10 Veterans Benefits You May Not Know About

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Many veterans know about the basic health care and education benefits available to them through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Numerous other programs exist to help veterans and their families with valuable benefits like financial assistance for medical care. Even within the health care and education programs there are little-known benefits to improve the lives of veterans and help ease the financial burden of medical care or other expenses.

    Here are 10 veterans benefits you may not have heard about yet.

    Long-term Care

    Long-term care is expensive, but often necessary in old age.

    Through the aid and attendance program, veterans are eligible for financial help to cover the cost of nursing homes, assisted living programs and other long-term care options.

    Couples can receive up to $25,020 a year, and surviving spouses of veterans may be eligible for up to $1,318 per month – or $15,816 per year – per year to cover their own long-term care costs.

    Can everyone receive long-term care through the VA’s aid and attendance program?

    To receive long-term care through the VA’s aid and attendance program, you must be eligible for a basic VA pension first. So, if your income is over a certain limit, you may not be eligible for long term care coverage.

    Caregiver Support

    If you choose to take care of an ailing veteran at home, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a caregiver support program. While this program doesn’t offer financial support for caregivers, it does provide access to a free support line and a caregiver support coordinator that can help you identify and navigate helpful benefits.

    Death Benefits

    When a veteran dies, families have a few unique benefits available to them. You can request a flag to drape over the casket and a presidential memorial certificate to honor your loved one’s service.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides free headstones or grave markers.

    Non-College Degree Programs/Certificates

    You can use the Montgomery or Post 9-11 GI Bill to pay for college credits as well as  vocational training or certification programs. 

    These include:  

    • HVAC repair
    • Truck driving
    • Emergency medical training
    • Cosmetology school
    • SCUBA Divemaster certifications
    • Flight School

    Other non-college degree programs are available through the VET TEC program which offers coding bootcamps and similar information science programs.

    Want more? Here’s a list of free IT certifications available to veterans.

    Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Program

    If you have a service-connected disability rating from the VA of at least 10% or are on active duty and waiting to be medically discharged, you may be eligible for the Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program.

    The purpose of the VR&E program is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities obtain employment support and services. VR&E offers job and education benefits in addition to other programs you may be eligible for with the VA, including the GI Bill. VR&E services include job training, resume  development, apprenticeships and more.

    Within the VR&E, some veterans may receive access to the VR&E Special Employer Incentives program, which pays employers an incentive to hire disabled veterans who face employment-related challenges. If you have a service-connected disability, you can apply for VR&E here.

    Transferring GI Bill® Credits

    You can transfer your unused GI Bill credits to spouses and dependents of a veteran, as long as you meet certain service requirements.

    Free Tax Preparation

    Veterans and their family have access to free tax preparation services through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices on military bases. VITA’s tax professionals understand complicated tax issues related to the military lifestyle.

    Life Insurance

    Many veterans have trouble obtaining traditional life insurance, especially with a service-connected injury or disability. Through the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program, veterans may be eligible to purchase up to $400,000 in life insurance at competitive premium rates.

    You must apply within a year plus 120 days of leaving military service, according to the VA.

    Don’t wait until the last day. If you sign up for VGLI within 240 days of your separation, you don’t need to prove you’re in good health.

    Mortgage Help

    Veterans having trouble making their mortgage payments can receive repayment assistance and counseling through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Options for help include special repayment plans, loan forbearance, loan modification programs and financial counseling.

    Aside from foreclosure assistance, the VA provides a mortgage option for eligible veterans, military members and surviving spouses. The home loan offers $0 down, no private mortgage insurance (PMI) and lenient credit requirements.

    VA loans are a VA benefit, but the VA doesn’t act as the lender. To get a VA loan, contact a private lender or bank.

    American Corporate Partners

    American Corporate Partners connects veterans with top companies to help them obtain a job after their time of service. The program also provides one-on-one mentoring and other career development services.

    For more information, visit the American Corporate Parters website.

    Written by Veteran.com Team