Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces have access to a number of valuable benefits for their service which include disability compensation, pension programs, free or low-cost medical care, education assistance, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support. Most of these benefits are administered through the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA). There is no legal definition for “military veteran,” so eligibility is based on how each benefit was written into law by Congress. For instance, home loan guarantees are offered to veterans with a certain number of active-duty service days during specified periods of armed conflict. For example, Vietnam War veterans must have actively served 90 days. So if you served in the Vietnam War for just 89 days, you would miss the eligibility for the home loan benefit by one day. Therefore, it’s important to consider the eligibility criteria of the various veterans’ benefits before you apply. This article covers the four main categories of veterans’ benefits, eligibility requirements, and links to the appropriate websites. See FindLaw’s Military Law section for additional resources.
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