Veteran standing in the sunset

Veteran Benefits 101

The Department of Veteran Affairs offers several veteran benefits programs for the men and women who served our country. There are many benefits out there for our veterans. Whether you want to continue your education by attending college or you are seeking healthcare, there is a program in place to help you. Here are some of the benefits you can reap.

 VA Pensions

Retired veterans qualify for a VA pension. In order to apply for a VA pension, you must be 65 or older (or permanently disabled), honorably discharged, and have served over 90 days of active duty. If you enlisted after 9/7/80, you would have to have served at least two years or the full duration of your active duty term. You must also be receiving less than a certain amount of money; the income limits depends on your marital status and number of dependents.

Veteran’s Medical Benefits Package

All veterans can obtain a benefits healthcare plan. The medical benefits package covers inpatient and outpatient care, in addition to prescription drugs and preventative care. A veteran and his or her dependents can be covered as long as they are not felons. While there are plenty of services offered in the medical benefits package, the following are not included: abortions, cosmetic surgery outside of reconstructive surgery, spa or gym memberships, or gender reassignment surgery.

Veteran Disability Compensation

Veterans with disabilities incurred during their service are eligible for this disability compensation package. Depending on your disability and whether or not you have dependents, you could receive anywhere between $130 to over $3,300 per month. If you or your spouse has severe disabilities, you could qualify for even more assistance. To apply for veteran disability benefits, you need medical evidence of your disabilities. 

GI Bill

Veterans, active-duty, and reserve servicemen can benefit from the GI bill. Even their families can receive benefits. Most people think the GI bill is used only for universities and colleges, but you can use this benefit for vocational training, apprenticeships, and testing services.

VA Loans

Trying to buy a new home? There’s a veteran loan for that. Veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and National Guard members and surviving spouses can qualify for VA loans. Private lenders dole out VA loans, but the VA guarantees part of it. The amount you can receive depends on the cost of living in your county; if you’re in a particularly expensive area, you might get up to $1 million. This reusable benefit lets veterans and their surviving spouses buy a house without a down payment. If you’re a disabled veteran, you might be able to have your funding fee waived or your closing costs reduced. If you ever want to refinance your mortgage, you can do so at a reduced rate. . 

Last Updated: September 24, 2015