If you have completed active service in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines and left under either a general release or honorable discharge, congratulations are in order. As a reward for your service, the government may deem you eligible for a certain number of benefits. Find out which benefits you are eligible for:
The laws concerning veterans’ benefits have entered the government’s rubric in a piecemeal fashion. As each made its way into the books, it came complete with its own criteria for eligibility which hinge, in most cases, upon three specific factors. These include:
- Where you served.
- When you served.
- The length of your service.
- The circumstances surrounding your discharge.
The truth is that a number of these benefits apply only to those whose active duty occurred in a specific place and within a particular time frame. The conditions of your discharge will also make a difference. For example, while a discharge that was general or better will free you to partake of a large number of benefits, those granted under the GI Education Bill are available only to those whose release was honorable.
What if My Discharge Was Neither Honorable nor General?
Certain categories of military severance could disqualify you from benefits altogether. If you were dishonorably released or received your walking papers due to bad conduct or through a general court-martial, you will have to look elsewhere for assistance.
In the case in the case of special court-martials, however, restrictions become somewhat murky. Certain benefits may still be available to those who have received a dismissal, an OTH administrative discharge or a BCD. This will require having the Department of Veterans Affairs change your severance description to “other than honorable,” and it is just one of the areas in which San Diego Legacy Law can help.
Which Programs Apply Directly to Me?
In addition to education and health care benefits, the government has come up with a number of other programs to help veterans as well as their families. Some, in particular, may be of use to you, and San Diego Legacy Law can help you determine if you qualify for such lesser-known benefits as – Long-term care. The Aid and Assistance program can help you meet the costs of nursing homes and assisted living facilities for your spouse or other aging loved ones.
- Caregiver support. While it offers no monetary benefit, this program does provide veterans who care for an ailing loved one at home with a free support line and advice from a special coordinator.
- Unique death benefits. When an eligible veteran dies, the VA will provide free gravestones or markers, a presidential memorial certificate, and a United States flag for a coffin drape.
- Certification programs. The GI Bill of Rights offers up to $2,000 in monetary assistance for certain types of vocational training and non-college certification courses.
- Credit transfers. This benefit, if you qualify, will give you the option of shifting unused GI Bill credits to your spouse or children.
- Educational assistance. The government limits this benefit to dependent sons, daughters, and spouses of veterans who are ill, missing in action or suffering from a service-related disability.
- Tax preparation services. Veterans looking for help with their yearly tax returns can find it free of charge at their local military base.
- Life insurance. The Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group offers up to $400,000 in life insurance at competitive rates to qualified individuals.
- Mortgage assistance. The government will offer loan modifications, forbearance programs and special repayment plans to eligible veterans who require it.
If you are a veteran, these are only some of the programs for which you may or may not qualify. Before you can take advantage of any particular benefit, though, you will need to learn where to obtain it and whether you meet the eligibility criteria. If you do qualify but fail to complete the application forms in letter-perfect fashion, you may receive a rejection.
Where Can I Go for Help?
Although veterans’ benefits intend to make your life easier, the steps you must take to obtain them can pose a burden. The assistance of a skilled attorney who has dealt successfully with the VA, the Department of Defense and the various branches of the military can greatly increase your chances of success.
You will find that attorney at San Diego Legacy Law, where we fight to get the assistance you need while resolving administrative issues that may stand in your way. Contact us today and let us get right to work in advocating for your rights and helping you obtain the benefits you have earned and so richly deserve.