What are Veterans’ Benefits?
After a Soldier, Airman, Sailor, Marine, or Coastguardsman serves in the military, he or she becomes eligible for what seems to be a never-ending list of veterans’ benefits. The problem is knowing exactly what they have access to and how to sign up for everything they deserve.
It’s important to note that not everyone who was a part of the military is a veteran. Federal law defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.”
This means anyone who completed service in the the U.S. Armed Forces is a veteran. Guard and reserve members included. Research shows that prior to 2016, reserve component members of the military were only considered veterans once they served 180 days or more in active-duty status outside of training.
The Purpose of Veterans’ Benefits
According to the VA, veterans’ benefits help veterans and their families get ahead. Some aspects of military and civilian life overlap, but there are important differences.
If you look at veterans benefits from a different perspective, you’ll see that these benefits serve another purpose — helping veterans successfully transition into civilian life and the workforce.
Benefits created specifically for veterans allow them to:
- Buy homes
- Earn educational degrees
- Start careers or launch their own business
- Stay healthy, and so much more.
Federal Benefits vs. State Benefits for Military Veterans
You may already know that the the federal government has a set of benefits available to veterans through the VA. But did you know that some states throughout the United States offer amazing benefits to veterans residing in their state?
For example, veterans with a service-connected disability of at least 60% and honorable discharge can receive a free driver license in Texas.
The home of your favorite resume writing professionals, the great state of Utah, provides an exemption from vehicle license and registration fees.
For more information on veteran benefits offered in your state, visit the 2021 veterans’ benefits directory by state.
The Most Known and Unknown Veterans’ Benefits
The most common benefits a veteran can receive include:
- Veteran’s Preference: Veterans preference is a benefit that gives special preference to veterans during the hiring process for jobs.
- GI Bill: The GI Bill is a benefit that affords veterans and their families the opportunity to cover expenses to attend a college, university, or graduate school to get a degree. It also covers the cost of training programs needed for licensures and certifications.
Unused benefits may be transferred to spouses and children (dependents) of veterans. Of course, there are service limits required to transfer them.
The GI Bill comes in several unique programs such as Montgomery GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, and Forever GI Bill. To discover each program, review the GI Bill comparison chart.
- Veteran’s Healthcare Benefits: A veteran must qualify for VA healthcare benefits. This benefit helps cover medical expenses such as treatments, prescriptions, and yearly exams checkups or. To locate more information concerning this benefit visit the VA Healthcare.
- VA Home Loans: Veterans can qualify for a VA mortgage, which offers many benefits including no down payment required, no requirement for private mortgage insurance, interest rate reduction refinance, and others.
While the above benefits are most widely known, we found a list of benefits you may not be aware of yet.
Free Tax Preparation
Since it’s tax season, we wanted you to know that veterans and their family can receive free tax preparation services. Military bases and some online service providers are willing to assist with tax assistance.
Because the VA and IRS joined forces in 2015 to create a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the sole purpose of ensuring that veterans and their families receive free tax preparation services.
Veterans can simply collect all the necessary documents like photo ID, earning statements or Forms W-2, bank account numbers and social security numbers and file their taxes without cost.
Unfortunately, too many people are losing their lives at the hands of COVID-19. And many veterans cannot obtain life insurance if they received an injury during their time of service.
With the Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program, veterans can be covered for up to $400,000 in life insurance.
Mortgage Repayment Assistance
Veterans who fall behind or have trouble making their mortgage payments with their loan servicer face the risk of losing their home. But through the VA, they are eligible for repayment assistance.
To help veterans avoid foreclosure, the VA may offer a repayment plan, loan modification, or special forbearance to allow more time to repay the missed payments.
When foreclosure cannot be avoided, veterans may be responsible for paying the amount of the home loan back to the government, depending on when the loan closed.
If a family member is tasked with taking care of an injured or bedridden veteran, the VA officers a caregiver support program.
Although the program does not offer financial support, there is a support line and caregiver support coordinator to navigate the many military benefits and stress of care giving.
If you or someone you know needs more information on how to start receiving benefits, visit applying for benefits on the VA’s website. From there, more and more veterans’ benefits will be discovered.
Share Your Favorite Veterans Benefits with Empire Resume
This list of benefits above is just a tip of the iceberg of benefits that are available to military veterans. Care to share? We’d love to hear some of your favorite veterans benefits in the comments below. As always, come back next week for more insight about military, veteran, and the military-to-civilian transition. When you need a career professional in your corner, contact Empire Resume at 801-690-4085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach your career goals.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.