Learn About Veteran Benefits

As a veteran in the U.S. various benefits are available to you.

Those benefits cover a wide variety of areas including your health, housing, disability compensation, educational expenses and even funeral or burial benefits.

Eligible veterans receive these benefits as a result of their service or in some instances as a result of their service-related injuries.

In addition to these various benefits, veterans can take advantage of discounts offered by retailers and service providers.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides you with more information about the types of benefits you are entitled to because of your service.

In the meanwhile, check out the following overview of veteran benefits. While you may be aware of a few of them, many of the veteran’s programs and benefits go largely unused each year.

Most of that is attributable to the fact that many veterans are simply unaware of what is available, and often free for the asking.

In many instances, if you qualify for them, your quality of life is greatly improved.

Learn About Healthcare Benefits for Veterans

If you have served your country, take advantage of healthcare benefits for veterans. Many veterans qualify for VA healthcare.

To access healthcare benefits, you simply enroll in the VA healthcare system. Enrollment satisfies your Affordable Care Act health coverage requirement.

Therefore, you do not need an additional insurance plan. VA healthcare is used in conjunction with Medicare and other coverage options when needed.

Advantages to enrolling in the VA healthcare system make it worth the effort. There is no enrollment fee and you do not pay monthly premiums or deductibles.

You receive immediate benefits of healthcare coverage at more than 1,700 healthcare places, and the VA healthcare system is rated as one of the best in the country.

Other advantages of the healthcare system include the following:

  • Combat veterans receive free medical care and free medications for a service-related condition.
  • There are minimal or no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Once enrolled, you stay enrolled.

Veterans, members of the National Guard and activated Reservists qualify for VA healthcare benefits if they served as an active duty member in a theater of combat after the date of November 11, 1998. In addition, to be eligible, you must have been discharged under honorable conditions.

Apply for VA healthcare benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Learn About Disability Compensation Benefits for Veterans

If you have a disability, injury or medical condition incurred or aggravated during your time on active duty, you may qualify for tax-free benefits that are paid monthly. Eligibility is not confined to when or where you served.

To qualify, provide evidence of your disability and service. You must prove you have a mental or physical disability related to an injury or disease during your time in service.

To do this provide your discharge or separation papers as well as service treatment records and any other supportive statements.

In addition, you must show your medical records from a private medical provider and any hospital reports.

Apply through the Department of Veterans Affairs website. It is beneficial to use a Veterans Service Officer, a claims agent or an accredited attorney to help you with your claim for disability compensation benefits.

Learn About Education and Training for Veterans

Veterans receive benefits for education and training purposes. Further your skills and education by receiving benefits for tuition fees, training and other education-related expenses.

The benefits are provided through four GI Bill programs. These are:

  • Montgomery GI Bill: This helps active duty reservists and service members to pursue higher education certificates and degrees and other forms of training and education. Eligible reservists apply for the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve. Eligible service members apply for the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty.
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill: This provides benefits for higher education and training. The benefits are available to service members and veterans who served after September 10, 2001. Families of those veterans and service members are sometimes approved for these benefits. You are provided with education benefits for up to 36 months once approved.
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to qualify for this benefits program. You receive benefits to pay towards tuition costs at a graduate, out-of-state or private school.
  • Survivors’ Dependents’ Educational Assistance: Under this benefits program, children and spouses of service members are eligible to receive funding for education or job training.

Qualification criteria depends on the specific benefits program. The amount of funding you receive and what it is used for is dependent on the program for which you qualify. 

Regardless of which one you select, you must provide copies of your discharge papers or separation papers.

Different application procedures exist for each type of benefits program, but you can apply for all four through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website.

Learn About VA Pensions

A VA pension is a needs-based benefit that provides income to veterans and their families. It is available to wartime veterans who have either a low income or no income.

To be eligible, you must be 65 years of age or older and have a permanent service-related disability. You may qualify for an increased rate, which is known as a Special Monthly Pension.

If you are eligible for a basic pension but you are housebound or need the assistance of another person for daily living activities, you qualify for this rate.

When you apply for a VA pension, provide records of private medical treatment and proof of your income and net worth.

In addition, complete the pension program application form pertaining to your claim, including one of the following forms:

  • VA Form 21-527EZ: Veterans Pension
  • VA Form 21-534EZ: Survivors Pension
  • VA Form 21-2680: Special Monthly Pension for Veterans and Surviving Spouses

Learn About Discounts for Veterans

Veterans benefit from discounts on purchases from a variety of retailers.

These discounts are often overlooked by many veterans and service members.

Taking advantage of long-term and short-term discount offers saves you money.

Discounts are often available from national brands, chains of stores, online stores and local independent establishments. Seasonal discounts are often available from these retailers.

Expect to find veteran discounts on products at Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Black Friday and others.

All-year-round you can take advantage of discounts for various products and services. These include:

  • Food.
  • Jewelry.
  • Entertainment.
  • Sporting equipment.
  • Eyewear.
  • Internet services.
  • Restaurants.
  • Car rental.
  • Travel.
  • Weddings.