Federal Benefits

shutterstock_149885021_thumb.jpgThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates the nation's largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers and other facilities. They administer a variety of benefits and services that provide financial and other forms of assistance to Service members, Veterans, their dependents and survivors. They operate 131 national cemeteries in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Health & Medical Care

There are many different options for health and medical care.
Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents. For Veterans, Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or a specific disability, such as loss of use of one hand or leg. For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

Education the VA offers a variety of educational and training benefits. They also offer Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) or Chapter 35 provides assistance for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships/on-the-job training, correspondence courses and other programs.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment You may receive vocational rehabilitation and employment services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

Home Loans the VA helps Service members, Veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of their mission to serve you, they provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy. VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.

Life Insurance As part of their mission to serve Service members, Veterans, and their families, VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is protected. VA’s life insurance programs were developed to provide financial security for your family given the extraordinary risks involved in military service.

Pension the VA helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training or survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities.

Funeral and Burial the VA has many programs to assist with the cost of a Veterans funeral and burial.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, reserve members and their families. Contact them by phone (1-800-342-9647).

VA Home Front is a national call center that provides at-risk and homeless Veterans with access to VA housing services. Contact them by phone (1-800-424-3838).

Department of Veteran Affairs National Call Center answers questions on VA benefits. You can get questions answered on your specific claim, make changes to your account, and obtain general VA benefit information. Contact them by phone (1-800-827-1000).

For a complete list of all benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs please refer to the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors handbook.