance to help them get their lives back on track.
The VA offers several housing benefits and initiatives for veterans, such as the VA Housing Program and the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program. These programs can help veterans with the cost of buying a home, renting an apartment, making home repairs, and home loans.
The VA offers several educational benefits for veterans, including the GI Bill and the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program. These programs can help veterans pay for college tuition, vocational training, and more.
Other Types Of Benefits
In addition to health care, housing, and education benefits, the VA also offers a wide range of other benefits for veterans. These benefits can include:
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a caregiver support program if you decide to take care of elderly or disabled Veterans at home. Even though this VA program does not provide caregivers with cash assistance, it does give them access to a free support line and a caregiver support coordinator who can assist them in locating and navigating military benefits.
Long Term Care
Veterans who cannot care for themselves may be eligible for long-term benefits through the VA. Many veterans are qualified to receive funding for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care choices under the Aid and Attendance program.
The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit rates for 2022 are:
- A well Veteran with an ill spouse may qualify for as much as $1,608 per month
- A surviving spouse may qualify for as much as $1,318 per month
- A Veteran with a spouse may qualify for as much as $2,431 per month
- A single Veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 per month
Non-College Degree Programs
The VA also offers non-college degree programs, which can help veterans pay for on-the-job training, distance learning courses, and other educational opportunities. These programs can be especially helpful for veterans who want to enter the workforce but don’t have a college degree.
It may be challenging for many veterans to secure insurance for a condition or accident related to their services. The VA offers several life insurance programs for veterans, including Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI), and Family SGLI.
These programs can provide coverage to a veteran and the surviving spouse or family if death occurs. The insurance programs can offer up to $400,000 in life insurance at competitive premium rates.
Free Tax Preparation Services
The IRS offers free tax preparation services for veterans. This service is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The VITA program provides free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their tax returns.
Transferring GI Bill® Credits
The Post-911 GI Bill® allows service members to transfer all or some of their unused benefits to a spouse or child. This benefit can be used to pay for tuition, housing, and other expenses related to attending college or vocational school. Service members must have served at least six years in the military and agree to serve four more years to be eligible to transfer their benefits.
The VA offers a Home Loan program that can help veterans secure a mortgage. This program helps veterans by guaranteeing a portion of the loan, making it easier to get approved for a mortgage and more favorable terms.
American Corporate Partners
This VA benefit connects veterans with mentors in the business world. The program helps veterans transition to civilian careers by providing access to training, networking opportunities, and other resources.
Who Is Eligible For Veteran Benefits?
To be eligible for VA benefits, you must have served in the US Armed Forces and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. You may also be eligible if you have a service-related disability or are the spouse or child of a veteran who has died.
The following are the basic requirements for receiving VA benefits:
- Must meet active duty requirements
- Pension is not available if discharge was due to willful misconduct
- Must meet the definition of a veteran or be considered a veteran
- Service-connected disabilities cannot be a result of willful misconduct
- Must meet the period of active duty service requirements
- Must have received an other than dishonorable discharge
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for VA benefits, you can contact your local VA office or check the VA website to find out more.
How To Use Veteran Benefits
If you are a veteran, you may be wondering how to use your benefits. The proper steps include:
Checking For Eligibility
You will need to provide your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty (DD Form 214) as proof of service.
If you are the spouse or child of a veteran, you will need to provide a copy of the death certificate or disability rating from the VA. You may also need to provide proof of relationships, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate.
Applying For Benefits
You can apply for VA benefits online, in person, or by mail. You will need to complete an application and submit it along with any supporting documentation, such as your social security number. The VA website has more information on how to apply for benefits, so we recommend giving it a look.
If you are eligible for VA benefits, you will receive a letter from the VA confirming your eligibility and explaining how to access your benefits.
There are many more benefits that the Department of Veteran Affairs offers, which can be found on the federal government websites. While these programs cannot undo the damage that was done during service, they can help make life a little easier for those who have served our country. If you are a veteran in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the VA or a local organization that can help you navigate the benefits process.