There are a range of different services and benefits available to those who have served in the U.S. Military, their spouses, and their dependents. Of course, the V.A. is pretty notorious among veterans and their families for being difficult to navigate, which makes it that much harder to claim the benefits an individual is eligible for. Navigating the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs systems shouldn’t be what stands between a veteran or qualifying family member and the benefits or services that could help improve or maintain their quality of life. At Patriot Angels, our mission is to help veterans and their loved ones navigate the V.A. system and apply for those hard-earned benefits. One of the questions we hear most often is how V.A. benefits work, and how to get them. Here are the basics of government-provided benefits for veterans:
How V.A. Benefits Work
At the most basic, V.A. benefits are there for anyone who has served in and was honorably discharged from one of the branches of the U.S. Military and some immediate family members. This can include those who served in the Reserves or National Guard, as long as they were called to active duty and completed the full period of duty they were called up for. In addition, there are some services and benefits available for spouses and dependents.
Of course, it is not quite as simple as walking into the nearest V.A. representative’s office and asking for money based on time served. Depending on the service or benefit, there will be additional eligibility requirements that can range from things like time period and duration of service to age and income. You can see the basics of eligibility requirements in these matrices, which break down the primary benefits based on service and some special circumstances.
The trouble many people have is not necessarily qualifying or applying for benefits, it is finding the benefits to begin with. More often than not, we hear from veterans and their loved ones that they learned about a specific benefit or service from a friend, rather than from a V.A. representative. And, while you can go to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website and start clicking through pages, that can be a pain to navigate, especially if you do not have a specific need or concern in mind. Working with a V.A. representative can help you find the benefits you and your family members are eligible for based on your needs and life circumstances. Or, if there is not a V.A. office nearby, you can also find a qualified representative nearby or apply for benefits online.
At Patriot Angels, we have experienced professionals here to help you navigate the V.A. benefits application process, especially for the Aid and Attendance pension. Learn more about what we can help you do, or contact us today to get started on getting the benefits you have earned.