Veterans' Benefits Law
In recognition of their service, federal and state benefits are available to veterans. Many programs are administered by the VA. Some of the benefits are discussed below.
Financial CompensationVA disability compensation is available for veterans who were injured or developed a disease during their service. This compensation is provided on a monthly basis. The program also gives surviving spouses, dependent parents and dependent children benefits if the veteran dies in service or after discharge. The amount of the benefit increase as the severity of the veteran’s condition increases. This benefit is made tax-free.
Dependency and indemnity compensation is available for a veteran’s dependents if the veteran died while on active duty. Additionally, special monthly compensation may be paid to veterans, spouses, surviving spouses and dependent parents if the veteran has special circumstances that increase his or her expenses, such as needing aid and attendance or if the veteran suffered amputation of a limb.
Medical BenefitsThe VA provides a number of healthcare services to veterans, including treatment for injuries that they sustained while on active duty and dental services received after discharge. The veteran usually must enroll in the VA’s Health Care System in order to receive treatment.
Special programs also exist that provide for the long-term care needs of veterans. For example, the Aid and Attendance program provides compensation to veterans to cover the costs associated with placement in an assisted living program, nursing home or other long-term care option. Spouses can also receive a portion of their long-term care needs, too.
For veterans who would like to be treated at home, caregivers can tap into a free support line and receive advice from a caregiver support coordinator for assistance in gathering information about veteran benefits.
Life InsuranceDue to the risks associated with military service and the higher likelihood of sustaining an injury while at work, servicemembers are entitled to pursue a life insurance contract through a number of entities that provide this service.
Education BenefitsServicemembers who fulfill the requirements for the GI bill by having the minimum number of years in service or by staying on the active reserve list may be able to receive education benefits for their service. There are different programs based on the type of service and each program has a different deadline for when the benefits must be used.
One such educational program is the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides benefits for education or training completed after August 1, 2009. To be eligible for this program, the veteran must serve a minimum of 90 days on active duty and stay on active duty or be honorably discharged. Veterans can receive up to 36 months of entitlement under this program.
Eligibility ends 15 years from the last date of active duty of at least 90 days. If eligible, the veteran can have a portion of the in-state tuition paid, a monthly housing allowance and books and supplies paid for up to a certain amount. The veteran can transfer his or her entitlement to a spouse or child.
The GI bill can also provide for the cost of certification courses or vocational training.
Housing VeteransThose who meet certain service requirements can receive attractive VA home loans, including guaranteed loans so that they can purchase, build or repair a home. Some disabled veterans may also be eligible to have renovations made so that the home is adapted to their needs.
If veterans own a home and encounter financial difficulty, they can apply for repayment assistance in which they may be eligible for repayment plans, loan modification or loan forbearance.
The VA also maintains a list of homes in which VA loans were provided but which have gone into foreclosure. This allows veterans to purchase a property at a discount.
Vocational Rehabilitation and EmploymentThe VA assists veterans who have suffered service-related injuries prepare for, locate and maintain employment. These services include assisting veterans with their job search, completing vocational evaluation on veterans, vocationally training veterans and providing education training.
The American Corporate Partners is a group that helps companies and veterans find each other after the veterans’ time of service. These companies recognize the important skills learned during military service and the honor and commitment associated with service. In addition to being provided with these special employment opportunities, participants can also receive individual mentoring and other career development services.
These are just a few programs that veterans may be eligible for. Read on to learn more about your rights regarding veterans' benefits. Should veterans encounter problems with claims, they can depend on lawyers to help them navigate the system and get the benefits they rightfully deserve.
Know Your Rights!
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