Make a Home Accessible With Department of Veterans Affairs Programs

Disabled veteran in home

If you’re disabled, it is important to feel comfortable at home. Depending on your unique needs, modifications such as a wheelchair ramp, wider doorways or even a special doorbell can make a big difference in your accessibility at home. The Department of Veterans Affairs promotes independent living for disabled veterans through several programs. Based on your disability, you may be eligible for a grant to make modifications to your home.

Here are a few possibilities to consider.

The Specially Adapted Housing Program

This program gives grants to veterans or service members with specific service-connected disabilities to build an adapted home or update an existing home to meet their disability-related needs. After your eligibility is determined, a Specially Adapted Housing agent will help you with your application and necessary documents. You may get advice on:

  • House plans
  • Buildable lots
  • Adaptive features
  • Qualified architects and builders

There are two types of grants administered by VA under this program.

Specially Adapted Housing Grants

These grants are available to disabled veterans or service members entitled to receive compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability because of one of the following:

  • Loss or loss of use of both legs that prevents movement without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair
  • Blindness in both eyes (having only light perception), plus loss or loss of use of one leg
  • Loss or loss of use of one leg, together with residuals of organic disease or injury, or the loss or loss of use of one arm; these losses must affect balance or forward motion so much that they prevent movement without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair
  • The loss or loss of use of both arms, preventing use of the arms at or above the elbows
  • Severe burn injuries

Under this entitlement, a grant may be available to veterans and service members to adapt a home to meet their special needs. Specially Adapted Housing Grants:

  • Provide up to 50 percent of the veteran’s cost of an adapted house, land and allowable expenses, but may not exceed the current maximum grant amount of $70,465 (as of February 2015)
  • May be used to help build, buy or adapt an existing home or reduce the debt owed on a home that’s already adapted
  • May be used up to three times, as long as the total grants stay within the current limit

A temporary grant — called Temporary Residence Adaptations grants, or TRA — may be available to veterans who are or will be temporarily living in a home owned by a family member. The TRA grants are:

  • Limited to a maximum amount of $30,934
  • Counted as one of the three total uses of the Specially Adapted Housing Grant

Special Housing Adaptation Grants

These grants are available to veterans or service members entitled to compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability because of one of the following:

  • Blindness in both eyes, with 5/200 visual acuity or less
  • Anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands
  • Severe burn injuries
  • Severe respiratory ailments

An eligible veteran or service member may receive a VA grant for the actual cost to adapt a house or for the appraised market value of necessary adapted features already in a house when it was purchased, up to the maximum grant amount of $14,093 (as of February 2015). Special Housing Adaptations grants:

  • May be used up to three times, as long as the total grants don’t exceed the current limit
  • Require that the home to be adapted be owned by the veteran or by a member of the veteran’s family, but the veteran must intend to continue living there

Temporary Residence Adaptations grants may also be available in these cases. The TRA grants are:

  • Limited up to a maximum amount of $5,523
  • Counted as one of the three total uses of the Special Housing Adaptation grant

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Independent Living Services

The VA’s Independent Living Services are for veterans who can’t follow their employment goals because of their severe service-connected disabilities. The services:

  • Provide housing-related benefits
  • Include adaptations that are required to improve independence in daily living
  • Can be combined with the Specially Adapted Housing Grant if the veteran is eligible

Visit VA’s Independent Living Services page for more information.

Veterans Health Administration Home Improvements and Structural Alterations grants

This program provides medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to veterans and service members’ primary residence and is:

  • Administered under the Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service
  • Limited to the improvement and structural alterations necessary to assure continuation of treatment and provide access to the home or to essential restroom facilities
  • Available to veterans with or without the service-connected rating

The lifetime benefit is $6,800 for eligible veterans with a service-connected disability rated at 50 percent or more, or $2,000 lifetime benefit for eligible veterans with non-service-connected disabilities, but who receive health care from VA with non-SC disabilities rated less than 50 percent.

Contact the prosthetics office at your nearest VA Medical Center, or visit VA’s Home Improvements and Structural Alterations page.

Financial assistance and technical advice are also available from many other government and nongovernment organizations. Be sure to research your eligibility for assistance from all sources to maximize your benefits compensation.

Veterans Affairs Benefits for National Guard and Reserve Members

VA benefits for National Guard

Guard and reserve members are entitled to benefits and services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, just like their active-duty counterparts. The VA can help Guard and reserve members cover the cost of school, secure a home loan or acquire life insurance. Whether you’re preparing for life after military or you’ve already made the military-to-civilian transition, you’ll want to learn what VA benefits are available to you.

Here are the VA benefits for which Guard and reserve members are eligible:

  • Education benefits – If you’re currently serving you may be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve. If you were called to active duty for at least 90 days since Sept. 11, 2001, you may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the Reserve Education Assistance Program.
  • Home loan guaranties – Guard and reserve members are eligible for a VA loan guaranty after you have completed six years of service in the Selected Reserve or if you’ve been on active duty for 90 days. For more information, visit the VA’s Home Loan Guaranty website, or call the Loan Eligibility Center at 888-244-6711.
  • Homelessness prevention programs – If you or a veteran you know are struggling to find permanent housing or facing eviction or foreclosure, make the call to 877-4AID-VET (424-3838), or chat online to learn more about the support services the VA offers. Learn about all the programs that can help you overcome or prevent homelessness on the VA website.
  • Life insurance – To qualify, you must be assigned to a unit in which you are required to perform active duty or active duty for training, and will be scheduled to perform at least 12 periods of inactive duty creditable for retirement. You can also get life insurance for your family and convert your life insurance to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. Learn more about coverage at the VA’s Life Insurance website.
  • Medical care – You may be eligible for Veterans Affairs medical centers, clinics, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, which are the core of the VA’s services. Veterans with service-connected disabilities get the highest priority at a VA medical facility, while other veterans receive care based on availability.
  • Disability compensation – If you’re a veteran with injuries or illnesses resulting from active-duty military service, you may be eligible for disability compensation. The amount is based on the severity of the disability.
  • Rehabilitation – If you have a service-connected disability, the VA’s Rehabilitation and Employment Program can help you transition out of the military. The program offers counseling services, education and training, job assistance and financial aid. Visit the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment resources for more information.
  • Survivor benefits – Spouses and dependent children of service members who died on active duty or as a result of service-related disabilities may be eligible to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Other survivor benefits include the Civilian Health and Medical Program and the Dependents’ Education Assistance Program. For details on any of these survivor benefits, visit the VA’s Veterans Benefits website.

Programs That Hire Veterans

Service members learning about programs

Many organizations in the civilian world value your experience, skills, work ethic and training as a service member. You’ll find that a number of military-friendly employers are committed to hiring veterans.

Explore several online programs to help connect you with employers who are looking to hire veterans. Here are some top sites:

This site offers resources from the U.S. Department of Labor for job-seekers and employers who want to hire vets. You’ll find:

  • Job opportunities by category:  agriculture, energy, transportation, homeland security, federal government hiring, and more
  • A tool for finding jobs by location
  • Your nearest American Job Center
  • Help from the Small Business Administration for starting your own business
  • Plus one-on-one assistance, career exploration, finding training, skills translator, veteran employment center, resume builder, interest profiler, transition resources and more

CareerOneStop Veteran and Military Transition Center

The Veteran and Military Transition Center website is a one-stop online shop for employment, training and financial help after military service. If you’re transitioning out, it offers some serious tools:

  • Military-to-Civilian Job Search by military job title and/or location
  • How to request important papers that you need
  • Matching your skills to civilian careers
  • Information about going back to school or getting training
  • Also financial and unemployment assistance

The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors CareerOneStop. While the website is designed for the general public, there are plenty of tools and resources that can be useful for veterans. It partners with the American Job Center network. American Job Centers have a mandate to connect veterans to job openings.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes is a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It’s a nationwide initiative to help transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.

The program networks with businesses through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and it partners with public, private and nonprofit organizations across the country.

You’ve got skills, training and discipline. Employers are looking for you. For more ways you can connect with a great job, check the Employment Resources and Services page.

Seven Signs You May Need Extra Help Transitioning to Civilian Life – And Where to Get It

Man with his dog admiring the sunset

Are you separating or retiring from the service in the near future? Are you actively transitioning to civilian life? With so many components of transition, you may feel like you could use some extra help. Maybe you’re looking for support to manage stress or logistics. Or perhaps you just need someone to give you that extra encouragement to set goals to get through your to-do list.

Whatever the case may be, Military OneSource is here to help – and is your anchor to Department of Defense resources for up to 365 days after your last day of service. If you’re not sure if you could benefit from extra support navigating your transition, check out the following signs:

    1. Do you know where to start? When you prepare for the transition process, you may not know where to begin. It’s common to have trouble setting goals for this next life stage. After getting some of your questions answered by a trained consultant, you may have the tools to make a game plan and execute.
    2. Do you want to know more about the benefits you’re eligible for during and after your transition? There are many benefits available to veterans, but how do you know which ones apply to you? Veteran benefits include disability, education, health care, housing, life insurance and more. It’s a lot to consider, and sometimes these benefits have specific timeframes and deadlines you need to know.
    3. Are you trying to navigate civilian work life? Adjusting to the civilian workforce can be a big challenge when transitioning from the military. There are resources and experts available to help you translate your military skills into civilian terms, apply for jobs, learn how to write a resume, practice your interview skills and more.

Ease Transition Stress With Personalized Support

Call Military OneSource 24/7 or start a live chat to schedule an appointment with a Transitioning Veterans consultant.

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  1. Do you want to go back to school? Pursuing higher education may be a goal of yours in this next stage of life, but maybe you have a roadblock you want to overcome. There are certain things to consider, like identifying what type of school you’re interested in, how to finance your degree and whether you should attend online or in-person classes.
  2. You don’t know what to do with your Thrift Savings Plan. If you invested in a TSP, do you know what to do with it once you’re out of the military? Depending on your situation, there are several options regarding your TSP.
  3. You are looking for specific information on VA health care. Health care is a benefit for all service members. Now that you’re transitioning to civilian life, you may be looking for information on coverage for you and your family. Your separation or retirement status – among other factors – determines your eligibility for VA health care benefits.
  4. You’re a military spouse who is looking for access to tailored transition information. Transitioning from military to civilian life impacts the entire family. Now that your partner is leaving the military, what does that mean for you? There are resources for military spouses. By exploring, learning and preparing, you can take charge of your family’s new chapter in civilian life.

Personalized Transition Support Is Available

Military OneSource provides support during this transition phase, whether you are a service member or military spouse.

  • Transitioning Veterans is a specialty consultation for service members looking to get answers about their own transition. A professional consultant will provide personalized sessions to help you navigate your transition to your next chapter. Service members can get this extra help 12 months out from retirement or separation or within 365 days of your last day of service.
  • The Military Spouse Transition Program supports military spouses through the military spouse experience as you step into military life until you step out of it. MySTeP empowers spouses with resources, benefits, programs and more to take command of the family’s transition.

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or start a live chat to speak to a consultant about your military transition. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

Veterans Affairs Health Care Benefits

Service member hugs wife after returning from deployment

Veterans Affairs operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,400 care sites, including hospitals, community clinics, community living centers, domiciliary, readjustment counseling centers and various other facilities.

Select a topic below to jump to its section:

Eligibility and Enrollment

If you served in active military service and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits.

Note: National Guard members may qualify for VA health care benefits if they were called to active duty (other than for training only) and completed the full period they were ordered to active duty.

Your Transition Assistance Advisor can help you enroll for VA health benefits by helping you complete the VA Form 10-10EZ (Application for Health Benefits), which may be obtained from any VA health care facility or regional benefits office, online or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Once enrolled, you can receive health care at VA health care facilities anywhere in the country.

Who should enroll:

  • Veterans with a service-connected disability of 50% or more.
  • Veterans seeking care for a disability the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, but which VA has not yet rated, within 12 months of discharge.
  • Veterans seeking care for a service-connected disability only.
  • Veterans seeking registry examinations (Ionizing Radiation, Agent Orange, Gulf War/Operation Iraqi Freedom and Depleted Uranium).

During enrollment, each veteran is assigned to a priority group. VA uses priority groups to balance demand for VA health care enrollment with resources. Changes in available resources may reduce the number of priority groups VA can enroll. If this occurs, VA will publicize the changes and notify affected enrollees. You can find out about these priority groups and how the classification affects payment at the Veterans Affairs website.

Medical services and medication

VA health benefits account for the following medical services:

  • Inpatient care
  • Extended care
  • Outpatient care
  • Preventive screening (such as mammogram, and vaccinations)
  • Medication

Copays for your care may depend on your priority group classification. VA is also required to bill your private health insurance providers for medical care, supplies and prescriptions provided for treatment of veterans’ non-service-connected conditions. Generally, VA cannot bill Medicare but can bill Medicare supplemental health insurance for covered services. VA is not authorized to bill a High Deductible Health Plan (which is usually linked to a Health Savings Account).

VA medical programs

Veteran Health Registries: Certain veterans can participate in a VA health registry and receive free medical examinations, including laboratory and other diagnostic tests deemed necessary by an examining clinician. VA maintains health registries to provide special health examinations and health-related information.

To participate, contact the Environmental Health Coordinator at the nearest VA health care facility or visit to access the directory of EH Coordinators.

  1. Gulf War Registry: This registry is available to veterans who served on active military duty in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War, which began in 1990 and continues to the present, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Gulf War examination registry was established after the first Gulf War to identify possible diseases resulting from U.S. military personnel service in certain areas of Southwest Asia. These diseases were endemic to the area or may have been due to hazardous exposures, including heavy metals. Furthermore, air pollutants such as carbon monoxide sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, singly or in combination, could have caused chronic health problems.
  2. Depleted Uranium Registries: Veterans who are identified by the Department of Defense or have concerns about possible depleted uranium exposure are eligible for a DU evaluation. Depleted uranium is natural uranium left over after most of the U-235 isotope has been removed, such as that used as fuel in nuclear power plants. DU possesses about 60% of the radioactivity of natural uranium. It is a radiation hazard primarily if internalized, such as in shrapnel, contaminated wounds and inhalation. In addition to its radioactivity, DU has some chemical toxicity related to being a heavy metal (similar to lead).Note: VA maintains two registries for veterans possibly exposed to depleted uranium. The first is for veterans who served in the Gulf War, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. The second is for veterans who served elsewhere, including Bosnia and Afghanistan.
  3. Agent Orange Registry: This registry is available for veterans possibly exposed to dioxin or other toxic substances in herbicides used during the Vietnam War, between 1962 and 1975, regardless of length of service, or while serving in Korea in 1968 or 1969, or as a result of testing, transporting or spraying herbicides for military purposes. DoD has provided a list of locations and dates where herbicides, including Agent Orange, were used. For those sites not listed, a Vietnam veteran should provide some proof of exposure to obtain a registry examination.
  4. Ionizing Radiation Registry: For veterans possibly exposed to, and who are concerned about, possible adverse effects of their atomic exposure during the following activities: on-site participation in an atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device, whether or not the testing nation was the United States; occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki from Aug. 6, 1945 through July 1, 1946; or internment as a POW in Japan during World War II, which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines resulted in an opportunity for exposure to ionizing radiation comparable to that of Veterans involved in the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Counseling services

VA provides outreach and readjustment counseling services through 232 community-based Vet Centers located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Veterans are eligible if they served on active duty in a combat theater during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, or the campaigns in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Global War on Terror. Veterans who served in the active military during the Vietnam-era, but not in the Republic of Vietnam, must have requested services at a Vet Center before Jan. 1, 2004. Vet Centers don’t require enrollment in the VHA Health Care System.

Vet Center counselors provide:

  • Individual, group and family readjustment counseling to combat veterans to help them make a successful transition from military to civilian life
  • Counseling services for post-traumatic stress disorder and help with any other military- related problems that affect functioning within the family, work, school or other areas of everyday life
  • Outreach, education, medical referral, homeless veteran services, employment, VA benefit referral, and the brokering of non-VA services
  • Military sexual trauma counseling to veterans of both genders and of any era of military service.

Bereavement counseling is also available through Department of Veterans Affairs) Vet Centers to all immediate family members (including spouses, children, parents and siblings) of service members who die in the line of duty while on active service. This includes federally-activated members of the National Guard and reserve components.

Vocational services

VA provides vocational assistance and therapeutic work opportunities through several programs for veterans receiving VA health care. Each program offers treatment and rehabilitation services to help veterans live and work in their communities.

  1. Incentive Therapy provides a diversified work experience at VA medical centers for veterans who exhibit severe mental illness and/or physical impairments. IT services may consist of full- or part-time work with nominal remuneration limited to the maximum of one half of the federal minimum wage.
  2. CWT/ Sheltered Workshop operates sheltered workshops at approximately 35 VA Medical Centers. CWT sheltered workshop is a pre-employment vocational activity that provides an opportunity for work hardening and assessment in a simulated work environment. Participating veterans are paid on a piece rate basis.
  3. CWT/Transitional Work is vocational assessment program that operates in VA medical centers and/or local community business and industry. CWT/TW participants are matched to real-life work assignments for a time-limited basis. Veterans are supervised by personnel of the sponsoring site, under the same job expectations experienced by non-CWT workers. CWT/TW participants are not considered employees and receive no traditional employee benefits.
  4. CWT/Supported Employment consists of full-time or part-time competitive employment with extensive clinical supports. The focus of CWT/SE is to assist veterans with psychosis and other serious mental illness gain access to meaningful competitive employment. CWT/SE follow-up support services are generally phased out after the veteran is able to maintain employment independently.

More information about health benefits through Veterans Affairs is available at the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Benefits webpage.

Learn about the non-health related benefits offered through VA »

Transition Assistance Program Benefits Overview

Service Member Salutes

Your Future, Your Benefits

Learn about the many benefits and entitlements that are available to you through Veterans Affairs and our government partners.

Transition Assistance Advisors maintain a large number of resources to help you and your family receive services to fulfill your specific needs. Jump ahead to the benefits and entitlements provided for the National Guard and Veteran community by clicking on the categories below.

Do you have an Individual Transition Plan?

An Individual Transition Plan ensures you have some ideas in place to help you prepare for the changes that may occur throughout your career in the National Guard. Before looking at your benefits and entitlements, have some questions prepared:

  1. What are your goals after leaving the military?
  2. Where do you plan to live?
  3. Do you need to continue your education or training?
  4. Will the job market, where you plan to relocate, provide you the employment you’re seeking?
  5. Do you have the right skills to compete for the job(s) you’re seeking?
  6. Will your spouse and family goals be met at your new location?
  7. Are you financially prepared to transition at this time?
  8. What do you plan to do for health care?
  9. How will you address the need for life insurance?
  10. Which benefits are you planning to use?

If you don’t have answers to these questions yet, a Transition Assistance Advisor can help you line up your options.

Some ways TAAs assist National Guard members include:

  • Applying for other VA entitlements and benefits such as compensation and pension for disabilities, insurance, loan guarantee, vocational rehabilitation/employment and educational benefits
  • Providing access to National Guard entitlements and health care in both the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs medical facilities
  • Acquiring TRICARE benefits while you are on active duty and when you return as an Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran
  • Managing important deadlines that require your action while still on active duty and as a veteran so you don’t miss time-sensitive opportunities (like TRICARE Registration, Disability Claim Deadlines, Social Security, etc.)
  • Enrollment in dental care programs (time-sensitive benefit)
  • Referral for safe and confidential counseling services for you and your family
  • Referral for possible compensation for injuries or illness sustained in OEF and OIF
  • Insurance information such as Servicemembers Group Life Insurance, Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance, and Family Service Members Group Life Insurance
  • Rehabilitative care management needed to help you improve your lifestyle
  • Assistance with job search and connection with NGB Employer Support for rights of employment
  • Assistance in connecting you to the Veterans Benefits Administration and Transition Assistance Advisor to file disability claims
  • Assistance in the event of financial hardship, health care issues or unemployment needs
  • Assistance with locating your medical records, DD 214s and other needed documents

Veterans health care benefits

If you have returned from deployment in pain, or have a service-related injury, medical help and support is available. Learn about the benefits and services available to help service members and veterans receive treatment, find coverage, and heal.

  • Eligibility and enrollment
  • Medical services and medication
  • VA Medical programs
  • Counseling services
  • Vocational services

General veterans benefits after deployment

Recognizing the sacrifices you and your family have made in service to our country, Veterans Affairs provides entitlements and assistance to ensure you return to your civilian life on the right footing. Learn how the VA supports your employment, financial status, and more.

  • Compensation and pension
  • Education/GI Bill
  • Home loans
  • Vocational rehabilitations
  • Life insurance
  • Funeral services

Overview of Veterans Affairs Benefits

Service members Veterans Affairs

You served. Now let the Department of Veterans Affairs serve you by helping you live life to the fullest.

The VA offers a wide range of services, including home-loan guaranties, education benefits, medical care and survivor pensions. Some benefits target specific veteran groups, such as disabled veterans. Many VA benefits and services are available to active-duty service members, National Guard and reserve members, and their families.

As you make important choices about your family, finances, education, career and health care, spend a few minutes exploring the VA benefits you have earned.

Education benefits

You may be eligible for the following VA education benefits:

Medical care

If you served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, be sure to enroll at a VA Medical Center or clinic within five years of separating from the service.

Life insurance

The VA offers low-cost term life insurance to active-duty service members, National Guard and reserve members, veterans and their families.

Disability compensation

You may receive tax-free benefits if you have suffered a service-connected injury or disease.

Home-loan guaranties

The VA guarantees home loans made by private lenders to active-duty service members, veterans and, in some cases, surviving spouses. Disabled veterans may receive grants to adapt their homes to accommodate their disabilities.

Programs to overcome and prevent homelessness

If you or a veteran you know is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, call 877-4AID-VET (424-3838), or chat online to be connected to the resources the VA offers.

Vocational rehabilitation

The VA offers rehabilitation and employment services to service members and veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Burial and memorial benefits

Veterans may be eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery, as well as for headstones or markers, presidential memorial certificates and burial flags. The VA will reimburse burial expenses under certain specific circumstances.

Survivor’s benefits

Survivors of deceased military members and veterans may receive the following benefits:

It is important to understand that eligibility and application processes vary by benefit and applicant. Some applications can be submitted online, others by mail or in person. Learn more by visiting Explore VA.

Wounded Warrior Specialty Consultations: Health Care, Benefits and More

Doctor fixing injured knee

Military OneSource provides wounded warrior specialty consultation services to help eligible wounded, ill or injured service members, veterans and their families get immediate assistance for issues related to health care, resources, facilities and benefits.

What we do and who is eligible for consultation services

Consultations aren’t limited to just those service members with combat injuries or a military disability. Service members and veterans injured in accidents or battling serious illnesses are also eligible. Consultants are available to help with:

  • Questions about health care and benefits
  • Getting additional support
  • Reporting problems with military facilities
  • Support for non-medical issues like transportation needs, legal issues, respite care and much more

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

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Working with your service branch and the Department of Veterans Affairs

Each service branch operates a wounded warrior program to help service members and their families with non-medical issues associated with transitioning back to duty or civilian life. Military OneSource specialty consultants work with these programs and the Department of Veterans Affairs to quickly connect you to the resources you need. Your eligibility to use the service doesn’t end when you leave a military treatment facility.

Response timelines after your call

Within an hour of your call, consultants will refer you to the right resources at the VA or the wounded warrior program specific to your service. Within 96 hours of calling, you will have a plan that addresses your issue. You’ll also have a personal consultant who will guide you through the entire process, no matter how complex.

What types of support do wounded warrior programs provide?

The wounded warrior programs work with the service member and his or her medical team to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses specific recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration goals. Typical non-medical support may include all these services and more:

  • Pay and personnel issues
  • Invitational travel orders
  • Lodging and housing adaptations
  • Child and youth care arrangements
  • Transportation needs
  • Legal and guardianship issues
  • Education and training benefits
  • Respite care
  • Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress support services

More about wounded warrior programs and services

The military’s wounded warrior programs provide help and support for severely wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. Eligibility for wounded warrior benefits isn’t limited to those with combat injuries. Other eligible military members include:

  • Service members battling serious illnesses
  • Service members injured in accidents and requiring long-term care

Support doesn’t stop just because the service member is no longer under military care. Wounded warrior programs provide lifetime support, even after the service member is discharged from a military treatment facility.

Additional resources for caregivers

Caregivers of wounded warriors can get additional support from Military OneSource beyond specialty consultations including: Personalized Experiences, Engagement and Resources — or PEER — forums, as well as webinars, caregiver-related events and specialized resources.

Also, check out Military OneSource’s wounded warrior page for information about independent living, caregiver support issues, living with a disability, and links to VA and TRICARE.

Military OneSource has more information about wounded warrior programs. If you or a family member is a wounded warrior who needs help understanding your benefits, contact Military OneSource for a free specialty consultation at 800-342-9647.

Military OneSource’s Transitioning Veterans Consultation

Service member shaking hand at job fair.

Whether you are separating after your first-term enlistment or retiring with more than 20 years of service, transitioning from the military to civilian life can feel overwhelming. Military OneSource is here to help you navigate the resources, benefits and programs available to you to help you have a successful transition.

The new Transitioning Veterans specialty consultation is designed to help you identify goals, learn about benefits available to you, and gather a range of resources to meet your needs. Sessions are tailored to meet your unique needs and are available by phone or video.

Ease Transition Stress With Personalized Support

Call Military OneSource 24/7 or start a live chat to schedule an appointment with a Transitioning Veterans consultant.

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Prefer to live chat? Start now

Navigating Military-to-Civilian Transition

The Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program is mandatory for service members who have served 180 continuous days or more on active duty, including National Guard and reservists transitioning or upon release from active duty.

The Transitioning Veterans specialty consultation supplements the standard program to answer your specific questions. Transitioning Veterans consists of a series of 45-minute consultations with a professionally trained consultant. Topics include:

  1. Setting Goals. In your first session, a consultant will work with you to outline your transition goals. This allows your consultant to tailor the following sessions and provide key resources and information to fit your needs.
  2. Reviewing Benefits. Veterans are eligible for various benefits, and you may want to learn more about which you qualify for and when to apply. Your consultant can assist in identifying major benefits, including health, dental, vision and life insurance. You’ll learn about other benefits to help with your final move and relocation support, terminal/transition leave and installation privileges after separation. Your consultant will help explain these benefits and connect you to the appropriate agencies to access them.
  3. VA Assistance. Although service members are responsible for facilitating the transition of their medical care and records from the Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs, your consultant can direct you to the right resources if you have questions. This process includes the final physical, how to connect with veteran service organizations to file disability claims and an overview on using the VA system.
  4. Exploring Education Opportunities. Attending college is a popular path for many service members after leaving the military. If higher education is on your mind, your consultant can assist you with identifying areas of study, applying to college and understanding financial aid, such as the GI Bill, Pell Grants, scholarships and loans.
  5. Prepping for Civilian Workforce. In this session, your consultant will help you identify career goals and examine the employment markets applicable to you. You can also get resources for building a civilian resume and practice interviewing skills. Depending on your needs, extra sessions may be recommended to help with things like resume writing and employment readiness.
  6. Online Resources. In your last session, your consultant will recap progress made and answer any final questions. There will also be an opportunity to go over VA online resources, such as My HealtheVet, eBenefits and National Archives.

Who is eligible?

Eligible Military OneSource participants include active duty, Guard and reserve in the process of transitioning from military to civilian life. Service members should be within 365 days pre-ETS/EAS, or within 365 days post-ETS/EAS.

Call 800-342-9647 or start a live chat to schedule an appointment with a Transitioning Veterans consultant. OCONUS/International? View calling options.

MilSpouses: Get Your Transition Help With MySTeP

The new Military Spouse Transition Program, or MySTeP, is a guide to strengthening your military spouse experience, as you step into military life until you step out of it. MySTeP empowers spouses with resources, benefits, programs and more to take command of the family’s transition.

VA Health Care for Veterans

A military doctor studies a patient’s computed tomography scan.

If you’re a veteran who served with honor, you’re eligible to enroll for VA Health Care. The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,700 VA medical centers and outpatient clinics across the U.S.

World-class health care at little to no cost

You may not need it today — or tomorrow — or for years to come. But all veterans should apply to be able to take advantage of an entire network of high-quality comprehensive VA health care and medical benefits at little to no cost, including:

  • Preventive, primary, and specialty care
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical equipment, prosthetics and more
  • Mental health care
  • Home health care
  • Geriatrics and extended care

Women veterans’ services also include:

  • Primary care
  • Breast and cervical cancer screenings
  • Prenatal care, maternity care coverage
  • Other gender-specific services

Beyond medical benefits, other VA programs include:

  • VA dental care
  • VA hearing and vision benefits
  • Alcohol/drug dependency treatment
  • Veterans’ mental health services and coverage
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder treatment
  • VA assisted living
  • Agent Orange assistance
  • Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation
  • Family caregiver program

Can I apply? Am I eligible?

If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. National Guard and reserve service members who have completed the full call-up period of active duty can apply. Here’s how the enrollment process works:

  1. To apply, you’ll need:
    • Proof of discharge papers such as DD-214
    • Any additional health insurance information, including coverage through a spouse or domestic partner
    • Wage and financial information, including previous calendar-year gross income for the veteran, spouse and dependent children
  2. Once you apply for enrollment, your application will be processed and your eligibility verified.
  3. You’ll recieve notification of your Priority Group.
  4. VA has set up Priority Groups to make sure that certain groups of veterans can be enrolled before others. You’re assigned to your group based on several factors.
  5. Priority Groups range from one to eight with one being the highest priority for enrollment. Based on your eligibility and income, you may have to agree to pay a copay to be placed in certain Priority Groups. Some veterans may not be eligible for enrollment.

What help will I get? Is it worth it to apply?

The Health Benefits Explorer tool from VA can help you quickly learn about the VA health care benefits you could receive as an enrolled veteran. You should apply after you use the tool to receive your official determination of benefits.

More reasons to sign up

  • Low- to no-cost health care. Most veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, although some veterans must pay modest copays for health care or prescriptions.
  • Your health may change. Regardless of how healthy you are or whether you need coverage, you should apply. Someday your Priority Group might change.
  • You’re covered for the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in VA health care satisfies your Affordable Care Act health coverage requirement — no add-on insurance plan is needed.
  • Keep your health insurance. You can keep your present health insurance, including Medicare.
  • Extra options for combat veterans. If you’re a combat veteran, you have additional time to enroll and more services available to you, regardless of your disability status.

Four easy ways to apply

  1. Apply online.
  2. Call 1-877-222-8387 Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  3. In Person: Find your nearby VA center.
  4. Mail: Print, fill out and mail a 10-10EZ form to: Health Eligibility Center, Enrollment Eligibility Center, 2957 Clairmont Road, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30329-1647

To learn more