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What Veterans Benefits are Available in the United States?

By L. Hepfer
Updated May 17, 2024
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A US veteran is a man or a woman who has served in the United States Armed Forces. This service pertains to a person who remains active in any branch of the United States military. Benefits were created to help those who have sacrificed themselves while protecting the United States.

Different veterans benefits can vary from providing a college education to compensating and treating the disabled veterans to life insurance policies or various benefits for the survivors of veterans. You may also be eligible for benefits if you are a dependent of a veteran; a child, a spouse or a parent of a deceased veteran, a member of the National Guard or Reserve, or an active duty military service member. Some veterans benefits have a time limit with which they may be used and others have no time limit at all.

Veterans who are more than 10% disabled from a disability which occurred while serving in the military, may be eligible for a monthly compensation. Pensions may be paid monthly to a wartime veteran over the age of 65 who has a limited income and is completely disabled. There is no time limit when applying for these benefits; they may be applied for at any time.

There are several health care veterans benefits available. Veterans hospitals can be located across the United States. Not only are there hospitals available for veterans, but dental care, pharmaceutical care, outpatient services and prosthetic services are also available. Community-based residential care, nursing homes and rehabilitation programs are available, as well as readjustment counseling and alcohol and drug dependency treatments. Combat veterans have specific time limits to which they may receive these types of veterans benefits.

Assistance is provided to help veterans obtain employment who may be disabled. Veterans are worked with and taught to live as independently as they can. Job searches are provided, as well as possible training and rehabilitative services. There is a 12 year time limit to using this particular benefit.

Education for veterans is available for up to ten years after the veteran has been released from serving active duty. The college program and training program must be approved before the benefits are paid. The guidelines for this benefit varies slightly between active duty service members and the Reserve and National Guard service.

Several different types of home loans are available to benefit veterans and some military personnel. Loans are provided for purchasing a home, refinancing a home or building a home. 100% financing is guaranteed to those who meet credit requirements, and there is no time limit to use this benefit.

A low-cost life insurance policy is available for active duty service members that expires 120 days after they leave the military. Other various life insurance benefits are available for active duty service members, veterans and those who are disabled. There are various amounts available and various time restraints on each.

Dependents and surviving spouses of veterans are entitled to several veterans benefits. Death pension is available based on financial need. Health and medical programs are covered by a certain percentage. Education and training programs may be available as well as home loans for surviving family members of a deceased veteran.

Burial services and benefits are available upon a veteran's death. Specific headstones and markers are used to mark their grave, a burial flag is draped over the coffin and certain burial expenses may be reimbursed. Most veterans and their dependents may even be buried in a national cemetery specifically created for veterans. There is a two year time limit for reimbursement benefits for a veteran's burial when it is not a service-related death. Service-related deaths have no time limit for reimbursement.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon94010 — On Jul 06, 2010

I agree that the time limit for any benefit is not realistic in today's economy. Education for a skill that is now in china is not going to help.

Being a six-year war veteran, I too have no benefits left while I am alive.

All vets should get the same benefits. we all put our lives on the line for this country.

This limit is used to keep the cost down.

By anon75021 — On Apr 05, 2010

I've asked the question so many times until I want to scream, because I never get an answer. I'd like to know *why*! Why is there a time limit on using the GI Bill Education Benefits?

I was a vietnam era member, and retired in 1994. Went to work immediately full time to raise a family. By the time I got the kids out to college, time passed and ten years had passed. The VA says I lost my benefit. I can't get it back, so in retrospect, I'd like to know the logic in setting a time limit.

What difference does it make to some VA person if I use it in a year after retirement or fifteen years after. Why the time limit? Oh, and please, don't say that's what congress set. My question is why?

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