VA officials estimate most of America's 25 million veterans qualify for at least some VA benefits, but many are unaware of their entitlements. This handbook (1.3 MB .pdf) includes a listing of toll-free numbers, World Wide Web information resources, and VA facilities.
Most veterans are eligible for healthcare and burial benefits. Many are also eligible for home loan guarantees, educational assistance, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance, and compensation for service-connected disabilities.
This guide explains how to access many of these benefits online. For instance, it provides a Web address and instructions for enrolling via the Internet into the VA healthcare system. The book describes in detail the priority for care and services available. Separate sections describe specialized services available to Gulf War veterans and those exposed to Agent Orange or radiation.
The Montgomery GI Bill and other education benefits are explained in depth. Burial benefits and employment service are also covered, as are rate charts for the various forms of compensation VA provides.
The book can be purchased through the Government Printing Office for $5 for U.S.-based customers and $6.25 for those overseas by calling toll-free (866) 512-1800. By providing it online at http://www.va.gov/opa/feature/ , the VA hopes to make the information available to more veterans.
I'm a traditional reservist who is injured while on Active Duty, what benefits am I and my family entitled to receive?
The family of a traditional reservist who dies while on active duty is entitled to many of the same benefits as an active duty family, including ID cards, medical services, commissary, exchange and morale, welfare and recreation activities. Eligibility for other privileges are covered in item #2. Privileges for children are until age 21 or the eve of 23rd birthday if enrolled fulltime in an accredited institution of higher learning. Spouse is eligible unless he/she remarries. If spouse, remarries and subsequently divorces he/she will get back all privileges except medical.
The member's family may also be eligible for the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) this plan differs from active duty SBP because it is based on completion of satisfactory years of service that qualify the member for retired pay at age 60.
Family is also entitled to:
- Death Gratuity
- Unpaid Pay and Allowances
- Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) if family is occupying government housing on the date the member dies
- Service member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- RCSBP a monthly annuity paid to surviving spouse or, in some cases, eligible children of Reserve Component members who have completed the satisfactory years of service that qualify the member for retired pay at age 60.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, (DIC) VA may authorize payment for surviving spouses who have not remarried, unmarried children under 18, disabled children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 if attending a VA-approved school, and low-income parents of service members who die from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training or a an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty for training, or a disability compensable by the Veteran's Affairs.
- There are other benefits (eligibility will have to be determined) listed in Public Laws, Titles 5, 10, 12, 37, 38, and 42 such as Educational Assistance, Social Security payments, VA Guaranteed Loans, Government Employment etc.
If I get injured while on active duty, but I'm a traditional reservist, to what benefits am I and my family entitled?
If injured, begin by processing a Line of Duty (LOD) determination. The type of injury will determine benefits, further processing, etc. Please send email regarding only our Web site to our webmaster. Never, ever send your social security number. For other questions view our Staff Contact List for an appropriate contact.