Veterans - Benefits
For a comprehensive booklet of VA benefits and an overview of how to access them, download "Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors."
As a veteran, you can choose between two GI Bill® programs for educational benefits: The Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill.
- If you served at least 90 days of active duty since September 11, 2001, you may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, which can pay up to 100% of a public school tuition, housing assistance and more, up to 15 years after active service.
- The Montgomery GI Bill is for service members who have served at least two years of active duty. Service members may receive up to 36 months of education benefits. The monthly benefit is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, any college fund eligibility, and if you contributed to the $600 buy-up program.
- The Post-9/11 Bill allows you to transfer your benefits to your spouse or child if you meet certain requirements.
- You may also qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will pay additional funds for your education.
Health care and medical benefits
VA provides world-class health care benefits to eligible veterans. It's the nation's largest integrated health care system.
- You may be entitled to additional VA medical benefits if you are a separating combat veteran.
- Depending on the circumstances of your discharge, you and your family may be eligible for extended transitional health care benefits from TRICARE through the Transition Assistance Management Program.
- For specific information on medical benefits for you and your family, call the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System at 800-538-9552 or visit the DEERS website.
The VA offers low-cost term life insurance coverage to active-duty service members, National Guard and reserve members, veterans and their families.
Home loans and housing assistance
- The VA guarantees home loans made by private lenders to veterans and, in some cases, surviving spouses.
- VA home loan programs may be used to obtain homes, condominiums or manufactured homes; refinance an existing home loan; or install energy-saving improvements.
- Disabled veterans may receive grants to adapt their homes to accommodate their disabilities.
- VA offers numerous employment services to help veterans in their transition to civilian jobs.
- Career-enhancing services include education and training assistance, vocational and employment counseling and job-seeking tools.
- The Department of Labor offers substantial career and job-seeking assistance.
Commissary and exchange privileges
Certain service members and families can retain some or all of their commissary and exchange privileges:
- All honorably discharged veterans can shop online at military exchanges, as of November 11, 2017.
- Retiring service members retain commissary and exchange privileges.
- Involuntary separating service members may have continued access for two years as part of their transition assistance benefit.
If your service has resulted in a disability
VA Disability Compensation can enhance the independence of wounded warriors and help them care for their families. You may be eligible to receive tax-free benefits if you have suffered a service-connected injury or disease — no matter when or where you served.
Depending on your discharge terms and state of residence, you may qualify for unemployment benefits through the Department of Labor's Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers program.
Military OneSource counseling and other services
Discharged service members, retired service members, their immediate families and surviving spouses can continue to take advantage of the extensive counseling and support services offered by Military OneSource — some for 180 days after transitioning out, some longer.
Leaving no one behind
If you or someone you know is struggling with homelessness or is at imminent risk of becoming homeless, the VA can help. Contact your local VA medical center by calling 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838) or visiting va.gov/homeless to connect with the care that will get you back on your feet.
To learn more
Beyond benefits, VA and other government agencies have numerous services and resources. See Military OneSource’s Veterans Programs, Services and Resources page for some top programs. Or speak to a Military OneSource consultant by calling 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.