There are almost 20 million veterans in the United States, making up around 15% of the total US population. So it may come as a shock to some that almost 20% of those veterans require disability compensation.
Disabled veterans benefits help veterans who have fallen in the line of duty. Even veterans who haven’t served in wartime may come down with disabilities that require costly treatment. Financial help for disabled veterans of America is crucial to their survival.
If you are a disabled veteran, what benefits are you eligible to receive? Keep reading as we discuss everything from financial help to career help for veterans of all kinds.
VA Disability Compensation Benefits
The VA, or Department of Veterans Affairs, handles distributing financial help to disabled veterans. Typically, this comes in the form of government-provided healthcare.
Disability compensation benefits exist strictly for those who suffered a service-related illness or injury. For example, a soldier who got shot while serving a tour abroad. This also includes injuries that one may suffer in reserve while working in the US.
Disability compensation comes in the form of a monthly benefit that is tax-free. First, you need to file a disability claim through the VA website. If you meet the right conditions, then the VA will cover part or all of your treatment.
Use a VA disability calculator to determine how much compensation you can receive.
Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance
Disabilities require additional mobility infrastructure in your home. This can include wider doors, ramps, and chairlifts to go up the stairs. Of course, this is very expensive to install and maintain.
If your disability resulted from your service, or from aging, the VA may provide housing help. You will need to apply for a SAH/SHA grant to cover the cost of installation.
In certain situations, you may not be living in your own home. In that case, you can get a TRA grant that will cover costs in a relative’s home. If your disability does not originate from your service, then there is the HISA grant.
Low-Income VA Pensions (and Pensions for Veterans Survivors)
If you have completed your service and now work in a low-income job, you may be able to receive a tax-free pension. The VA distributes this benefit based on financial need. Disabled veterans of America who cannot earn like they used to need to check their eligibility and apply.
Eligibility depends on your total service time, the scope of your financial need, as well as your age and status. This pension is also available to survivors of veterans.
The amount of the pension depends on the difference between two factors:
- Your “countable” income
- Annual pension limits as approved by the U.S. Congress
Do not confuse this benefit with military retirement. Military retirement gives you taxable income, whereas the VA pension has no tax requirement.
Further, your VA pension will depend on how much wartime service you have given and your financial need. Military retirement accounts for all years of service overall, wartime or otherwise.
Special Monthly Compensation Benefits
In specific situations, you may require assistance in the home, such as a live-in caretaker. Or, you may struggle with a condition related to a creative organ–such as erectile dysfunction.
The rate of compensation is much higher but only applies to very specific medical conditions and situations. Apply for this if you need more than the standard disability payout.
Veteran Banking Program
Banks can often be expensive with fees and overdraw fines. To assist with this, the VA can help you find a more lenient participating credit union or bank. This will allow you to reduce your fees and get easier, faster transfers and loans.
Property Tax Exemptions
Property taxes can be the most expensive part of owning a home after you pay it off. Add on the cost of disabilities, and it can become unbearable. This is where the property tax exemption comes in.
It depends on where you live, but this waiver can reduce or cancel out entirely your property tax obligations. You will need to visit the tax assessor’s office in your state’s county to determine whether you qualify.
Fee Waiver for Home Loans
Obtaining a home loan for the down payment on a property can put people deep into debt. The VA offers a funding fee waiver based on the gradation of your disability. Those with a disability of 10% and up can avail of this waiver.
However, this is not a complete coverage of the loan. This is only a portion, up to 3.6%, of your home loan funding fees. Take note, this does not apply to your home purchase price, only the VA loan amount.
Compensation for Dependents
If you have a very high disability rating, at least 30%, then you can get a compensation increase for the support of your family.
Of all the compensation options to apply for, this is the easiest. You simply visit the VA website and add dependents. Once they approve your claim, you will receive the increased compensation amount.
Benefits for Those Who Cannot Work
If you are unable to work as a result of your disability, then you can get a total disability unemployability benefit. The name is self-explanatory. You can receive full coverage for your disabilities as well as a living stipend for everyday costs.
Educational Benefits for Dependents of a Disabled Veteran
This benefit applies to more than just disabled veterans. Children of MIA, captured, or deceased veterans can receive help paying for their education and/or job training. Of course, this also applies to disabled veterans.
This is similar to the G.I. Bill, albeit for the children of veterans.
Apply for Your Disabled Veterans Benefits Today
Disabled veterans benefits can be a lifesaver for veterans with life-changing disabilities. There is a long list of help for disabled veterans, more than we can include in this article. All disabled veterans of America can apply for at least some in a wide range of benefits that fit their unique situations.
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