VA and State Benefits that are Available to War Veterans and How to Apply
A debt of gratitude is owed to the veterans who have served our nation and safeguarded our freedom. In war and in peace, they have risked their lives for our country. The rights and benefits available to you were won by yourself and past generations of veterans. Far too often, benefits go unclaimed. Here is a summary of What Benefits Are Available to veterans through the VA and your STATE and How to Apply for them.
The VA Offers Benefits and Serices in these major categories: Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment, Education & Training, Home Loans, Life Insurance, Dependents & Survivors, Burial and more……
Who Is Eligible
You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are:
a veteran’s dependent
a surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran
an active duty military service member
a member of the Reserve or National Guard
CompensationVA can pay you monthly compensation if you are at least 10% disabled as a result of your military service.
You can receive a monthly pension if you are a wartime veteran with limited income, and you are permanently and totally disabled or at least 65 years old.
Time Limits: There is no time limit to apply for Compensation and Pension benefits. Health Care
VA provides a number of health care services.
Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services
Domiciliary, nursing home, and community-based residential care
Sexual trauma counseling
Specialized health care for women veterans
Health and rehabilitation programs for homeless veterans
Alcohol and drug dependency treatment
Medical evaluation for disorders associated with military service in the Gulf War, or exposure to Agent Orange, radiation, and other environmental hazards Combat Veterans – VA will provide combat veterans free medical care for any illness possibly associated with service during a period of hostility for two years from the veteran’s release from active duty.
Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment
VA can help veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find and keep suitable employment. For veterans with serious service-connected disabilities, VA also offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. Some of the services VA provides are:
Job Search: Assistance in finding and maintaining suitable employment.
Vocational Evaluation: An evaluation of abilities, skills, interests, and needs.
Career Exploration: Vocational counseling and planning.
Vocational Training: If needed, training such as on-the-job and non-paid work experience.
Educationq Training: If needed, education training to accomplish the rehabilitation goal.
Rehabilitation Service: Supportive rehabilitation and counseling services.Time Limits: You generally have 12 years from the date VA informs you in writing that you have at least a 10% rating for a service-connected disability. Education & Training
VA pays benefits to eligible veterans, reservists, and active duty service members while they are in an approved education or training program. Based on the type of military service, benefit programs are:
Active Duty Service: Personsq who first entered active duty after June 30, 1985, are generally eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30). Those who entered active duty for the first time after December 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985, are generally eligible under the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP).
Reserve/Guard Service: Benefits are available to Reserve andq National Guard members under [a] the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 1606) who signed a six-year commitment with a reserve unit after June 30, 1985, and remain actively drilling and in good standing with their unit, and [b] the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607) who were activated under Federal authority for a contingency operation and served 90 continuous days or more after September 11, 2001.
Time Limits: Generally, veterans have 10 years from the date they were last released from active duty to use their education and training benefits, and Reserve and National Guard members have 14 years from the date they became eligible for the program unless they leave the Selected Reserves before completing their obligation.
VA offers a number of home loan services to eligible veterans, some military personnel, and certain surviving spouses.
Guaranteed Loans: VA can guarantee part of a loan from a private lender to help you buy a home, a manufactured home, a lot for a manufactured home, or certain types of condominiums. VA also guarantees loans for building, repairing, and improving homes.
Refinancing Loans: If you have a VA mortgage, VA can help you refinance your loan at a lower interest rate. You may also refinance a non-VA loan.
Special Grants: Certain disabled veterans and military personnel can receive grants to adapt or acquire housing suitable for their needs.
Time Limits: There is no time limit for a VA home loan.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is low-cost term life insurance for service members and reservists. Coverage of up to $400,000 begins when you enter the service. Generally, it expires 120 days after you leave the service. Traumatic SGLI is automatically included in SGLI and provides for payment up to $100,000 for servicemembers who lose limbs or incur other serious injuries. Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is renewable term life insurance for veterans who want to convert their SGLI up to an amount not to exceed the coverage you had when you separated from service. You must apply within one year from separation from service. Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance, also called "RH" Insurance, is for service-connected veterans. Coverage is $10,000. You may be eligible for a $20,000 supplemental policy if you are totally disabled. You must apply for RH within two years of being rated service connected by VA.
Dependents & Survivors
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is payable to certain survivors of:
-Service members who died on active duty
-Veterans who died from service-related disabilities -Certain veterans who were being paid 100% VA disability compensation at time of death. Death Pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. The benefit is based on financial need.
Parents’ DIC is payable to some surviving parents. The benefit is based on financial need.
VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans.
Dependents & Survivors Education & Training: Some family members of disabled or deceased veterans are eligible for education and training benefits.
Home Loans: Certain surviving spouses may be eligible for this benefit.
Time Limits: For education and training benefits, spouses and surviving spouses have 10 years from the date VA first finds them eligible, and surviving spouses of service members who died while on active duty have 20 years. Children are eligible from age 18 to 26. These time limits can sometimes be extended. There are no time limits to apply for the other benefits described above.
VA offers certain benefits and services to honor our Nation's deceased veterans.
-Headstones and Markers: VA can furnish a monument to mark the unmarked grave of an eligible veteran.
-Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC): VA can provide a PMC for eligible recipients.
-Burial Flag: VA can provide an American flag to drape an eligible veteran's casket.
-Reimbursement of Burial Expenses: Generally, VA can pay a burial allowance of $2,000 for veterans who die of service-related causes. For certain other veterans, VA can pay $300 for burial and funeral expenses and $300 for a burial plot.
-Burial in a VA National Cemetery: Most veterans and some dependents can be buried in a VA national cemetery.
-Time Limits: There is no time limit to claim reimbursement of burial expenses for a service-related death. In other cases, claims must be filed within two years of the veteran's burial. Toll-Free Service Benefits Information & Assistance
For more information about specific benefits, visit the nearest VA regional office or call: 1-800-827-1000
Special Toll-Free Numbers
Health Care 877-222-8387
Education & Training 888-442-4551
VA Life Insurance 800-669-8477
Office of SGLI 800-419-1473
Office of CHAMPVA 800-733-8387
Helpline (Agent Orange and Gulf War) 800-749-8387
Direct Deposit 877-838-2778
Headstones (Status of claims only) 800-697-6947
Telecommunication Device for Deaf (TDD) 800-829-4833
HOW TO APPLY FOR VETERANS BENEFITS:
APPLYING VIA THE INTERNET
The VONAPP (Veterans On Line Applications) website is an official U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V A) website, which enables veterans to apply for benefits using the Internet. U.S. military veterans and some service members within six months of separation or retirement can apply for compensation, pension, and vocational rehabilitation benefits.
U.S. military veterans, service members with two years of service, and members of the Selected Reserve can apply for education benefits.
VONAPP also has a link to VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits.
How is using this site different from visiting a V A office?
When you use this site to complete and send an application to V A, your application will be sent directly to the V A office with jurisdiction over your application. Processing will begin and you will receive an automated e-mail response from the V A office letting you know that it received your application.
It can be important for you to submit your claim as soon as you can if it is near the end of a month, whether by regular mail or using VONAPP, to ensure we receive it before the first of the next month. In some cases, your entitlement is based on the date we receive your claim in V A and you might lose a month's benefits if we find you eligible but you wait until the end of the month to send it to us.
In VONAPP, your electronic submission using the Internet is time and date stamped in V A when you successfully submit. That time and date is the Eastern Time (ET) at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where it is electronically received by V A, regardless of your geographic location around the world.
For detailed information about all VA benefits and services, visit:
Survivors: Information specific to survivors is available. Select “Benefits,” then “Survivors’ Benefits.”
Applications: Apply for Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Education, or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment benefits by selecting “Apply Online.”
Inquiries: A “Contact VA” link is available for e-mail inquiries.To determine whether you are eligible to receive benefits, call the VA Regional Office at 800-827-1000/TTY: 800-829-4833. For Health Benefits- Apply to the VA hospital near you For Mental Health Benefits – Apply to a VA hospital or Veterans Center You must provide the following information to the VA before your claim can be processed: Your VA claim file or "C" number;
Your full name and current address;
Your Social Security number; and
The type of benefit you wish to receive.
The following information will assist the VA in processing your claim: The branch in which you served;
Your military serial number, if you served prior to 1969;
Your dates of service;
Your date of birth and birthplace.
If you have applied for benefits in the past, remember to notify the benefits counselor. Veterans' Hotline
TTY: 800-964-3013To inquire concerning the status of your compensation, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), pension, burial, accrued, clothing allowance, automobile, specially adapted housing, or spina bifida claim or to ask any general Compensation & Pension (C&P) benefit question, you may call our toll-free number:1-800-827-1000.
For an answer to a benefits question go to:
E-mail Contacts Page
Many states offer veterans benefits. These benefits may include educational grants and scholarships, special exemptions or discounts on fees and taxes, home loans, veteran's homes, free hunting and fishing privileges, and more.
Each state manages its own benefit programs. The following is a list of links to the websites for each of the individual states that offer veterans benefits. Be sure to take advantage of the benefits you have earned by clicking on the link to your State Department of Veterans Affairs: