Online Guide Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors: http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp
Eligibility: The primary factor in determining basic eligibility is “veteran status” which is established by active military, naval, or air service and a discharge or release from active service under conditions other than a dishonorable discharge. Those in the reserve may be eligible for benefits if they served on active duty based on the length of active military service. Reservists who are never called to active duty may also qualify for some benefits. National Guard members are eligible only if the President activated them for federal duty.
Disability Benefits: Compensation pays benefits for disabilities incurred or aggravated during active duty and active duty for training, and for heart attacks or strokes incurred during inactive duty for training. Such disabilities are considered “service-connected”. Pension is income-based payments to veterans with honorable war time service who are permanently and totally disabled (or age 65 or older).
Health Care: Veterans must generally be enrolled to receive health services. Includes hospital, clinic care, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services. Specialized care for women. Medical evaluations for military service exposure. Counseling, rehabilitation programs and dependency treatment.
Disability Benefits: VA has two tax-free programs. Compensation pays monthly benefits for disabilities incurred or aggravated during active duty and active duty for training, and for heart attack or stroke incurred during inactive duty for training. Such disabilities are considered “service-connected”. Pension is income-based payments to veterans with honorable war-time service who are permanently and totally disabled (or age 65 or older).
Education and Training: Selected Reserve and National Guard members may be entitled to up to 36 months of benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. Qualification are: Have six year obligation to serve in the Selected Service of national Guard, Have completed initial active duty training, Meet requirements to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before applying for benefits, Remain in good standing while servicing in a Selected Reserve of National Guard Unit. A Billings based education program for veterans is Veterans Upward Bound.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service: The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess Program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For Veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, VetSuccess offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.
VA Life Insurance: National Guard and Reserve Personnel are eligible to receive Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI), and Family Group Insurance (FGLI). They may also be eligible for Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (RH) if called to active duty, injured, and have a service-connected disability. Additional information at http://www.insurance.va.gov
Home Loan Guaranty: VA guarantees loans to purchase a home, manufactured home, certain types of condominiums; or to build, repair and improve homes. This benefit may be used to refinance an existing home loan. Certain disabled veterans can received grants to have their home specially adapted to their needs. Native Americans living on Trust Land may qualify for a direct home loan. Reserves must have completed six years of honorable service. Current active duty servicemembers are eligible after 181 days (or 90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service. toll free 1-888-487-1970.
Burial Benefits: May include a gravesite in national cemeteries, perpetual car, a Government headstone or marker, a grave liner for casketed remains, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at one cost to the family. VA can pay a burial allowance of $2000 for veterans who died of service-related causes. For other veterans receiving VA benefits, VA can pay $300 for burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot allowance.