Veterans, Are You Receiving the Benefits You Deserve?
This information is current as of May 3, 2022.
You’ve served our country, and now you’re back in action on the civilian front. With all of your past dedication, it’s important to ask – veterans, are you receiving the benefits you deserve?
From free medical care to job training and pensions, veterans are entitled to many benefits in the U.S. This article covers those areas and counseling, education, housing, disability, and even funeral assistance resources for all vets and their families.
Keep reading to learn what you’re entitled to and how to get it today.
How to Get Veterans’ Benefits
All vet benefits have requirements. Still, all benefits start with one necessity – being a U.S. veteran who has served in the military. Veterans include those who have been active military members, naval members, or air service members.
In addition to being a vet, you must have been discharged from the military on favorable terms – this means any discharge that is not dishonorable. Unfortunately, many dishonorably discharged veterans will not have access to the benefits below.
Some veterans’ benefits are granted automatically, while others require you to opt-in or complete a short application. Most resources can be found by contacting your local Veterans’ Affairs (VA) center, which you can find on this page. With almost 2,000 centers located across the U.S., you are sure to find resources a short drive away.
Below, we’ll break down each type of benefit offered to veterans and how you can qualify for and receive them.
Free or Low-Cost Medical Care
The first stop for veterans seeking medical care would be the VA. The VA is required to provide needed outpatient care services to service members. Sometimes they also provide healthcare to the dependents of veterans.
VA healthcare can cover a wide array of general medical procedures. These services include treatment, supplies, and other services.
There are also additional programs you may qualify for that treat:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Blindness rehabilitation
- Radiation exposure
- Agent Orange exposure
Your coverage depends on various factors that place you in a particular priority group.
- Priority Group 1: Those with service disabilities of 50% or higher or those who are determined to be unemployable due to conditions related to their service time
- Priority Group 2: Those with service disabilities at 30%-40%
- Priority Group 3: Former POWs, Purple Heart awardees, those discharged for disabilities, disabilities rate 10%-20%, those awarded eligibility classification, Medal of Honor awardees
- Priority Groups 4-8: See here
Returning to civilian life after serving abroad or in war is a huge adjustment. Thousands of veterans find help through readjustment counseling at the VA. This type of counseling makes readjusting to civilian life much easier. It can be provided in an individual, group, or family setting.
Counseling for Vets
Some parts of counseling can include:
- PTSD treatment
- Providing psychosocial resources to readjust with family or at work, school, or home
- Medical referrals
- Employment assistance
- Military sexual trauma counseling
Contact your local VA for more information on how to sign up for free counseling. You can also use the Vet Center Combat Call Center at 877-WAR-VETS if you’d prefer to speak to someone over the phone.
Family members of veterans can also participate in family bereavement counseling if the veteran has passed away. Call the Vet Center bereavement services for information at 202-461-6530.
Education for Veterans
Education assistance is provided through the U.S. GI Bill, which refers to Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits for:
- Active duty
- National Guard
- Selected reserve members and their families
These education benefits can help cover the cost of training programs and post-secondary education. Education benefits can help cover the cost of training programs and post-secondary education. There are five main programs sponsored by the GI Bill.
- The Post 9/11 GI Bill can cover tuition, monthly housing, books, and supplies. Relocation coverage is sometimes an option for service members depending on the amount of credible active-duty time they have accumulated.
- The Active-Duty Montgomery GI Bill provides monthly benefit payments to cover costs related to education. The maximum monthly allowance as of 2021 was $2,150 per month over 36 months.
- The Reserve and Guard Montgomery GI Bill is for members of the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, Marine Corps, and National Guard. It provides a benefit of $11,000 over 36 months.
- The Vocational Rehab and Education Program (VR&E) is for those with a VA disability rating and an employment handicap. Services include education, financial assistance for post-secondary training, and job placement for on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
- The Dependents’ Education Assistance (DEA) is for eligible dependents of disabled veterans or surviving dependents.
- The Fry Scholarship is for surviving dependents of veterans who died while in the line of duty after September 2001.
Housing for Vets
Veterans are eligible for a VA loan, which lets you purchase a house with as little as no money down. Interest rates for these loans are very competitive and there is no mandated cap or private mortgage insurance.
With home prices skyrocketing, VA loans are a great way to get your own place and put your money towards a mortgage instead of throwing it away on monthly rent.
To be eligible, you must have served at least 90 days of active duty, have at least 6 years of service in the Reserves or Guard or served 181 days during peacetime. Surviving spouses are also eligible.
You’ll need to find a VA home lender and get a no-obligation quote for their rates to obtain your loan.
Housing for Homeless Veterans
If you do not have the funds to secure a mortgage, there are also resources out there for you. The VA has many homeless programs to keep veterans off of the streets and provide them with the resources they need to get back on their feet.
Check out their website for more information.
Job Training for Veterans
Veterans learn many skills when serving in the military, but it’s not always easy to transfer those skills onto a resume once you’re back in town. The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) aims to help all veterans reach their full potential in the workplace.
VETS can help:
- Prepare for the workforce
- Provide resources and expertise while trying to find a job
- Protects workers’ rights and promotes new job opportunities
- Connect you with companies that are looking to hire veterans
- Prepare you for your job search
- Offer one-on-one assistance to you and your spouse when returning home
At VETS, you’ll get help for everything from resume writing to acing your interview so you can find a job you love and excel at it with excitement.
Veterans Pension or Veterans Disability Pension
Thousands of veterans are unaware that they qualify for a VA pension every year. Vets over 65 with a limited income might be eligible for Veterans Pension or Veterans Disability Pension.
These pensions are for those with limited income, so you’ll need to meet specific requirements to qualify. If your income meets the standards and you have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least 1 day during wartime, you likely qualify.
Pension income limits depend on whether you are single, have dependents, are housebound, or need aid and attendance. A comprehensive pension income limit chart can be found on Military.com.
Disability Compensation Benefit
Did you know that you may be eligible for compensation if you have a disability due to your service and have been honorably discharged? You can receive anywhere from $133 to $3,400 per month through the VA Disability Compensation benefit.
More money is given to those who have a spouse or dependents, have lost limbs, have a disabled spouse, or are considered unemployable due to their disability. You can apply for this benefit through the VA website.
Funeral Assistance for Vets
Certain military funerals can be provided to eligible veterans. The family will have to request this funeral if the deceased meets the requirements.
Benefits can be used for a burial allowance, headstone, burial flag, national cemeteries, burial preparation, etc. For more information, see here.
You’ve served our country, and now it’s time to make sure that our country serves you back. If you’re a veteran who was honorably discharged, you can take advantage of medical care, education, housing, job training, pension, disability, and funeral benefits for both you and your family.
Don’t wait – contact your local VA office today to secure your veteran benefits.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
Want to save money on your wireless phone service? When you qualify for government benefit programs like Medicaid and SNAP, you may also be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Both Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs that help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.