This is an overview of VA benefits as a beginning for you sourced from the VA. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wide range of benefits for our Nation’s veterans, service members, and their families.
Who Is Eligible for VA Benefits?
You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are:
- A veteran
- A veteran’s dependent
- A surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran
- An active duty military service member
- A member of the Reserve or National Guard
VA Benefits and Services Available:
VA benifits can pay you monthly compensation if you are at least 10% disabled as a result of your military service.
You can receive a monthly pension if you are a wartime veteran with limited income, and you are permanently and totally disabled or at least 65 years old. There is no time limit to apply for Compensation and Pension benefits.
Health Care in VA benefits:
VA provides a number of healthcare services.
- Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services
- Domiciliary, nursing home, and community-based residential care
- Sexual trauma counseling
- Specialized health care for women veterans
- Health and rehabilitation programs for homeless veterans
- Readjustment counseling
- Alcohol and drug dependency treatment
- Medical evaluation for disorders associated with military service in the Gulf War, or exposure to Agent Orange, radiation, and other environmental hazards Combat Veterans – A provides free health care for veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, for any illness possibly related to their service in that theater. Note: There are time limits for application. You have five years from the date of your discharge from active duty on or after January 28, 2003. You have until January 27, 2011, if you were discharged from active duty before January 28, 2003, and were not enrolled as of January 28, 2008.
Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment:
VA provides assistance to veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment. For veterans with serious service-connected disabilities, VA also offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. There are five service delivery options available:
- Rapid Access to Employment
- Employment through Long Term Services, and
- Independent Living
Assistance to veterans may be provided in the form of job search, vocational evaluation, career exploration, vocational training, educational training and supportive rehabilitation services.
There are time limits for application. Generally, veterans have 12 years from the date VA informs them that they have at least a 10% rating for a service-connected disability.
Education & Training:
VA pays benefits to eligible veterans, reservists, and active duty service members while they are in an approved education or training program. Based on the type of military service, benefit programs are:
- Active Duty Service: Persons who first entered active duty after June 30, 1985, are generally eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30). Those who entered active duty for the first time after December 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985, are generally eligible under the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP).
- Reserve/Guard Service: Benefits are available to Reserve and National Guard members under [a] the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 1606) who signed a six-year commitment with a reserve unit after June 30, 1985, and remain actively drilling and in good standing with their unit, and [b] the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607) who were activated under Federal authority for a contingency operation and served 90 continuous days or more after September 11, 2001. Time Limits: Generally, veterans have 10 years from the date they were last released from active duty to use their education and training benefits, and Reserve and National Guard members have 14 years from the date they became eligible for the program unless they leave the Selected Reserves before completing their obligation.
VA offers a number of home loan services to eligible veterans, some military personnel, and certain surviving spouses.
- Guaranteed Loans: VA can guarantee part of a loan from a private lender to help you buy a home, a manufactured home, a lot for a manufactured home, or certain types of condominiums. VA also guarantees loans for building, repairing, and improving homes.
- Refinancing Loans: If you have a VA mortgage, VA can help you refinance your loan at a lower interest rate. You may also refinance a non-VA loan.
- Special Grants: Certain disabled veterans and military personnel can receive grants to adapt or acquire housing suitable for their needs.
There is no time limit for a VA home loan.
Service members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is low-cost term life insurance for service members and reservists. Coverage of up to $400,000 begins when you enter the service. Generally, it expires 120 days after you leave the service.
Traumatic SGLI is automatically included in SGLI and provides for payment up to $100,000 for service members who lose limbs or incur other serious injuries.
Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is renewable term life insurance for veterans who want to convert their SGLI up to an amount not to exceed the coverage you had when you separated from service. You must apply within one year and 120 days from separation.
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance, also called “RH” Insurance, is for service-connected veterans. Coverage is $10,000. You may be eligible for a $20,000 supplemental policy if you are totally disabled. You must apply for RH within two years of being rated service connected by VA.
Dependents & Survivors:
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is payable to certain survivors of:
- Service members who died on active duty
- Veterans who died from service-related disabilities
- Certain veterans who were being paid 100% VA disability compensation at time of death.
Death Pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. The benefit is based on financial need.
Parents’ DIC is payable to some surviving parents. The benefit is based on financial need.
VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans.
Dependents & Survivors Education & Training: Some family members of disabled or deceased veterans are eligible for education and training benefits.
Home Loans: Certain surviving spouses may be eligible for this benefit.
There are some time limits. For education and training benefits, spouses and surviving spouses have 10 years from the date VA first finds them eligible, and surviving spouses of service members who died while on active duty have 20 years. Children are eligible from age 18 to 26. These time limits can sometimes be extended. There are no time limits to apply for the other benefits described above.
VA offers certain benefits and services to honor our Nation’s deceased veterans.
- Headstones and Markers: VA can furnish a monument to mark the grave of an eligible veteran.
- Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC): VA can provide a PMC for eligible recipients.
- Burial Flag: VA can provide an American flag to drape an eligible veteran’s casket.
- Reimbursement of Burial Expenses: Generally, VA can pay a burial allowance of $2,000 for veterans who die of service-related causes. For certain other veterans, VA can pay $300 for burial and funeral expenses and $300 for a burial plot.
- Burial in a VA National Cemetery: Most veterans and some dependents can be buried in a VA national cemetery.
Time Limits: There is no time limit to claim reimbursement of burial expenses for a service-related death. In other cases, claims must be filed within two years of the veteran’s burial.
Benefits Information & Assistance:
For more details on VA Benefits click on this link now: httpss://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/
For more information about specific benefits with toll free phone numbers go to this link:
If you want to learn if you or your loved one may qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits, contact accredited VA Attorney Frazier for a free telephone initial consultation at:
After 5PM: 813-431-3193