The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers several benefits to veterans and active duty service members. In return for their honorable services, current and former service members receive health care, disability compensation, education and home loan benefits. Other benefits offered include burial benefits for service members and spouses, vocational rehabilitation and life insurance.
VA provides medical care to all eligible veterans. Medical benefits include a variety of treatments for medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes and conditions resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. Eligible members must enroll in the VA health care system and meet the service requirement of at least 24 months of active duty. There are no length of service requirements for members enlisted before Sept. 8, 1980 and officers serving before Oct. 17, 1981.
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VA Disability Compensation
Eligible veterans receive tax-free monetary compensation for service-connected disabilities and disabilities worsened by service. Veterans must receive an honorable, general or under honorable conditions discharge. As of April 2011, a veteran assigned 30 percent with a spouse and no children receives $421 monthly. A veteran assigned 30 percent with a spouse and child receives $453 per month. Veterans assigned 10 percent receive $123 per month and 20 percent nets $243 per month with no regard to dependents. Members with loss of limb, dependents or disabled spouses may receive additional compensation.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides education assistance to service members who served on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Current eligibility requirements include 90 days of active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, active duty service or an honorable discharge. Veterans receive tuition assistance, a monthly housing stipend based on location, and a $1,000 book and supply allowance.
The Montgomery GI Bill provides educational assistance to active duty and Selected Reserve service members. Active duty service members receive up to 36 months of benefits provided they have a high school diploma or GED, 12 college credits in certain instances, and meet the eligibility requirements in four categories. Selected Reserve members must complete a six-year service requirement and initial active duty training. Members must have a high school diploma or GED and exercise good conduct while serving in the Selected Reserves.
VA Home Loans
Veterans, active duty service members, Reservist and National Guard members and certain surviving spouses may receive home loan guaranties provided they meet the eligibility requirements. These include at least 90 days of service during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam or 181 days during peacetime. Selected Reserves and National Guard members must have at least six years of total service. Unremarried spouses of deceased veterans or a spouse of a service member reported missing in action or spouses of prisoners of war are also eligible.