The Veterans Benefits Administration offers a handful of programs that provide financial assistance to veterans, including educational aid and pensions. Eligibility depends on a veteran's needs, time of service, age, or physical condition. In most cases, veterans can download specific applications from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Post-9/11 GI Bill
Under the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008, veterans who served at least 90 days of active service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Eligibility is also extended to disabled veterans who were honorably discharged and served at least 30 consecutive days of active duty on or before Sept. 11, 2001.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides veterans and servicemen with educational benefits, including tuition costs, a monthly housing allowance, and yearly stipend for books and supplies. The assistance can be used for vocational and technical training, and undergraduate and graduate degrees. The amount of financial assistance is contingent upon a veteran’s active duty service. Veterans who served at least 36 months of active duty will receive the maximum basic benefit.
Veterans Pension Program
VA Pension benefits apply to veterans who are 65 or older, have limited or no income, and served in the armed forces during wartime, including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or the Persian Gulf War. Permanently disabled veterans under 65 are also eligible for VA Pension benefits.
Limits for this financial assistance depend on a veteran’s countable family income—the amount of income a veteran and his or her dependents receives from different sources. Countable income includes "earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business," according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Aid and Attendance
The Aid and Attendance (A&A) program provides additional compensation to veterans who are blind, bedridden, in a nursing home, or unable to perform daily, personal functions—such as eating, bathing, and dressing. To be eligible, a veteran must be eligible for the Veterans Pension Program. The A&A program helps veterans cover the cost of assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and in-home care. Veterans can apply for A&A by writing a letter to their VA regional office or filling out VA Form 21-526.