Pension is a needs-based benefit. It is paid to wartime Veterans with financial needs and
their survivors. If you are a Veteran, you are eligible for pension if all of the following are
- You were discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
- You served 90 days of active duty with at least one day during wartime*, AND
- Your countable income is below the maximum annual pension rate (MAPR), AND
- You meet net worth limitations,
You meet one of the following criteria:
- You are age 65 or older.
- You have a permanent and total nonservice-connected disability.
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.
- You are receiving Social Security disability benefits.
- Which benefit would pay you more?
- Are you receiving other aid and will that entitlement change?
- Which Post-9/11 GI Bill tier are you eligible for?
- How much of the training will be online?
- Where will the training take place?
- Is the time limit for using the benefit important?
- Are you a member of the Armed Forces or a Veteran?
- Are you eligible for Transfer of Entitlement? Do you want to transfer entitlement?
- Do you have remaining entitlement under other VA education programs?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows Service members to transfer unused education benefits to immediate family members. This applies to officer or enlisted, active duty and Selected Reserve. Qualifying immediate family members are spouses and children. The Service member must have at least six years of service and commit to an additional four years in order to transfer benefits. This policy is set by the Department of Defense because this benefit impacts recruiting and retention.
The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, or the Yellow Ribbon Program, is a part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows U.S. institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA. These degree-granting institutions partner with VA to cover tuition and fee expenses that exceed VA’s maximum payable amount. Schools can contribute a specified dollar amount. VA will match the amount, not to exceed 50 percent of the difference.
VA presumes that certain disabilities were caused by military service. This is because of the unique circumstances of a specific Veteran’s military service. If a presumed condition is diagnosed in a Veteran in a certain group, they can be awarded disability compensation.
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program offers grants to Servicemembers and
Veterans with certain severe service-connected disabilities. The grants assist with building, remodeling or purchasing an adapted home.
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant helps disabled Veterans and Servicemembers enjoy barrier-free living. One example is a wheelchair accessible home. This can provide independent living that might not otherwise be possible.
The current maximum grant amount is $85,645. It must be used for the purpose of
constructing or modifying a home to meet adaptive needs. The maximum grant amount adjusts annually, so please visit the website
Service-Disable Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) is life insurance for Veterans who received a service-connected disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The basic program is commonly called “RH Insurance.” It insures eligible Veterans for up to $10,000 of coverage. If you are totally disabled and have basic S-DVI coverage, you may be eligible for a premium waiver. If it is granted, you may be eligible to apply for additional coverage up to $30,000 under the Supplemental S-DVI program. Premiums for this program cannot be waived.
Who is Eligible?
You are eligible for S-DVI if all of the following are true:
- You were released from active duty under other than dishonorable conditions on or after April 25, 1951.
- You were rated for a service-connected disability (even if only 0%).
- You are in good health except for any service-connected conditions.
- You apply within 2 years from the date VA notifies you of your grant of a new service-connected disability.
The separation health assessment provides a single separation exam. This supports the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation program and the Department of Defense (DoD) mandatory separation history and physical exam. The assessment makes current health information accessible by DoD and VA.
Who Conducts the Exam?
- VA conducts the exam when the Service member applying for disability
compensation has at least 90 days remaining on active duty.
- DoD conducts the exam for Service members who aren’t filing a disability
compensation claim or have less than 90 days remaining on active duty
The assessment provides a complete medical evaluation at separation, which:
- Documents any medical concerns identified during your military career</li
- Assesses your current health and medical history
There are a variety of VA benefits available to Service members.
- Insurance Benefits
- Home-Related Benefits
- Financial Assistance for Vehicle Purchase
- Insurance Benefits
- Education Benefits
- Education and Career Counseling
- Health Care Benefits
- Medal of Honor Pension
- Claiming Benefits Before Separation
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) provides low-cost group term life insurance for service members. SGLI insureds also have automatic SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI). Members covered under full-time SGLI are covered by TSGLI 24/7 both on and off duty. Members covered under part-time SGLI are only covered during duty and while travelling to and from duty. The program can also initiate automatic coverage for spouses and dependent children (Family SGLI). For more information on TSGLI, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/tsgli.asp. For more information on Family SGLI, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/fsgli.asp.
VA can pay more compensation to a Veteran who lost, or lost the use of, specific organs or body parts due to military service.
The Special Employer Incentive (SEI) program is an initiative from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. It provides training and experience to Veterans. The program is for Veterans in VA’s VR&E program who struggle to obtain employment. VA determines Veteran eligibility. Once approved for the program, a participating employer hires the Veteran. VA identifies suitable placements and coordinates the process. Ideally, employment continues after completing the program. The SEI program is beneficial to both Veterans and employers.
VA Wants to Make Filing Claims Faster and Easier
VA wants it to be as fast and easy as possible for you to file your claims. All Veterans and Service members deserve timely and accurate claims decisions. As of March 24, 2015, VA requires the use of standardized forms when filing. These forms allow you to clearly identify your symptoms or conditions. This ensures you submit the right information to process your claims.
Survivors Pension, which was formerly referred to as Death Pension, is a tax-free benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.
The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) program provides short- term financial assistance to severely injured Service members and Veterans. It is designed to assist in recovery from traumatic injuries. Coverage is automatic if you are covered under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program.
A VA-guaranteed loan can be used to:
- Buy a home as a primary residence (This can be either existing or new construction.)
- Refinance an existing loan
The VA Vendee Loan Program offers qualified borrowers the option of purchasing VA Real Estate Owned (REO) properties with little to no money down. The program is available to Veterans, non Veterans, owner-occupants, and investors. The VA Vendee Loan Program offers buyers of VA REO properties a unique seller financing loan product that is competitive and affordable. Vendee is a viable alternative to traditional financing.
The VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program helps Servicemembers, Veterans and eligible dependents succeed in their educational goals. The program provides on-campus benefits assistance and counseling. The goals of the program are to:
- Help participants complete their education
- Help participants move on to viable careers
Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) allows you to convert your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage to renewable group life insurance when you leave the service. VGLI provides coverage as long as you pay the premiums.
Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) provides insurance coverage on home mortgages for certain severely disabled Service members and Veterans. Please download the VMLI brochure for general information about the Veterans Mortgage
Life Insurance Program at https://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/forms/VMLI-brochure-
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
(VR&E) Service now provides Veterans the opportunity to meet with their Vocational
Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) via “Tele-counseling,” reducing the need for Veterans to
travel for counseling appointments, and in some cases enabling Veterans to get their