Understanding Veteran's Benefits
For those who have served in the military veteran's benefits are much more than a little extra help. In many cases the benefits are about the only form of thanks that the veteran and their family ever receives for their sacrifices. That being said, understanding veteran's benefits is something that most people that have to deal with the confusion and craziness that often come among with dealing with a bureaucracy. If you are looking to file for your veterans benefits, or simply are interested in understanding your benefits a little more, then this overview will be extremely handy.
- Qualifying. The first step in understanding veteran's benefits is to figure out whether or not a particular individual actually qualifies for benefits or not. First, in order to qualify you have to be a "veteran," which is someone who has served in the armed forces. Second, in order to even get the most basic of all benefits the veteran has to have at the least a discharge that has a status of "discharge under honorable conditions" or better. If the veteran received a dishonorable discharge, then they do not qualify for most if any veteran's benefits at all. Another thing to keep in mind about veteran's benefits is that often it is grouped according to Congressionally designated service times, which are usually centered around time periods of war or conflict.
- Health care. Typically there are two separate types of health care provided to a veteran through their benefits. The first, or most comprehensive, type of health care is provided to individuals who happened to serve during a time of war or conflict. Other than that, a person generally will need to have a minimum of 24 months continuous service, have a condition or injury that is determined by the VA to be service connected in some way. For those who meet the second requirement then it must be noted that the health care that is provided will typically only cover the service related injuries or problems.
- Housing. All qualifying veterans are currently entitled to a home loan guarantee that will pay up to $359,650.00 when purchasing the first home. This type of activity is usually referred to as a VA Home Loan, but that is a bit of a misnomer. In reality, the government is not loaning the money but instead is acting more like a "co-signer" for the loan.
- Disability. Disability compensation is paid to those veterans who either received some type of injury or illness during their military service, or had an accepted illness or injury made worse due to military service. Those veterans who receive disability compensation are generally paid between $110 to $2,393 per month or more depending on what the injury or illness is and other mitigating factors.
- Pension. Typically there are two types of pensions that a veteran can receive. The first is received by those veterans who have retired from their military service in good standing. This is in fact the military's version of the traditional retirement pension where a person can receive a significant portion of their regular paycheck for the remainder of their life. The second is usually received by wartime veterans who were disabled or injured in some way and unable to work anymore.
In addition to these benefits there are several others that a veteran may be eligible for. Some of these are things like receiving preferential hiring for federal jobs, the Montgomery GI Bill, funeral assistance, being able to receive a military funeral, and even be able to be buried in a military cemetery. Another important, and frankly very helpful, veteran's benefit is VA vocational rehabilitation. This is a service which will help eligible disabled veterans receive educational assistance so that they can get and keep lasting, suitable jobs.