Eligibility for certain benefits, such as home loan guarantees and education benefits, may require additional time in service and meeting other criteria.
Veterans who are disabled as a result of their service may be eligible to receive monthly disability payments. Such disabilities can be both of a physical or mental nature and sometimes will also cover disabilities caused from a worsening of a pre-service health condition.
Monthly tax-free VA Disability Compensation benefit payments range from $133 to over $3,400 every month. The greater your disability rating (expressed as a percentage), the higher the payment amount will be (disability ratings range from 10% to 100% in ten percent intervals). Higher payments are given if:
• you have very severe disabilities or loss of limb(s)
• you have a spouse, child(ren), or dependent parent(s)
• you have a seriously disabled spouse
• you are considered unemployable due to your disability
You are eligible for a monthly pension payment if you served 90 days or more of active duty with at least one day during a period of wartime, or you are permanently and totally disabled, or are age 65 or older. Plus you must have a limited income and financial assets. The 2022 asset limit for a VA pension is $138,489.
The monthly pension payment is determined by your current income and family status. For example, if you are an eligible veteran with a spouse or a child, your maximum allowable income is $19,320. So, if your income is $12,000 per year, you would receive an annual pension (in monthly payments) of $7,320.
You and often your immediate family members qualify for health care benefits if you served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless you were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or discharged for a hardship.
If your health condition, injury or disability is caused by your military service you are eligible to be treated for that condition by the VA for free. If not, the following co-payments are usually applied:
• Medication – Prescription copayment charges range from $5 to $11 for each 30 day or less supply of medications provided on an outpatient basis for
• Outpatient – Primary care visits ($15) and specialty care visits ($50).
• Inpatient – Same as the current inpatient Medicare Deductible Rate for the first 90 days that you remain in the hospital plus a $10 per day charge.
• Long Term Care – Varies by the type of service provided and the individual veterans ability to pay.
The VA home loan program has helped millions of veterans and their families to buy their own home since it was introduced at the end of World War II. VA mortgages are made by private mortgage lenders, but are guaranteed by the federal government through the VA. This program allows veterans to purchase a home often with no down payment, lower interest rates and payments over 30 years. Therefore, it is much cheaper than a conventional mortgage loan. In addition, the fees are usually made part of the loan and closing costs are reduced.
In addition to helping veterans purchase a home, the VA also has many programs to improve your home or keep your home, through special home improvement loan programs and programs that provide assistance if you have trouble making your mortgage payments.
A whole range of educational benefits are available to veterans, under programs bundled in what’s called the “GI Bill”. Basic eligibility requires that you served an aggregate of 90 days of active duty since 2002 and then received an honorable discharge. Specific benefit payment amounts depend on how long you served before discharge – the longer your time of service, the higher your educational benefit payments.
The major benefits of the GI Bill are the following:
– Up to 100% Tuition and Fee Coverage: Eligible for 100% with at least 36 months of active duty service. Can be used towards any kind of degree and for vocational training and certificates. There is a maximum benefit of $26,000 per year.
– Monthly Housing Allowance: While studying or training, is based on the area where you live, averaging $1,800 per month. Half the allowable amount will be paid if studying online.
– Up to $1000 a year for Books and Supplies