You served your country, then returned to civilian life. You know about the standard veteran’s benefits, like medical care and educational benefits. However, if you look hard enough, you might discover hidden gems yours for the taking. Here are 5 veterans benefits you may not know about.
- Life insurance for disabled veterans who might have difficulty getting conventional life insurance. You may get up to $10,000 of coverage.
- Caregiving. The VA can provide tax-free benefits, called Aid and Attendance, up to about $2,000 a month, to help you pay for assisted living, nursing home expenses, or caregivers in your home. You might hire family members or friends to help you with the chores and activities of daily living.
- Hearing aids. Even though Medicare rarely covers the cost of hearing aids, a vet can get hearing aids, compliments of Uncle Sam. You do not have to get a referral from your primary care doctor to the hearing specialist anymore. You can contact the specialist directly to set up an appointment.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Surviving spouses and some dependents can get a tax-free monthly check, if the veteran dies of a service-related illness or injury.
- The Grab Bag Category. This category is for perks that are not all provided by the Veterans Administration, but are, nonetheless, beneficial programs and services for veterans.
- Many states offer property tax exemptions to veterans. States usually allow this only in the state of the veteran’s residence, so second homes, vacation homes, or rental property might not qualify.
- Mortgage loans for veterans often have lower interest rates and more generous terms for homebuyers than standard mortgages. Besides VA loans, veterans get access to VA foreclosures they can often buy at below-market prices.
- The Servicemembers and Veterans Group Life Insurance program offers life insurance coverage for veterans.
- Some states will waive the driver’s license renewal fee for veterans. You can get a certificate from your Department of Veterans Services office, then take that form to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Many restaurants and other stores offer a discount for active duty or military veterans. You usually must display your military ID to get the discount. Around Veterans Day, many establishments offer freebies for active duty military or veterans.
There are many myths about veteran’s benefits. These misconceptions cause veterans to miss out on benefits because they think they are not eligible. Besides contacting the Veterans Administration and scrolling through their website for more details about the benefits you deserve, veterans’ groups such as the Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars can help you discover the benefits to which you may be entitled.
Your state may have different programs for veterans. Talk with an elder law attorney near you to get the veterans benefits you deserve and for help in the application process.
Kiplinger. “Vets, Don’t Miss Out on ‘Hidden Benefits.’” (accessed January 31, 2018) https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T020-C000-S004-vets-don-t-miss-out-on-hidden-benefits.html
Star Spangled Flags. “Surprising Benefits of Being a US Military Veteran.” (accessed January 31, 2018) http://starspangledflags.com/surprising-benefits-of-being-a-us-military-veteran/