Veteran’s Benefit Attorneys
The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) states that approximately 18.5 million veterans are living in the United States. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that veterans between the ages of 25 and 34 and over the age of 65 are more likely to use VA benefits compared to veterans of other age groups
Some veteran’s benefits requests are oftentimes rejected on the first application submission resulting in the applicant concluding that they are not eligible to receive any VA assistance.
Types of Veteran’s Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides benefits for veterans that have a service-related disability as well as benefits to family members of those who have died while serving as an active member of the armed forces.
In an effort to streamline and categorize the number of different types of benefits available to servicemembers, the Department of Veterans Affairs has divided VA benefits into five primary groups.
Each of these areas has been created to help address the needs of those that have served and are applicable to almost all veterans provided that the criteria for each benefit type are met.
- Pension and life insurance
- Housing assistance
- Medical benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
Who is Eligible?
In order for a veteran to be eligible for VA benefits, an individual must have served as an active member in the United States Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marines (during WWII) and was separated under any condition other than dishonorable.
Other groups of servicemembers may also be eligible for VA benefits. The VA has recently expanded access to veteran’s benefits for other specific demographics, which include:
- Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- The Environmental Services Administration
- Vietnam veterans exposed to toxic chemicals
- Widows of veterans
- Current and former members of the Select Reserve
Members of the National Guard and Reserves may also be eligible for VA benefits if they were called to active duty on a Federal Executive Order. Reserves or National Guard members with active duty only for training purposes are not eligible, however.
Expanded VA Eligibility Requirements
Due to the changing nature of modern warfare, soldiers are returning from active duty with a more diverse range of injuries and ailments that in years past.
These often life-changing injuries are not only devastating for the injured veteran but also for their families and any other dependents that may rely on that veteran for financial and/or emotional support.
Some of the injuries veterans may sustain include (but are not limited to):
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
- Degenerative arthritis of the spine
- Tendon inflammation
- Tinnitus or hearing loss
The VA has recently been issuing requests that some veteran’s benefits can only be applicable to those that have served during a wartime period.
The VA has also started to recognize additional wartime periods that may not have been added to the eligibility list previously.
These wars include:
- The Mexican Border Dispute
- World War One
- World War Two
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Gulf War