Federal Benefits for Veterans

There’s a quick and easy way to find out what benefits the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides for members of the Armed Forces. The VA website just posted its 2010 edition of the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors online.

Many of the benefits became effective Jan. 1, 2010; the e-booklet contains detailed summaries of all the new additions. It has 15 chapters plus a directory of numbers and facilities. The e-booklet can also be downloaded, in English or Spanish, in PDF format from the website.

Most VA benefits laid out in the booklet have certain eligibility requirements such as “discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.”  Dishonorable discharges will result in VA benefits being barred from the veteran. Benefits could also be blocked if a veteran is in prison or is on parole. An outstanding felony warrant will disqualify a veteran for any benefits completely, according to the e-booklet in the “Introduction” section.

Included in the e-booklet is health care in chapter one.  The chapter discusses a variety of new and old medical programs for disabled veterans or veterans suffering from mental or physical ailment as a result of the war. On that note, disability compensation, in chapter two and three, is also explained. “Veterans with low incomes who are either permanently and totally disabled, or age 65 and older, may be eligible for monetary support if they have 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war,” the booklet states.

Along with the above, many more benefits are described including home loan guaranty in chapter four, life insurance in five, transition assistance in 10 and other federal benefits in chapter 15.

Before you sit down to start claiming your benefits, gather the following information to expedite the process: form DD-214, DD-215, or for World War II veterans, a WD form.

Photo thanks to brent_nashville under creative common license on Flickr.

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