The VA provides a lot of different benefits for those who served. Some are well known, some aren't. Others may not apply to you, but they may apply to your parents. Here are some you might want to check out.
If you have a military pension or other government pension, you probably won't qualify for this benefit, but someone you know might. Like a retiree pension, a qualified veteran will receive a monthly pension. There are 3 requirements with "sub-requirements", but here are the basics:
- Honorable discharge and low income
- Generally, service during wartime (but not necessarily in combat)
- Older than 65 or disabled
VA Aid and Attendance (A&A)
Like the pension, this one won't likely apply to retired Senior Military Officers and NCOs, but like the pension it could apply to your parents or someone you know. A&A is paid to veterans and survivors receiving a VA pension. It is an amount added to the pension for individuals who meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Needs another person to help perform daily activities (bathing, feeding and dressing)
- Must stay in bed or spend a large portion of the day in bed due to illness
- Is a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability
- Has limited eyesight (even with glasses or contact lenses vision is 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)
Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
Available to family caregivers of eligible Veterans of all eras. If eligible, the caregiver will receive a stipend, healthcare through CHAMPVA, education and training, mental health counseling and travel when traveling with Veteran to receive care. The requirements to receive caregiver assistance are as follows:
- Caregiver must be at least 18 years old and be a family member (spouse, child and others) of the Veteran or must be or be willing to live with the Veteran fulltime.
- The Veteran must have a disability rating of 70% or higher and Veteran was discharged or has a date of medical discharge, and the Veteran needs at least 6 months of continuous, in-person care services.
Chapter 35 Education Benefits
Also known as Survivor's and Dependent's Education Assistance (DEA) Program. A lot of the retired Senior Military Officers and NCOs could apply for this. Like the GI Bill, this program pays for 36 months of education and can be paid to a spouse or child. To qualify for this benefit, the following rules apply:
- The Veteran must be Permanent and Totally Disabled (P&T); or died on active duty or due to a service-connected disability; or is MIA or POW; or was a POW; or is on active duty and hospitalized for a service-connected P&T disability and is likely to be discharged due to the disability
- The child must be between 18 and 26 (some exceptions apply); if over 18 and receiving DIC, it must be forfeited; can't be on Active Duty.
- For Spouses the benefit period starts when VA determines spouse qualifies or when the Veteran passes away and is 10 years; if rated P&T 3 years after discharge then benefit period is 20 years from that date; If military member dies on active duty then benefit period is 20 years; and the spouse can receive DEA and DIC.
Military Finances are Different
We're pretty sure your run of the mill Financial Planner won't know much about your VA Benefits. We're not even sure he or she will know where to look for them. That's why we think you should work with a Financial Planner/Advisor that deals every day with the issues that Active and Retired Senior Military Officers and NCOs face. If you'd like to find out how we do that, use the button below to schedule a free initial consultation.
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