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Federal benefits for veterans and dependents

A list of resources and contact numbers to help service members, former and current, and their families.
/ Source: NBC, msnbc.com and news services

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a wide range of benefits for military veterans, service members and their families. Here's a general list of what is offered:MILITARY/VETERAN BENEFITS

HEALTH CARE
MedicalVA provides a wide range of health-care services to veterans, including treatment for military sexual trauma and for conditions possibly related to exposure to Agent Orange, ionizing radiation and other environmental hazards in the Persian Gulf. Generally, veterans must be enrolled in VA’s Health Care System to receive care.Time Limit: NoneContact: 1-877-222-8387

Medical for combat veteransVA will provide combat veterans free health care for any illness possibly associated with service against a hostile force in a war after the Gulf War or during a period of hostility after November 11, 1998.Time Limit: Two years from release from active duty.Contact: 1-877-222-8387

Dental
Veterans may receive one-time dental treatment if they were not provided treatment within 90 days before separation from active duty. The time limit does not apply to veterans with dental conditions resulting from service-connected wounds or injuries.Time Limit: 90 days from separationContact: 1-877-222-8387

DISABILITY
Disability compensation
The VA pays monthly compensation to veterans for disabilities incurred or aggravated during military service. This benefit is not subject to federal or state income tax. Entitlement is established from the date of separation if the claim is filed within one year from separation. Generally, military retirement pay is reduced by any VA compensation received.  Income from Special Separation Benefits (SSB) and Voluntary Separation Incentives (VSI) affects the amount of VA compensation paid.Time Limit: NoneContact: 1-800-827-1000
Disability pension
This income-based benefit is paid to veterans with honorable war-time service who are permanently and totally disabled due to non service-connection disability (or age 65 or older).Time limit: NoneContact: 1-800-827-1000

BURIAL
For burial in a national cemeteryBurial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 120 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains. Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependent name and date of birth and death inscribed on the veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family.Time Limit: NoneContact: 1-800-827-1000

For burial in a private cemeteryBurial benefits available for veterans buried in a private cemetery include a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. There are not NCA benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.Time Limit: NoneContact: 1-800-827-1000

EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Montgomery GI BillThe education benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans. You may be an eligible veteran if you got an honorable discharge, and you have a high school diploma or GED or, in some cases, 12 hours of college credit. For more eligibility requirements contact the VA.Time Limit: Ten years from release from last period of active duty. Limited extensions are available.Contact: 1-888-442-4551

Veterans Educational Assistance ProgramVEAP is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. You may use these benefits for degree, certificate, correspondence, apprenticeship/on-the-job training programs, and vocational flight training programs. In certain circumstances, remedial, deficiency, and refresher training may also be available. Benefit entitlement is 1 to 36 months, depending on the number of monthly contributions.Time Limit: Ten years from release from last period of active duty. Limited extensions are available.Contact: 1-888-442-4551

Montgomery GI Bill – Selected ReserveThe Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. You may use this education assistance program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. Time Limit: Ten years from the date of eligibility for the program, or until released from the Selected Reserve or National Guard.  Fourteen years if eligibility began on or after October 1, 1992.  If activated under title 10, eligibility period is extended by time on active duty plus 4 months.  Separate extension for each activation. Extension not available if activated under title 32.Contact: 1-888-442-4551

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EMPLOYMENTVA helps veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find and keep suitable employment.  For veterans with serious service-connected disabilities, VA also offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.  Some of the services offered are:  job search, vocational evaluation, career exploration, vocational training, education training, and rehabilitation service.

Time Limit: Generally 12 years from VA notice to veteran of at least a 10 percent disability rating.Contact: 1-800-827-1000

HOME LOANVeterans with qualifying service are eligible for VA home loan services including guaranteed loans for the purchase of a home, manufactured home, manufactured home and lot, certain types of condominiums, or to build, repair, and improve homes.  This benefit may be used to refinance an existing home loan.  Certain disabled veterans can receive grants to have their homes specially adapted to their needs.  Native Americans living on Trust Land may qualify for a direct home loan.

Time Limit: NoneContact: 1-800-827-1000

LIFE INSURANCE
SGLI (Service members’ Group Life Insurance)
Low-cost life insurance for service members and reservists.  It is available in $10,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000.  SGLI coverage begins when the service member enters service.

Time Limit: Coverage continues for 120 days from date of separation, or up to one year if totally disabled at the time of separation from service.Contact: 1-800-669-8477

VGLI (Veterans’ Group Life Insurance)Renewable term life insurance for veterans.  It is available in amounts up to $250,000 but not to exceed the amount of SGLI coverage in force at the time of the service member’s separation from service.  Premiums are age-based.

Time Limit: Must apply within 120 days of separation, or 1 year and 120 days if proof of good health is provided.Contact: 1-800-669-8477

FGLI (Family Group Life Insurance) Low cost life insurance extended to the spouse and children of service members insured under SGLI.  Spousal coverage is available up to a maximum of $100,000, but may not exceed the service member’s coverage amount. Dependent children are automatically covered for $10,000 for which there is no cost.

Time Limit: Coverage terminates 120 days after service member is released from service. Spouse may convert policy to a commercial policy.Contact: 1-800-669-8477

SDVI (Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance)Also called “RH” insurance, is life insurance for service-disabled veterans.  The basic coverage is $10,000.  A $20,000 supplemental policy is available if premium payments for the basic policy are waived due to total disability.

Time Limit: For basic must apply within two years from date of notification of service-connected disability. For supplemental insurance, service-disabled veterans must apply within one year of approval of waiver of premiums.Contact: 1-800-669-8477

VMLI (Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance)
Mortgage protection insurance issued to those severely disabled veterans who have received grants for Specially Adapted Housing from VA. Maximum coverage is $90,000.

Time Limit: Must apply before the age of 70.Contact: 1-800-669-8477

REEMPLOYMENT contains information on employment and reemployment rights of members of the uniformed services.
Time Limit:
For military service over 180 days, must apply for reemployment with employer within 90 days after separation.  Shorter periods to apply if service is less than 180 days.Contact: Former employer.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members program is administered by the States as agents of the Federal government.  contains links for each state’s benefits, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Time Limit: Limited time. Contact: State Employment Office (bring your DD-214)

DEPENDENTS’ AND SURVIVOR’ BENEFITS
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is payable to certain survivors of: Service members who died on active dutyVeterans who died from service-related disabilities certain veterans who were being paid 100% VA disability compensation at time of death.Death Pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. The benefit is based on financial need.VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans.

Time Limits: NoneContact: 1-800-827-1000

Source: Veterans Administration