Veterans who put their lives on the line to defend the United States rightfully earn many valuable benefits from the federal government.
From education to healthcare to mortgage loans and mortgage assistance to free tax preparation, vets deserve these benefits, though many don’t take advantage of them.
Why? Who knows? But this isn’t charity. These benefits offer vets a leg up and a means to provide a better station for themselves and their families. In an unforgiving world, these benefits shouldn’t be ignored.
First and foremost is healthcare. The U.S. government offers comprehensive healthcare benefits that differ for each veteran. These services include basic hospital-based care like critical care, surgery, mental health benefits, orthopedics, physical therapy and radiology. You also have access to audiology, speech pathology, dermatology, dental services, vision and geriatrics among a lot more.
For long-term care, the Aid and Attendance Program can provide up to $25,000 a year for couples for nursing homes or assisted care. If you’re a caregiver for a veteran, you can also obtain assistance via a phone support line and a specially-assigned coordinator to help you navigate the military benefits system. And in the event of a death, the government will provide a flag for a vet’s casket and a free headstone.
Education is another biggie. The two types of G.I. Bill can provide veterans significant assistance in nearly any educational field. The Montgomery G.I. Bill covers pre-9/11 veterans and can provide up to 36 months of education benefits depending on which category applies.
The post 9/11 G.I Bill is the updated version. Post 9/11 veterans with 36 months of service can get up to 36 months of education benefits. The government will pay all tuition and fees for in-state students, plus housing allowance and a stipend for books and supplies. If you want to attend a private or foreign school, you may be able to receive up to $21,000 a year in tuition assistance.
Beyond that, you can receive assistance for certification programs and vocational training. Even if you haven’t served 36 months, you may be eligible for education benefits.
Veterans Home Loans
The Veteran’s Administration’s home loans program is arguably the finest benefit offered those who served our country. VA loans require no down payment, no annual insurance payments and can offer real help even in some of the most expensive counties in America.
Another little known perk is that veterans can get first crack at VA-owned properties that have been foreclosed on. And the VA will give you a discount on them to boot.
Beyond those Big Three, you may be eligible to receive up to $400,000 in life insurance benefits, the VA can help pay your mortgage when you need assistance and volunteers will provide free tax preparation.
Also, don’t forget states provide benefits to veterans too. Nebraska, for example, offers significant tax breaks to veterans, as well as emergency aid and tuition waivers and credits at state universities in certain cases.