Everyone living in the United States owes a debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, as well as to their surviving dependents. There is no way to truly repay that debt; however, the government does try to acknowledge the service and sacrifice made by veterans and their families by providing several veterans benefits. You may already be familiar with some of these benefits. To make sure you are getting all your benefits, a Los Angeles veteran benefits attorney at Schomer Law Group, APC explains some common veteran benefits.
Veteran, Survivor, and Dependent Benefits
- Pension. Pension is a needs-based benefit for wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are age 65 or older or who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability.
- Veterans Aid and Attendance Program. The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance (VA&A) program is intended to provide additional monetary assistance above and beyond that provided by the VA pension program. The additional assistance is aimed at helping veterans who need help with daily tasks of living, such as dressing, bathing, or cooking by providing the financial resources to hire someone to help.
- Disability Benefits. Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions, or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits. To be eligible for disability benefits, you must show:
- You have a current physical or mental disability.
- You had an injury or disease in service or experienced an event in service that caused or aggravated an injury or disease.
- There is a link between your current disability and the event, injury, or disease in military service.
- The amount of your disability benefits will depend on several factors, including the extent of your disability – rated from 0 to 100 in increments of 10 — and your household members (spouse and/or dependents) at the time of your disability rating.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Provides monthly benefits to surviving spouses, dependent children, or parents in recognition of the economic loss caused by a Servicemember’s death during military service, or by the death of a Veteran because of a service-connected disability. You can find out if you are eligible for the DIC program on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
- Health Care. Veterans, and their families, have access to excellent health care services. To be eligible you must:
- Have served in the active military, naval, or air service and separated under any conditions other than dishonorable.
- If you enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, you most likely will be required to have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty. This includes current and former members of the Reserve or National Guard called to active duty by a federal order.
- Along with providing basic preventative care and emergency care, veterans may also be eligible for a wide variety of specialty health care programs.
- Education and Training. Several programs help veterans and their dependents to further their education at little, or no, cost. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon Program are just a few examples of educational assistance programs.
- Home Loans. There are several loan programs that provide low interest rate financing for veterans, and surviving spouses, who wish to purchase, or refinance, a home, including:
- VA Purchase Loans
- Cash-Out Refinance Loans
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans
- VA Native American Direct Loan (NADL) for Native American Veterans who wish to purchase a home on tribal lands
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant program helps Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment.
How Do I Apply for Veteran Benefits?
To start the application process for any of your veteran benefits, navigate to the “Applying for Benefits” page on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.