Veteran's Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for providing benefits to veterans and their families. It has a nationwide system of health benefits, financial assistance and burial benefits. The most well-known component of the VA is its medical care program. Most veterans must enroll in the program to receive benefits.

TIP: The types and ranges of veterans' benefits are complex. It is important to contact your local VA office to find out whether you qualify for benefits and if so, for what types of benefits. Call the VA's Health Benefits Service Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) at 877.222.VETS to learn more.

What are some of the benefit programs for veterans?

As a U.S. veteran, you may be eligible for various benefits, including:

  • medical care and insurance
  • dental insurance
  • prescription drug assistance
  • retirement pensions
  • alcohol and drug addiction treatment
  • some burial benefits

How do I find out if I am eligible for benefits?

First, the VA will determine if you qualify for "veteran status." This generally means you were an active-duty member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines and you were not dishonorably discharged. Some veterans must have served active duty for 24-continuous months. Once your veteran status is verified, the VA will place you in a "priority group," with some groups having a higher priority for enrollment. For example, a veteran who has a "service-connected" disability of more than 50 percent has the highest priority for enrollment. Service-connected means the veteran was disabled while in active service in the line of duty.

Do I have to pay for veteran medical benefits?

This will depend on which "priority group" you qualify for. Some veterans have to pay minimal copayments.

TIP: To find out more, call the VA's Health Benefits Service Center, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) at 1.877.222.VETS.

Who else beside veterans may be eligible for benefits from the VA?

A disabled veteran's spouse, widow, children or dependent parents may also receive VA benefits. These benefits may include medical care, pensions and death benefits.

My spouse recently died. Can the Department of Veterans' Affairs help with providing a marker?

Yes. As long as your spouse was not dishonorably discharged, he or she is eligible to receive a headstone and marker. If the burial is in a national cemetery, the cemetery can order the headstone or marker. Otherwise, you will have to order it through your local VA office. You can also receive an American flag.

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