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Federal Benefits

Learn about benefits administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs available to veterans today.

Disability Compensation

Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses. Learn More…

Home Loan Programs

The VA provides a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.  VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.

Purchase Loans help you purchase a home at a competitive interest rate often without requiring a downpayment or private mortgage insurance. Cash Out Refinance loans allow you to take cash out of your home equity to take care of concerns like paying off debt, funding school, or making home improvements.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): also called the Streamline Refinance Loan can help you obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing your existing VA loan.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: helps eligible Native American Veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land, or reduce the interest rate on a VA loan.

Adapted Housing Grants: help Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability purchase or build an adapted home or to modify an existing home to account for their disability.

Other Resources: many states offer resources to Veterans, including property tax reductions to certain Veterans.

Learn More…

Life Insurance

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a low-cost group term life insurance program for Servicemembers. Coverage can be extended for up to two years if the Servicemember is totally disabled at separation.

Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) allows Veterans to convert your SGLI to a civilian program of lifetime renewable term coverage after separation from service.

Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) insures spouses and children of Servicemembers with SGLI coverage. Spousal coverage may not exceed the Servicemember’s coverage. Dependent children are automatically covered at no charge.

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) is an automatic feature of SGLI that provides payments to Servicemembers who suffer losses, such as amputations, blindness, and paraplegia, due to traumatic injuries that occur in service.

Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI) provides life insurance coverage to Veterans who have been given a VA rating for a new service-connected disability in the last two years. Totally disabled Veterans are eligible for free coverage and have the opportunity to purchase additional life insurance.

Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) provides mortgage life insurance protection to disabled Veterans who have been approved for a VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant.

Learn more…

VA Mental Health Support

VA provides a continuum of forward-looking outpatient, residential, and inpatient mental health services across the country. Points of access to care span VA medical centers, Community Based Outpatient Clinics, Vet Centers, and mobile Vet Centers.

https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/

VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Guidebook

Guide to VA Mental Health Services for Veterans and Families and in Spanish

Excerpted from the guide:

  • Focus on Recovery – Recovery empowers the Veteran to take charge of his/her treatment and live a full and meaningful life. This approach focuses on the individual’s strengths and gives respect, honor, and hope to our nation’s heroes and their families.
  • Coordinated Care for the Whole Person – VA health care providers coordinate with each other to provide safe and effective treatment for the whole person—head to toe. Having a healthy body, satisfying work, and supportive family and friends, along with getting appropriate nutrition and exercising regularly, are just as important to mental health as to physical health.
  • Mental Health Treatment in Primary Care – Primary Care clinics use Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) to provide the Veteran’s healthcare. A PACT is a medical team that includes mental health experts.
  • Mental Health Treatment Coordinator – Veterans who receive specialty mental health care have a Mental Health Treatment Coordinator (MHTC). The MHTC’s job is to understand the overall mental health goals of the Veteran.
  • Around-the-Clock Service – Emergency mental health care is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at VA medical centers. If your VA does not have a 24-hour emergency room, it must provide these services through a local, non-VA hospital. Telephone evaluations at VA medical centers and the national crisis hotline are also available 24/7.
  • Care that is Sensitive to Gender & Cultural Issues – VA health care providers receive training about military culture, gender differences, and ethnic issues in order to better understand each Veteran.
  • Care Close to Home – VA is moving closer to where Veterans live by adding more rural and mobile clinics and working with other health care providers in the community.
  • Evidence-Based Treatment – Evidence-based treatments are treatments that research has proven are effective for particular problems. Mental health providers receive training on a wide variety of proven treatments. Mental health providers must offer evidence-based treatments to Veterans.
  • Family & Couple Services – Sometimes, as part of a Veteran’s treatment, some members of the Veteran’s immediate family or the Veteran’s legal guardian may be included and receive services, such as family therapy, marriage counseling, grief counseling, etc.

VA Substance Abuse Resources

Alcohol and drug misuse can lead to serious health, relationship, employment, and legal problems. Problematic alcohol or drug use can also lead to substance use disorders (SUD). Symptoms of SUD include tolerance, the ability to drink or use greater quantities over time, inability to stop drinking or using in spite of negative consequences, and withdrawal, feeling sick when trying to quit drinking or using drugs. Problems with drinking or drug use may occur in response to stress, or in combination with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other medical conditions. Fortunately there are proven methods to help Veterans recover from alcohol or drug misuse, including mutual help groups and other effective treatments.

VHA has many resources to help Veterans and their loved ones answer questions, find support, get treatment, and recover.

https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/substance-abuse/index.asp

  • The Drinker’s Check-Up Article: This is an anonymous, self-guided online tool that allows you to develop a better understanding of your drinking, including any risks that it might pose to your health.
  • Alcohol Screening & Counseling: Alcohol use does not necessarily mean having an alcohol use disorder. The VA uses tested screening and counseling programs to help Veterans avoid the costly transition from drinking too much to developing alcohol use disorder.

Resources

Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help: From NIAAA provides information for patients covering the latest research-based treatments and what to consider when choosing among them.

The Rethinking Drinking web site offers valuable research-based information on drinking habits and how they may affect your health, along with support for making a change.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Provides information that will help you better understand the health consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence (alcoholism).

MedlinePlus: Provides information to help answer health questions by bringing together information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Finds fact sheets, videos, brochures and more within their publications section.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Features information on drug abuse, drug-related legislation, and more.

National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month: Provides resources throughout the year that help promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment.

The Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders Among Military and Veterans article contains information on substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, treatment, and stigmatization.

The Recovery and the Military: Treating Veterans and Their Families webcast examines treatment availability and alcohol and drug addiction treatment options available for veterans and their families.

Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos can be a serious health risk if asbestos-containing material is disturbed in such a way that the particles and fibers become airborne. Symptoms of asbestos-related diseases, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain, often do not appear until 20 to 50 years after the exposure.

For more information about asbestos exposure related to your military service visit https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/asbestos/index.asp.

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