Veterans of the United States Armed Forces may be eligible for a broad range of programs and services provided by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits are legislated in Title 38 of the United States Code. This booklet contains a summary of these benefits effective Jan. 1, 2006. For additional information, visit the VA Web page at http://www.va.gov/.
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Generally, men and women veterans with similar service may be entitled to the same VA benefits.
Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees must contact a VA regional office to determine eligibility. VA benefits will not be provided to any veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Direct community involvement always has been and will continue to be a VFW priority.
The benevolence of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliaries extends well beyond the realm of veterans helping veterans.
Annually, VFW and Auxiliaries donate more than 13 million volunteer hours of community service. VFW members are mentoring youth groups, helping in community food kitchens, volunteering in blood drives and visiting hospitalized veterans. Others are helping veterans file compensation claims or are "voicing their vote" with elected officials.
VFW's Community Service programs are designed to encourage community service and increase civic pride, which ultimately enhances education, improves the environment and ensures the availability of health services for our nations veterans.
VFW's Citizenship Education program is designed to stimulate interest in America's history and traditions and to promote citizenship, civic responsibility and patriotism.
VFW's Youth Scholarship programs provide more than $3.5 million in scholarships
to our nation's youth. They include Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen
youth essay contest and Boy Scouts of America. For more information on
VFW programs and services visit their website at: www.vfw.org
Help for Your Family
What kind of help can be available? Grocery shopping, childcare, lawn care, fixing the family car and countless other challenges to a military spouse.
Family members simply call toll-free: 1-800-504-4098. Provide details of the need and then let Legion family volunteers take over. An American Legion post in the vicinity of your family will be called and asked to help. Members will contact your family to determine if and how assistance can be provided.
Legionnaires and their families have been in your shoes. We understand the problems and stresses that go with separation of loved ones during war. We stand behind you all the way and are anxious to help when you need it…no charge. Just our deepest “thanks.” Legionnaires strongly believe we shall not fail those with whom we serve…no matter what war era. To request assistance, call 1-800-504-4098, complete the electronic request form or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Life & Traumatic Injury Insurance
Why VA is in the Insurance Business:
Note: Most insurance companies if not all exclude acts of war and acts
Many civilians do not realize that the death gratuity amount that a family received when a service member lost his or her life in active duty was $12,400. Congress has enacted a change in the death gratuity amount as well as the amount of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI).
The history of SGLI can be found here.
Just last year, Congress enacted a change in the bill that now provides a death gratutity of $100,000 and legislation provides for a maximum life insurance amount of $400,000. 00. that now costs $26.00 per month regardless of the age of the service member. The former amount provided by the government was $50,000.
These important increases in benefits are retroactive to October 7, 2001.
What is the average age of our active service members? The average age is 25-29 years of age, many with very young children and many more who had started their families and never met their first-born child. Many who chose not to pay the additional premium for increased life insurance as their budget would not allow the additional expense. How long will $200,000 or $400,000 last?
It may not last long and it won't last at all for the young families whose spouse and/or parent enlisted in the service at a young age, married several years later, neglected or forgot to change the beneficiary listed on the life insurance policy, was killed in action and whose young family was left with $0. Not $50,000, $200,000 or anywhere in between $400,000. This may seem surprising, but it happens more often than you would think.
These increases are helpful, however, you still cannot put a price on the lives of those that have secured our Freedom and the freedom of others, they are our heroes and we encourage those that visit our site to continue to pray and support our troops and their families.
Other benefits include:
DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of a
Death Pension Benefits:
Death Pension is a benefit paid to eligible dependents of deceased wartime veterans.
Who Is Eligible ?
You may be eligible if:
the deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
he or she served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time. However, 38 CFR 3.12a requires that anyone who enlists after 9/7/80 generally has to serve at least 24 months or the full period for which a person was called or ordered to active duty in order to receive any benefits based on that period of service. With the advent of the Gulf War on 8/2/90 (and still not ended by Congress to this day), veterans can now serve after 9/7/80 during a period of wartime. When they do, they generally now must serve 24 months to be eligible for pension or any other benefits. But note the exclusions in 38 CFR 3.12(d), AND
you are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND
VA Disability Compensation:
Disability Compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.
Note: You may be paid additional amounts, in certain instances, if:
You can also apply on line through our website at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp.
For More Information Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000
Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance:
(TSGLI) is new, it provides traumatic injury protection rider under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) that provides for payment to any member of the uniformed services covered by SGLI who sustains a traumatic injury that results in certain severe losses.
TSGLI coverage will pay a benefit of between $25,000 and $100,000 depending on the loss directly resulting from the traumatic injury.The premium cost is $1.00 per month and is added to the monthly insurance premium paid in for SGLI. Every member who has SGLI also has TSGLI effective December 1, 2005.
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