The U. S Department Veteran’s Affairs (VA) provides a wide range of benefits for our service members, veterans and their families. Some of these benefits include but are not limited to include compensation, disability, education, and home loans. Throughout this paper I will discuss these benefits and the eligibility required to receive them. Eligibility for most VA benefits is based on type of discharge received through the military which is normally all discharges under other than dishonorable conditions. The VA website http://www. va. org has an array of everything and anything needed to understand benefits that are available.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is required by law to provide eligible veterans hospital care and outpatient care services that are defined as “needed. ” VA defines “needed” as care or service that will promote, preserve, and restore health. This includes treatment, procedures, supplies, or services. As stated in the Veteran’s Service benefits booklet section chapter 1of the VA website the VA operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,400 sites of care, including hospitals, community clinics, nursing homes, counseling centers and various other facilities.
Eligibility for these benefits is the same as stated previously and must enroll by completing VA Form 10-10EZ. Disability benefits are a monetary benefit paid to veterans for any disability that is considered to have happened during active military service as stated in the Veteran’s Service benefits booklet section chapter 2 of the VA website. These benefits are paid to veterans who have injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care.
These benefits are tax-free. The amount of basic benefit by percentages between 10 and 100% which equals to $123 to over $3,100 per month, in accordance with their compensation rate table, any percentage over 30 are eligible for additional allowances for dependents, including spouses, minor children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 who are attending school, children who are permanently incapable of self-support because of a disability arising before age 18, and dependent parents. The additional amount depends on the disability rating and the number of dependents.
It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. These benefits are tax-free. Those members that retire and are eligible for these benefits get an additional check in addition to their retirement check. The greatest part of the education benefits is that you can use them while still on active duty. The Montgomery GI Bill and Post 9/11 GI Bill, The Montgomery GI Bill eligibility normally upon enlisting into the services, the member selects this option and contributes $100 per month for first 12 months and has 36 months of benefits which is currently worth $50,000.
Educational benefits may be used while the service member is on active duty or after the service member’s separation from active duty with a fully honorable military discharge. While on active duty Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes and restrictions.
This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services. Another program is called the MGIB “Top Up” program, which allows GI Bill participants’ to use the GI Bill to supplement the tuition and fees not covered by tuition assistance. The Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect in August 2009 it is a new plan which provides education benefits for service members who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 1, 2001 offering up to 100 percent tuition and fee assistance at institutes of higher learning; housing assistance; an annual stipend for books and school supplies; and the option to transfer benefits to immediate family members. All these education benefits are available at the VA website under the Veteran’s Service benefits booklet section chapter 4. The VA Home Loan program allows veterans and active duty service members with qualifying income and credit to purchase a primary residence without putting any money down towards the sale price of the home, as long as that sale price does not exceed the appraised value of the home.
Veterans do need money towards closing costs as well as earnest money, which the seller generally requires when a sales contract is signed. Closing costs may be paid by the seller, which can be negotiated when the sale price of the home is set. The VA can guarantee up to $417,000 of the total loan. Once loan is paid off you can use it again. There is an abundance of information on the Veteran Affairs website. I did not discuss all of the benefits that are available to our veteran’s and service members but hit some of the major benefits.