Understanding VA Benefit Eligibility

Veterans that have served our country are eligible for a variety of benefits. As these benefits have been developed and released over time, the requirements for VA benefits eligibility vary from benefit to benefit. This article will highlight five benefits available to veterans.

Healthcare Benefits

The VA provides health care to eligible veterans. Those who served prior to September 7, 1980 are eligible without having to meet any minimum service requirements. The VA health system is one of the largest in America with more than 1,200 facilities. Its providers are rated among the top physicians, per the VA website. The VA provides preventative, specialty and primary care for those enrolled. It also encompasses home health care, mental health care, senior care, prescriptions and more. Most of these services are provided free of charge or for a small copay. Service requirements to be eligible for this health care benefit include having served in the active naval, air or military and be honorably released.

VA Housing Programs

Homelessness is prevalent among veterans per The National Alliance to End Homelessness. The VA aims to reduce homelessness numbers by providing several housing resources for their veterans. Specifically, the mission of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is to help identify housing placement for veterans and their families. The VA provides assistance gaining home loans and lower interest rate loans to make purchasing a home more attainable for veterans, and it helps veterans find rental properties rather than the alternative of becoming homeless. The requirements to secure a home loan include an acceptable credit score and income, applicable service documents, certification that you will occupy the home and other typical loan documents.

VA Pension

VA pensions can provide veterans with financial security after their service. This is a need-based benefit for veterans who are 65 or older, have little to no income or who have suffered a disability. Injured veterans can qualify for a greater pension if they rely on care from another person to help with activities of daily living. Requirements to achieve this pension are proof of income, medical treatment records and completion of pension application forms. The veteran’s service record will verify proof of military service.

Education and Training

If you’re a veteran looking to further your education, the VA can help offset those costs. They offer benefits to help pay for tuition, housing and other expenses. These funds are not only for college courses, but also can be used toward internships, apprenticeships and other certification fees. Copies of discharge papers are required, and those applying for housing assistance must attend school more than half the time and not currently be on active service duty.

Employment Resources

After being discharged from the military, it can be difficult landing a civilian job. The VA offers assistance gaining employment. The United States Department of Labor website has a jobs bank link to all open jobs throughout the United States with veteran-friendly employers. Veterans are more likely to get hired in government positions based on their service to our country.