Veterans benefits can be financial or physical and may be awarded to active or retired service members of the U.S. Military or Armed Forces or their eligible family members. For instance, disabled veteran benefits can help cover the costs of medical bills associated with service-related injuries or disabilities. Moreover, these same benefits can be used by surviving family members of deceased veterans. Within the Veterans Benefits Network, there are plenty of benefits to explore, so check to see what you qualify for based on your or your family member’s prior service.
To learn more about veterans benefits and what you are entitled to, read the following sections. You will discover the various types of benefits available and how Veterans Affairs benefits are distributed based on your financial or physical needs. However, be aware that requirements and benefit allotments for each program are subject to change, so check with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure you have the correct information.
Veterans Affairs Benefits for Disabled Vets
Compensation for 100 percent disabled veteran benefits may include financial or medical support, or both. To be eligible for VA benefits for your disability, you must have served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty for training. Additionally, your disability must be service-related. Moreover, at least one of the following must be true for you to be eligible for disability benefits from the Veterans Benefits Network:
- You have an in-service disability claim.
- You have a pre-service disability claim.
- You have a post-service disability claim.
Qualifying conditions for disabled veteran benefits include chronic back pain, breathing problems, severe hearing loss, scar tissue, decreased range of motion, ulcers and cancers. Mental health conditions such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety may grant you benefits as well.
For a more detailed list of benefits for veterans 70 percent disabled or above, consider visiting your local VA office to discuss your specific situation. A VA representative will be able to match you with a benefits program that fits your unique claim.
Veteran Affairs Benefits for Health Care
If you are eligible for veterans benefits for healthcare and insurance coverage, you will receive a medical benefits package. This package will be unique to your needs based on:
- Your VA priority group.
- The recommendations of your physician.
- The medical standards in place for treating your existing health conditions
However, a basic veterans affairs benefits package will include certain services and will cover specific care. A basic package will allow you to:
- Receive treatment for illnesses and injuries.
- Obtain preventative care from future health issues.
- Receive emergency medical care.
Note: Your participation in a VA health care program qualifies as the minimum insurance requirements for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Veteran Education Benefits
Since 1944, the GI Bill has awarded veterans benefits to eligible service members and their families in the form of tuition scholarships and financial assistance. This type of assistance can be used to pay for college, graduate school and expenses of other types of training programs.
Another educational benefit available from the veterans benefits network is counseling for educational and career goals. However, counseling is reserved for veterans of the Armed Forces who have been, or expect to be, discharged from active duty within six months. Though, some exceptions can be made that extend that period to one year following active discharge. These counseling services are meant to assist service members re-enter the workforce without too much shock or a long adjustment period. Veteran spouse benefits are also available to qualifying dependents interested in obtaining training or education.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Veterans housing assistance is offered in the form of home loans and grants. Instead of taking out a loan from a financial institution that may charge a high interest rate, you could request a direct home loan or a VA-backed home loan right from the VA office itself.
Conversely, veteran housing grants, are awarded for free, without interest, and can make it easier for veterans to afford housing or renovate their home to live a more independent life, if they have a qualifying, service-connected disability. For example, the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant was created for veterans with disabilities requiring special accommodations.
Other Veterans Benefits
Other VA programs such as veterans burial benefits can be distributed to veterans’ families upon verification of the death of a qualifying veteran of the Armed Forces. According to the VA, veterans death benefits include the following:
- Payment up to $2,000 for burial expenses for service-related deaths.
- Payment up to $780 for burial expenses for non-service-related deaths.
The VA also allocates veteran spouse benefits to any surviving spouses of deceased service members. Additionally, spouses and their dependents may be awarded healthcare through the CHAMPVA program, the TRICARE program or another program related to the deceased veteran’s disability. A monthly survivor’s pension may be issued to surviving spouses as well. Though, there are plenty more veterans benefits for widows and their dependents available to make their living expenses more affordable without the added salary their spouse provided.
Unemployed veterans benefits can provide retired service members with financial support and resources to find jobs if they have been honorably discharged from service and are actively seeking employment.
However, help for unemployed veterans is limited and the assistance that is available may not be enough to support a whole family the way that veterans housing assistance can. Therefore, veterans are encouraged to find employment as soon as possible after discharge to ensure they can make a decent living and support their families and themselves. Still, veterans often want to find lasting careers that they can enjoy and value rather than temporary positions with little room for advancement.
Consequently, veterans affairs benefits can help veterans start and run a small business, receive vocational rehab benefits and find other ways to support themselves through financial assistance and/or adaptive jobs that work to accommodate their disabilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs also gives veterans the opportunity to find jobs, access career resources and get complimentary, premium access to online career learning sites like LinkedIn Learning. With VA transition assistance, veterans are better able to re-enter the workforce as well after being away on deployment.