The men and women of the Armed Services agree to make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedom and security we have in the United States. The debt of gratitude the country owes them can never truly be repaid; however, the government does try to compensate veterans for their service in a wide range of ways. If you are a veteran, the surviving spouse of a veteran, or a dependent of a veteran you may be entitled to a number of veteran’s benefits – many of which may be new to you. To help ensure that you know as much as possible about the benefits to which you may be entitled, the veteran’s benefit attorneys at Kulas Law Group have put together some frequently asked veteran’s benefits questions and answers for you.
What is disability compensation?
Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions, or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly disability benefits. The amount of the benefits will depend on factors such as the number of dependents the veteran has and the disability rating assigned to the veteran (on a scale of 0 to 100).
Who is eligible for disability benefits?
To be eligible for disability benefits, you must show:
- You have a current physical or mental disability.
- You had an injury or disease in service or experienced an event in service that caused or aggravated an injury or disease.
- There is a link between your current disability and the event, injury, or disease in military service.
What is the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program?
The DIC program provides monthly benefits to surviving spouses and dependent children of a veteran who was killed in the line of duty or died as a result of a service-connected disability.
What is a disability benefits questionnaire?
Disability benefits questionnaires (DBQs) are downloadable forms created for Veterans’ use in the evaluation process for disability benefits. DBQs will help speed the processing of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims.
Will I receive a be entitled to a pension as a veteran?
The pension program for veterans is a needs-based benefit for wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are age 65 or older or who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability. The disability does not have to be service-connected but it cannot be the result of your willful misconduct.
What is the Veteran’s Aid & Assistance Program (VA&A)?
The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance program is intended to provide additional monetary assistance, above and beyond that provided by other VA programs such as the VA pension program. The additional assistance is intended to help cover the cost of someone to help you with daily tasks of living, such as dressing, bathing, or cooking.
What kind of health care assistance if available for me and my family?
Veterans and their families enjoy some of the best health care assistance available. To be eligible for health care benefits you must:
- Have served in the active military, naval, or air service and separated under any conditions other than dishonorable.
- If you enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, you most likely will be required to have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty. This includes current and former members of the Reserve or National Guard called to active duty by a federal order.
Are veterans entitled to educational benefits?
The type of benefits a veteran receives will depend on when he/she entered the service and various other factors; however, the following are among the educational programs offered to veterans:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill®
- Yellow Ribbon Program to help pay tuition costs for private, out-of-state, or graduate school.
- Montgomery GI Bill®
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
Can I get help buying a home if I am a veteran?
Veterans and/or spouses may qualify for a low interest mortgage loan through one of the following programs:
- VA Purchase Loans
- Cash-Out Refinance Loans
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans
If I am denied veteran’s benefits, can I appeal?
You can appeal a denial of most veteran benefits. The first step is to file a “Notice of Disagreement” form. Because the appeal process can be difficult to navigate, it is best to consult with an experienced veteran’s benefits attorney as soon as you receive your denial of benefits letter.
How do I apply for Veteran’s benefits?
As you may well imagine, applying for veteran’s benefits requires you to fill out the appropriate form and submit the appropriate documentation. The best place to start is on the “Applying for Benefits” page on the Veterans Benefits Administration website.
For more information, or if you have specific questions or concerns regarding veteran’s benefits, or if you have been denied benefits and wish to discuss appealing that denial, contact the experienced Florida veteran’s benefits attorneys at Kulas Law Group by calling (772) 398-0720 to schedule an appointment.