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 veteranís condition increases. This benefit is made tax-free. †
Dependency and indemnity compensation is available for a veteranís 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 VAís 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 veteransí 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!
Articles Related to Veterans' Benefit Laws
- Split of Military Pensions in Long-Term MarriagesAfter a military member reaches retirement, he or she may need to split his or her pension with a long-term spouse that is no longer in a relationship with him or her. The divorce often leads to military benefits split to up to half of what the person will receive from the military service depending on certain requirements and factors.
- Military Membersí Duty to Provide SupportIt is often when a military member divorces his or her spouse that he or she must provide support to the other spouse and any children from the marriage that do not live with the military member. Knowing how much this is and how the rules work is important for the military spouse when facing the divorce and even retirement.
- Survivor Benefit Plan Award and Military DivorceWhen the military member faces divorce from his or her spouse, the usual process involves survivor benefits, retirement benefits or additional monies through accounts or other programs to the nonmilitary spouse. It is important for the military member to understand these situations, so he or she is not caught unaware.
- Acquiring Personal Jurisdiction in a Military Divorce CaseMilitary divorce cases tend to be more complicated than other types of divorce cases. One of the primary areas of concern and contention is achieving jurisdiction over the service member, the military pension, child custody and child support. Federal and state laws impact these factors.
- Military Divorce and Child Custody: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ProvisionsChild custody can be contentious in any case. However, it can be more complicated in cases involving military personnel because of the uncertainty surrounding future deployments overseas or assignments that are stateside. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides protections for military personnel related to legal cases filed against them.
- USFSPA: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection ActThe intention of Congress in 1982 in creating the USFSPA was to ensure that former spouses of military members receive financial protection after the marriage is over. This Act could protect the former spouse through divisions in military retirement pay in becoming marital property when the couple dissolve the relationship.
- Disabled Military Retirees May Pay Less to Ex-Spouses - U.S. Supreme Court RulesChanges in regulations for various types of pay and compensation reduce or increase often based on the rulings that occur through district and supreme courts. In the newest ruling, the amounts that military retired service members pay to spouses that divorced prior to or during retirement may decrease to support the veteran more and the ex-spouse less.
- Military Pension Division in New York Divorce CasesOne of the major issues involved in a divorce case is the division of the coupleís assets and debts. For many couples, a major asset is their retirement fund or pension. In some cases, these assets are subject to division in a divorce case. While this process is complicated enough on its own, there are additional complications when the couple involves a service member.
- Does My Civilian Spouse Automatically Get Full Custody?Before the divorce becomes final, it is important for a parenting planís creation to occur between the two parties for the time and educational purposes of any child or children affected by the separation of parents. When the military spouse faces deployment, the child may need to remain with the non-military parent even if he or she does not have custody.
- Is My Husbandís Military Pension Considered Marital Property?When military personnel marry someone, these individuals may face their pension or other benefits becoming part of the marriage with transferrable action to the spouse. It is important to understand how these benefits and accounts work with a spouse, so that there are no complications when either separating or attempting to apply them for certain situations.
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