After serving in the United States military, veterans are provided with a variety of government assistance programs designed to help them transition back into civilian life.
Former service members receive most of the assistance benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Labor (DOL). Veteran assistance programs are funded by the federal government, but many of them are typically administered and managed on a local state level. Learn more about the various government programs in place to provide assistance to veterans of the U.S. military.
Disability Services for Veterans
Veterans who have service-related disabilities can be eligible for a variety of benefit programs offered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These programs are funded by the federal government in order to help veterans with disabilities adjust to their life after completing their military service. There are a variety of different types of aid available for retired service members with disabilities including employment and financial support, home disability-adaption assistance and life insurance policies. In most cases, the type and severity of a veteran’s disability is considered when determining eligibility for assistance and the amount of benefits he or she will receive.
Education Training for Veterans
Since the passing of the GI Bill in 1944, the federal government has offered veterans financial assistance for educational and professional ventures such as job training programs, graduate school or university. These education and training benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently, there are two versions of the U.S. GI Bill calls the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill. Benefits from these programs can be used to pay for tuition, housing, educational programs and other standard education fees. Veterans are encouraged to learn about each of these two GI Bills in order to determine what education benefits they may be qualified to receive and how to apply.
Employment Benefits for Veterans
After completing a military career, retired service members will often seek employment once they transition back into civilian life. Fortunately, the VA and the Department of Labor offer a wide variety of veteran’s assistance programs that can assist beneficiaries through the stages of a job search. Eligible veterans will have access to helpful resources such as education and career counseling in addition to career advice and assistance. Furthermore, veterans will have access to job boards that host employers who are interested in hiring retired service members and military spouses. In order to efficiently manage employment benefits, the VA has created a Military Transition Program that gives veterans one-on-one service to meet their employment needs. Some of the most helpful employment benefits for veterans include:
- Military skills transition into job skills.
- Guidance in career choices.
- Advising on benefits.
- Academic or adjustment counseling.
- Job boards for veterans.
Health Insurance for Veterans
Health insurance is an essential part of maintaining good health, especially for military veterans. The process of exploring health insurance options can be confusing, but it is vital to do so for veterans who want to receive the best health care they can afford. Furthermore, health insurance is mandatory for all Americans since the passing of the Affordable Care Act. Active duty and retired service members have access to the TRICARE health insurance, but eligibility requirements can differ by location. Additionally, veterans may be eligible to receive different levels of health coverage based on numerous criteria such as:
- The branch of the armed forces that a veteran served within.
- Whether or not the veteran received a service-related disability during their service.
- The severity of the veteran’s disability (if applicable).
- A veteran’s financial situation.
Learn more about the different types of health insurance plans available for veterans and the healthcare services covered by those policies.
Housing Assistance for Veterans
Unfortunately, many veterans face housing troubles once they return home from their service. Many of these retired service members may be eligible for different government housing assistance programs. The HUD and the VA both work together with a variety of non-profit organizations to offer affordable housing options for low-income veterans. Veterans can also take advantage of additional services to improve their housing situations. For example, there are programs that offer funding to veterans in order to make their homes more accessible if they have any service-related disabilities. There are numerous housing programs in place to help veterans and their families live safely and comfortably as they transition back into civilian life.
Loan Programs for Veterans
Military veterans are given access to numerous loan programs that are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These programs offer attractive rates to veterans for home financing options, which can help them maintain financial stability. Veterans tend to have better access to loans with favorable terms than homebuyers get with traditional mortgages. The VA offers a range of loan programs to help veterans fund the cost of constructing, purchasing, renovating or refinancing a home.