Without the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces, the rest of us in the United States could not go about our daily lives with the sense of security we have learned to enjoy. Members of our Armed Forces literally agree to give their lives to protect us. Those who do not have to make that ultimate sacrifice devoted years of their lives to protecting the rest of us. If you are a veteran, a surviving spouse, or a dependent, you may be entitled to a number of benefits because of your sacrifice or that of your loved one. The Affton veterans benefits lawyers at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC want to make sure you are getting the benefits you deserve.
Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions, or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits. To be eligible for disability benefits, you must show:
- You have a current physical or mental disability.
- You had an injury or disease in service or experienced an event in service that caused or aggravated an injury or disease.
- There is a link between your current disability and the event, injury, or disease in military service.
The amount of your disability benefits will depend on several factors, including the extent of your disability – rated from 0 to 100 in increments of 10 — and your household members (spouse and/or dependents) at the time of your disability rating.
In addition, the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program provides monthly benefits to surviving spouses and dependent children in recognition of the economic loss caused by a Servicemember’s death during military service, or by the death of a Veteran as a result of a service-connected disability. You can find out if you are eligible for the DIC program on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Veterans, and their families, have access to excellent health care services. To be eligible you must:
- Have served in the active military, naval, or air service and separated under any conditions other than dishonorable.
- If you enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, you most likely will be required to have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty. This includes current and former members of the Reserve or National Guard called to active duty by a federal order.
Education and Training
Several programs help veterans and their dependents to further their education at little, or no, cost. Among the programs offered are:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill®
- Yellow Ribbon Program to help pay tuition costs for private, out-of-state, or graduate school.
- Montgomery GI Bill®
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
You have likely heard about the VA loan program. There are actually several loan programs that provide low interest rate financing for veterans, and surviving spouses, who wish to purchase, or refinance, a home. The three main programs include:
- VA Purchase Loans
- Cash-Out Refinance Loans
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans
In addition, for Native American Veterans who wish to purchase a home on tribal lands, there is a special program, the VA Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program.
There is also a program that helps disabled veterans with the costs associated with adapting a home to make it accessible.
Pension and Veterans Aid and Attendance Program
Pension is a needs-based benefit for wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are age 65 or older or who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability.
Veterans, or surviving spouses, may also be eligible for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits if they need assistance with the daily tasks of living or are housebound.
In addition to providing education and training assistance, vocational and employment counseling, and job-seeking tools, VA connects Veterans with employers and helps employers find qualified Veterans for the positions they’re seeking to fill.
How to Apply for Benefits
Most Veteran benefits can be applied for online on the eBenefits website. If supporting documentation is needed, you will be told what you need to submit and how it may be submitted.
Contact Affton Estate Planning Lawyers
If you have additional questions or concerns, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar, contact the experienced veterans benefits attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.