Serving your country is one of the most selfless acts one can do with their life. Not only do you keep the United States’ borders and citizens safe, but you do so at a personal cost of time, sweat and safety.
As a thank you for your sacrifice and hard work, the U.S. government has created a system of benefits available to those who have served, many of which you may not have known you qualify for.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits for current and former military personnel in these nine categories:
Disability Compensation – Veterans with disabilities, injuries and other medical conditions that occurred during service are entitled to monthly compensation to help with any economic loss they may suffer due to impairment. Disabilities can be physical or mental, and compensation is based off a variety of factors including disability rating, dependents and other special circumstances.
Health Care – Health insurance under the VA is also available to eligible veterans. VA health care meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act’s health coverage requirement, and its benefits include preventative, primary and specialty care; prescriptions; mental health care; home health care; geriatrics and extended care; medical equipment and prosthetics; and more. If you have served in a combat zone, you also qualify for access to Vet Centers, which provide counseling for transitioning and readjustment, military sexual trauma and issues related to marriage, family and bereavement.
Memorial Benefits – The VA also provides burial services to qualifying veterans, their spouses and dependent children. These services include burial in a VA national cemetery, care of the gravesite, an inscribed headstone or marker, a burial flag, flower arrangements, performance of a committal service with military honors and more. Some veterans may even qualify for a burial allowance.
Education and Training – If you are looking to expand your education, or would like to participate in on-the-job training, the VA has programs to help cover the cost of your tuition, housing, training and other education-related expenses.
Home Loans and Housing-Related Assistance – If you are looking to purchase a home, refinance your current home or install energy-saving improvements, the VA offers a loan guaranty to the private lender of your choice. This encourages lenders to offer veterans loans with better terms; including lower monthly payments, no down payment requirements and more lenient loan qualifications.
Pension – VA pensions are available to needs-based, wartime veterans who are 65 years or older or who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability.
Employment Services – In addition to education and training benefits, the VA also helps veterans transition from military to civilian careers. Services such as resume help, career counseling, job fairs and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program will help you meet your post-service professional goals and aspirations.
Life Insurance – If you’ve ever considered taking out a life insurance policy, the VA offers a variety of life insurance options for veterans, service members and their families; giving you the peace of mind knowing your family will be taken care of no matter what may happen to you.
Spouses, Dependents and Survivors – Your spouse and dependents may qualify for many of the benefits listed above as well. Be sure to check with the VA for information regarding eligibility.
These benefits are meant to support the men and women who have served our country, and they more than deserve them. If you or one of your loved one is a veteran, we encourage you to take advantage of these programs.
For more information about each of these benefits, be sure to visit the VA’s website or your local VA regional office.