The Veterans Affairs (VA) programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in order to help veterans settle back into civilian life. The program provides veterans with a slew of services and benefits, from health care to education training and career training. If you are a veteran looking for comprehensive assistance in an area in your life, then the VA programs will cover all your bases.

The purpose of this program is for veterans to have enough support so that they can lead a quality life after having served their country. Every VA program has a unique set of program requirements and the application process.

In order to be eligible for veterans’ benefits, veterans must have been honorably discharged from service. They must also meet the minimum period of active duty requirement in order to be eligible. There are also specific services that only apply to certain branches of the military. This includes but is not limited to the army, air force or marines. To better understand these programs and how they can benefit you, continue to review our comprehensive guide on the assistance available.

Education and Career

The post-9/11 bill offers up to four years of veteran education funds to qualifying veterans. This is the typical route for veterans who want to get back to their education. This veteran program is used to cover the payments for housing and school supplies. Service members that are eligible must have served at least 90 days after September 9, 2001. 

When you apply, you have the option to complete the application by mail, online or in person. Payments you make will vary from person to person. Once you apply and are accepted, you can see your GI Bill statement online on the VA website. You may sign in and it will display the the benefits you currently have, how much money and time you have left to use for your education.

VA works with the Department of Defense and Department of Labor to give employment opportunities to veterans. The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides workshops for veterans to learn about these opportunities and what is available to them based on their interest.

Veteran Health Care

Veterans can receive health care coverage for a variety of areas such as dental treatments, physical therapy, eye exams and mental health. The VA department decides when someone will receive benefits via a priority system. There are many factors as you can be eligible for VA health care, the main factors being income and the status you were discharged. You can still receive health care coverage if you already have insurance. There are also several program options you may qualify for depending on your household and your medical status.

However certain veteran health care services that can require a copayment. It is possible to apply for VA health care over the phone or in person. When you complete the application and are found eligible, you will obtain an identification card you can use at your local medical facility. It is also possible to appeal your application decision if it has been denied.  

Veteran Disability Compensation

VA disability compensation is for veterans who have become disabled after a service-related injury. The type of discharge, your current income and the type of disability will determine eligibility for compensation. There are various types of compensation for veterans Survivor and Dependent Compensation (DIC) and Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). If your disability is not listed, you may look on the special claims list to see if you can still qualify.

Once you decide to apply, you may do so online, via mail or in person at your local VA office. When you make a claim, expect the claim to take a long period of time. After submitting the medical records and examinations reports, the department office needs to verify the documents and are waiting for approval or denial. If you receive a denial, you may appeal the denial with a notice of disagreement.

Veteran Housing Assistance

Under the veterans housing assistance program, participants can receive home loans or get help with buying a home. Veterans can also build, improve and refinance a home with a VA home loan. These loans may be better than traditional loans because the majority of VA home loans are done with no down payment. 

You may qualify for the home loan if you were not given a dishonorable discharge and met the minimum active service requirement. You can apply via mail, online or in person. You must provide paperwork depending on the type of veteran you are. Once you qualify, you will receive a certificate of eligibility (COE), which is proof you can show your lender for the loan. You are the surviving spouse of a veteran, there is a program that allows spouses to receive a COE. As the spouse, you must meet the requirements the VA program has in place.

Pension

Every month the Veterans Pension program pays qualifying veterans a pension. This pension is for individuals meeting the age, disability and income and net-worth requirements of the program. Pensions are also for veterans who fought during an eligible wartime period. As with all veteran programs, the veteran must have been honorably discharged to qualify for a pension. 

You may apply for this program in person at your local office, send your application through the mail or complete it online. You need to prepare some documents before completing the application, which includes the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Military and work history
  • Financial information of you and your dependents
  • Medical information
  • Bank account 

You must submit an intent to file a claim along with the documents. Afterward, the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) program will process the submission. Once the application submitted, the VA will make their decision in order of priority. The length of time it takes for the VA to make the decision can vary for this reason. You will receive a notification in the mail about the decision. 

If you are a veteran that requires help in the home, then it is possible to get additional pension benefits to go towards aid for daily activities. The program is known as the Aid and Attendance benefits.