Are Veterans Aware Of Their Benefits?

Veterans deserve all the benefits they receive if not more. But, do veterans know about all of the benefits they have access to, and how to actually take advantage of them?

A source, who would like to remain anonymous, brought this subject to light at a recent dinner party. The source is a veteran and worked in administration in the VA for two years. He believes that there are a lot of people that need some extra help when it comes to applying for the benefits they are eligible for. Many soldiers come back from tours suffering from PTSD among many other mental health issues. Oftentimes, veterans have a hard time adjusting to life, never mind the stress of filling out countless job applications. There are too many veterans falling through the cracks and not fully understanding the help that is here for them to take advantage of.

Long term care is a major benefit that not enough veterans know they have available to them. The Department of Veterans Affairs pays for long-term care services for service-related disabilities. Additionally, they pay for veterans who do not have service-related disabilities, but are unable to pay for the cost of necessary care. The VA has two more programs that help veterans stay in their homes, The Housebound Aid and Attendance Allowance Program and A Veteran Directed Home and Community Based Services Program. These programs can provide cash to eligible veterans with disabilities and their spouses to purchase home and community based long-term care services. They can also provide eligible veterans with a flexible budget to purchase services as a supplement to the eligible veteran’s pension benefits.  

Many Veterans are unaware they have access to filing their taxes free of charge. One can go to to get a list of companies and websites that offer this service. My Free Taxes is operating the only free online tax preparation and filing assistance platform available in all 50 States. This company allows qualified Veterans, active-duty military and their families, as well as other qualifying taxpayers who earned $60,000 or less to file both federal and state tax return no matter where they live.

California has a College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents. This benefit waives mandatory systemwide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University or University of California Campus. The website outlines 4 different plans under which veteran dependents are eligable. However this waiver isn’t the only one available for Veteran Dependents and their spouses. Survivors’ & Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) is an education benefit that can provide up to 45 months of full-time or equivalent benefits to the spouse and children of 100% service connected disabled veterans for everything from college and apprenticeship training to the cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to keep or advance in a job.

Not enough Veterans are take advantage of the benefits offered to them. These applications can be difficult and time consuming to fill out. Veterans and families are encouraged to enlist the services of a Veteran Service Officer before submitting applications for benefits. They will help review your application and ensure you have all the information the VA requires. If you don’t have a Veteran Service Officer you can call 888-777-4443 for more information.