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The Department of Veterans Affairs provides benefits and services to meet the needs of veterans and service members. While many VA programs are designed to serve veterans, particularly disabled veterans, VA services are not limited to those who have left the military.
If you are an active-duty disabled service member and need help covering the cost of school, securing a home loan or acquiring life insurance, or require medical care for your disability, the VA can help you and your family.
More than 1,400 medical centers and clinics form the core of the VA’s services. In addition, the VA works with TRICARE to provide services for active-duty service members who are disabled:
- Eligibility. Determine your eligibility for benefits by visiting VA Health Benefits.
- Medical services. For a complete listing of VA health services, go to VA Health Care.
- Medical care for active duty service members. Contact TRICARE for service-connected injuries or illnesses. Your service branch primary provider can refer you to the VA for treatment of combat injuries.
Post-traumatic stress disorder care and resources
The VA is expanding access to treatment for PTSD by increasing the number of mental health providers at VA medical centers. To learn more about the programs, support groups and research for helping those with PTSD, visit the Veterans post-traumatic stress disorder page of the VA website.
The VA’s tax-free disability compensation pays veterans who have service-related disabilities. The amount is based on the severity of the disability, with additional payments available if the veteran has a spouse or other dependents:
- Apply for disability — Veterans Online Application.
- Find out about other compensation — Special Monthly Compensation.
Transition and employment services
The VA offers briefings on its benefits and services through the Transition Assistance Program. This outreach effort is intensified for service members leaving active duty due to a medical problem. The VA’s goal is to make sure all transitioning service members fully understand the benefits and services available to them:
- Returning Service Member Program — If you have returned from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn, visit VA’s Returning Service Member Program Web page.
- Disabled Transition Assistance Program — To find out about the services available to you if you have a medical disability, visit Disability.gov.
- Rehabilitation and employment services — To be eligible, you must have a service-connected disability and require vocational rehabilitation. The program is also available to active-duty service members awaiting discharge because of a disability. For more information, go to the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Web page.
Home and car adaptation
Veterans and service members with specific service-connected disabilities may be eligible for grants to help them adapt homes or cars to meet their disability requirements.
The VA offers housing grants to veterans who receive compensation for certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities:
- Specially Adapted Housing Grant — used to build a specially adapted home or remodel an existing home for adaptation
- Special Housing Adaptation Grant — used to adapt an existing home owned by the veteran or adapt a home intended for purchase, or help a veteran buy a home already adapted
Veterans and service members may also be eligible for home improvement and structural alteration grants. To determine what this grant will pay for, visit the Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services page of the VA website.
For veterans and service members with service-connected disabilities, the VA offers a one-time payment of up to $11,000 toward the purchase of an automobile. The VA may also pay for adaptive equipment, repair, replacement or reinstallation of equipment.
The VA’s life insurance program offers Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance to veterans with service-connected disabilities. Supplemental coverage is available at an additional cost. Service members remain covered by VA Servicemembers Group Life Insurance until they leave the military. For more information, visit the Life Insurance page of the VA website.
Many VA benefits and services extend to service members and veterans regardless of disability status, including the following education and home loan guaranty benefits:
- Education — Montgomery GI Bill®, Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the GI Bill® cover the cost of education and certificate programs.
- Training programs — Many types of training are available through the GI Bill®, including undergraduate or graduate degree programs at colleges or universities.
- Transfer of benefits to family members — Under certain circumstances, you may be able to transfer your benefits to an eligible spouse or child.
- Home loan guaranties — The home loan guaranties help service members get competitive rates on home loans with little or no down payment. Find out more by visiting the Home Loans page of the VA website.