Summary of Benefits
A certified HFX VSO can assist uniformed Servicemembers, Veterans; or their spouses, children, or parents of a deceased or disabled Servicemember or Veteran with benefit eligibility. Some of these benefits options include but are not limited to:
1. Disability Compensation
Service-connected disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to Veterans for a disability (or disabilities) that either:
- Arose during service
- Was worsened or aggravated by service
- Is presumed by VA to be related to military service
To receive disability compensation, you must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
Pension is a tax-free benefit paid to wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are either aged 65 or older or who are permanently and totally disabled due to a non-service-connected cause. Seriously disabled or housebound Veterans receiving Pension may also qualify for an additional Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefit.
3. Education and Training
VA pays benefits to eligible Servicemembers and Veterans pursuing an approved education or training program. There are four primary VA education benefit programs that cover Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Servicemembers and Veterans:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
- Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30)
- Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
The Post-9/11 GI Bill program provides financial assistance towards tuition and fees, books, and supplies, and it provides a monthly housing allowance. Eligible Servicemembers may transfer unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to an eligible spouse or child. VA pays a monthly allowance under the other benefit programs to help offset educational costs. Information about VA education programs can be found at www.gibill.va.gov.
VA assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment VetSuccess program. First, VA conducts a comprehensive evaluation to help you determine your future career path. Based on your evaluation, VetSuccess provides you with vocational counseling, job-search assistance, and other education and training services.
VetSuccess career counseling benefits are also available to you if you recently separated from the military or are using VA education benefits, even if you do not have a service-connected disability.
5. Life Insurance
VA provides valuable insurance benefits to Servicemembers and Veterans to give you peace of mind knowing that your family is protected. VA insurance benefits were developed in consideration of the extra risks involved in military service.
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a low-cost group life insurance program for Servicemembers. Coverage can be extended if the Servicemember is totally disabled.
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) is an automatic feature of SGLI that provides payments to Servicemembers who suffer losses, such as amputations, blindness, and paraplegia, due to traumatic injuries.
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) allows Servicemembers to convert their SGLI to lifetime renewable term coverage after separation from service.
- Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance (S-DVI) provides life insurance coverage for Veterans with a service-connected disability. If totally disabled, Veterans are eligible for additional coverage.
- Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) provides mortgage protection insurance to disabled Veterans who have been approved for a VA Specially Adapted Housing Grant.
TIME SENSITIVE - CONVERTING SGLI TO VGLI
Veterans have one year and 120 days from separation to convert their SGLI to VGLI. Evidence of good health is not required for those who apply within 240 days of separation.
6. Home Loans
Veterans and Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Servicemembers may be eligible for VA’s home loan program. VA loans have favorable terms, including no down payment or mortgage insurance premiums.
VA offers a number of housing benefits and grants:
- Guaranteed Loans: VA can guarantee a portion of a loan made by a private lender to help you buy a home, a manufactured home, a lot for a manufactured home, or a condominium unit for your own personal occupancy. VA also guarantees loans for building, repairing, and improving homes.
- Refinancing Loans: Whether you have a VA or non-VA mortgage, VA can help you refinance your loan.
- Specially Adapted Housing Grants: Certain severely disabled Veterans and military personnel can receive grants to adapt or acquire suitable housing.
VA provides a number of health care services, including:
- Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy, and prosthetic services
- Domiciliary, nursing home, and community-based residential care
- Treatment related to Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
- Readjustment counseling
- Homeless Veteran programs
- Alcohol and drug dependency treatment
- Medical evaluation for disorders related to Gulf War service or environmental hazards
- Specialized health care for women Veterans
VA supports caregivers who provide personal care services to Veterans who are seriously injured, chronically ill, disabled, or are getting older and are no longer able to adequately care for themselves.
VA assists combat Veterans through a nationwide network of community-based Vet Centers. Counselors provide individual, group, and family readjustment counseling to help you with the transition to civilian life, treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and help you with any other military-related problems. Other services include: outreach, education, medical referral, homeless Veteran services, employment, and VA benefits referral.
Veterans Crisis Line:
If you or a Veteran you know is experiencing an emotional crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 and push 1 for immediate assistance.
VA offers burial and memorial services to honor certain deceased Veterans:
- VA can honor a Veteran by furnishing an inscribed headstone or marker at any cemetery, or a medallion in lieu of a headstone or marker to affix to one that is privately purchased.
- VA can provide a burial allowance to partially reimburse the burial and funeral cost s to certain Veterans.
- VA can provide a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) for the next of kin and loved ones of a deceased Veteran.
- VA can provide an American flag to drape the casket of a Veteran.
- A Veteran and his or her dependents can be buried in a VA national cemetery.
9. Dependents and Survivors
VA honors the sacrifices of Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ dependents and survivors through many benefit programs:
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit paid to a surviving spouse, including additional payments for dependent children. It is available to an eligible spouse of a Servicemember who died during active military service or from a service-connected disability, or of a Veteran who was rated totally disabled at the time of death. Parents’ DIC is paid to surviving parents based on financial need.
The surviving spouse and child(ren) who are eligible for DIC are also eligible for the following:
- The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) provides reimbursement for most medical expenses.
- The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35) provides assistance to obtain a degree and pursue other eligible education and training.
- A Survivors’ Pension is a monthly benefit payable to a low-income surviving spouse and child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.
10. Financial Assistance for Vehicle Purchase
You may be able to get help buying or adapting a vehicle. You must have certain disabilities to qualify. These injuries must have occurred during active service. One example is loss of use of your hands.
11. Medal of Honor Pension
Were you awarded the Medal of Honor? Are you still on active duty? You can receive a special pension from the VA.
12. Claiming Benefits Before Separation
The VA pre-discharge program, called Benefits Delivery at Discharge, allows Servicemembers to file claims for disability compensation from 180 to 90 days prior to separation or retirement from active duty or full-time National Guard duty. Claims processing times tend to be much shorter for claims submitted prior to discharge.