In past articles, we’ve covered a number of policy-related issues regarding Veteran Benefits and healthcare. In this article, we want to take a different approach and highlight a number of excellent benefits which Veterans may or may not know about. Many veterans know about the basic health care and education benefits available to them through the Department of Veterans Affairs: Tricare and the GI Bill. While these benefits alone are great, other programs help provide more benefits to veterans and their families. Even within the health care and education programs are little-known benefits to improve the lives of veterans and help ease the financial burden of medical care or other expenses. Here are 10 veterans benefits you haven’t heard about that all veterans should see if they qualify for.
1. Long-term Care
Long-term care is expensive but often necessary to provide care for aging relatives. Through the Aid and Attendance program, many veterans are eligible to receive money to cover the cost of nursing homes, assisted living programs and other long-term care options. With the ability for couples to receive up to $25,020 a year, the Aid & Attendance benefit will help take care of a significant portion of long-term care costs. Surviving spouses of veterans are also eligible to receive up to $13,560 a year to cover their long-term care costs.
2. Caregiver Support
Should you choose to take care of an ailing Veteran at home, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a caregiver support program. While this program does not offer any monetary support to caregivers, they are provided with a free support line and a caregiver support coordinator to help navigate military benefits and the stress of caregiving.
3. Death Benefits
When a veteran dies, families have a few unique benefits available to them. A U.S. flag may be requested to drape over the casket and families may request a Presidential Memorial Certificate to honor the deceased loved one’s service. The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides free headstones or grave markers.
4. Certification Programs
In addition to receiving credits to use toward a college degree, the GI Bill offers up to $2,000 to help cover the cost of certification courses or other vocational training programs. This benefit will work well for veterans who wish to change careers or pursue a career path that does not require a college degree.
5. Transferring GI Bill® Credits
Unused credits through the GI Bill may be transferred to spouses and dependents of veterans. There are service limits required to transfer the benefits.
6. Free Tax Preparation
Veterans and their family have access to free tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices on military bases. The individuals who work in the offices have expertise working with the complicated nature of military-related tax issues.
7. Life Insurance
Many veterans have trouble obtaining traditional life insurance, particularly if they sustained an injury during their time of service. Through the Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program, veterans may receive up to $400,000 in life insurance. This program also offers competitive premium rates.
8. Mortgage Help
Veterans having trouble making their mortgage payments are eligible for repayment assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Options for help include special repayment plans, loan forbearance and loan modification programs. Additional benefits are available for veterans with VA loans and for homeless veterans.
9. VA Foreclosures
The VA maintains a list of homes serviced by VA loans that have gone into foreclosures. Veterans have the ability to search the list of VA acquired properties and purchase homes at a discount. You do not have to be a veteran to search the properties, but all properties qualify for VA financing.
10. American Corporate Partners
American Corporate Partners connects veterans with top companies to help them obtain a job after their time of service. Along with being connected to job opportunities, veterans have the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring and other career development services.
Remember, there are so many programs available designed just for veterans and their families. A little research, and contacting your VA representative, can uncover a wealth of resources. At American Veterans Honor Fund, we serve the needs of our Veterans and will continue to provide benefit listings as they are available.
Here are some helpful links to help you get started with any of the above benefits:
Long-term Care – Visit the Aid and Attendance program site for more information on benefits.
Caregiver Support – Visit the Caregiver center at https://www.caregiver.va.gov.
Death Benefits – Visit https://www.usa.gov/veteran-burial-benefits for a list of benefits available.
Free Veteran Tax Preparation – Visit https://veteransnavigator.org/article/64152/free-tax-return-preparation-veterans-military-members-and-their-families%20%20%20%20 for everything you need to know.
Life Insurance – Visit the VA’s Servicemembers’ & Veterans’ Group Life Insurance website. It provides everything you need to know.
Research Foreclosures – Find local Veterans Affairs offices here. After the VA acquires a foreclosed property they are added to the local Multiple Listing Systems or MLS which local veterans affairs offices and/or real estate agents have access to.
VA Mortgage Loans – Vist the VA Loans website for detailed information here: https://www.valoans.com/purchase/va-loan-benefits/.
Job Opportunities – Here is the American Corporate Partners website link to contact them.
Learn more about American Veterans Honor Fund