Benefits

This generation of veterans and servicemembers have access to the best benefits of any era in history. From the VA Home Loan program, to the GI Bill you can save you money, enhance your career opportunities and even change your life. Don’t miss out on any of the benefits you have earned.

LATEST:

Military and Veteran Benefit Updates For 2020

Adaptive Sports Veterans

VA Funds Adaptive Sports

VA Funds Adaptive Sports The Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides grant funding to organizations that offer adaptive sports and therapeutic recreation for veterans with disabilities and service members. In 2020, nearly $15 million were awarded to organizations serving approximately 13,000 veterans and service members. Programs provided services such as cycling, kayaking, archery, skiing, and equine… Read more »

VA's Electronic Health Record

3 Things to Know About the VA’s New Electronic Health Record

On October 24th, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented its new electronic health record (EHR) system at selected sites in the Pacific Northwest. The system is designed to improve how physicians store and manage patient information concerning visits, test results, prescriptions, and other crucial information. If it changes for our care providers, rest assured that it will change the way we access our health data online as well.

Steps to VA Disability Claims

Basic Steps to VA Disability Claims

Going through the process of filing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is notoriously difficult, especially when you go at it alone. I was fortunate enough to have some great guidance when I filed my VA paperwork during the retirement process. Here are some basic steps that can make filing your claim… Read more »

veterans access to care

Legislation Improves Access to Care for Veterans

Phrases like “Access is Power” are burned into the ears of anyone who has ever waited on hold trying to schedule an appointment through the TRICARE system. Access to care is a profoundly important aspect of healthcare. Veterans’ Access to Care to Improve with New Legislation When healthcare services are not easily accessible, they are… Read more »

Disabled Veterans May Get Expanded Retirement Benefits

A bipartisan push in Congress could provide nearly 42,000 combat-injured veterans with expanded retirement benefits.  They would be eligible to receive both disability compensation and retired pay. The bill, if passed, would allow disabled veterans who were medically retired before serving 20 years to receive their full military benefits. 

Veteran Caregivers Act

Legislation Improves VA Caregiver Programs: TEAM Veteran Caregivers Act

The VA offers many resources for caregivers of veterans. These programs support some of the most important members of veteran’s clinical care teams – caregivers. Reports of veterans and caregivers losing access to these valuable resources have recently led to the Transparency and Effective Accountability Measures (TEAM) for Veteran Caregivers Act.

Defense Budget Updates for 2021

Defense Budget Updates for 2021: What It Means For You

NDAA 2021: Defense Budget Updates for Pay, Travel, Healthcare, TRICARE and More The William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (H.R. 6395), was finally passed at the onset of the New Year, January 1st, after having been vetoed by former President Trump. Both the Senate and the US House of Representatives… Read more »

podcasts military

Top Podcasts for Military, Veterans and Their Families

Popular Podcasts for the Military Community If this past year has done anything for the seeking of entertainment, it’s driven people to find new and interesting ways to occupy themselves. One such way to absorb yourself in a welcomed distraction, possibly learn new things, and potentially multi-task at the same time is to listen to… Read more »

VA Benefits for family members

VA Benefits for Family Members, Survivors, and Family Caregivers

Do you know about all of the VA benefits you and your loved ones may qualify for? This list can help you make sure you’re not missing out on health care, life insurance, or financial assistance. If you’re receiving benefits, there are resources to help you learn more about how to manage those benefits.

military child remote learning assistance

Financial Assistance for Your Military Child’s Remote Learning 

Families who are still having to participate in virtual learning or the hybrid form have had to shift their expenses to include the extra costs for their children. These expenses may include laptops, tablets, headphones, or other supplies. If you and your family need assistance, it’s best to check if you are able to receive financial support through the military relief society.

affordable states for veterans

Top 10 Most Affordable States for Veterans

Whether you retired out of the military or separated before retirement you will want to make sure to live in a state where your money will go far. So, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 most affordable states to live after your military service.

iava marijuana reclassification

IAVA Pushing For Reclassification of Marijuana

IAVA is bringing focus to the positive uses of marijuana, specifically in the potential therapeutic treatment of PTSD. In early October of last year, they refiled an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit urging the challenging of the DEA’s restrictive classification of cannabis.

vaccine veterans

VA Begins COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccinating a huge population, like veterans, requires strategic planning and collaboration between organizations to ensure the vaccines are distributed safely and effectively. The VA released a COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to do just that in Dec 2020. Important aspects of this plan are summarized in the following article.

Solid Start: Helping Veterans Transition

Solid Start: Helping Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

In December 2019, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Solid Start program aimed at providing “a consistent, caring contact between service members and VA to guide them through understanding and using the benefits and resources available to them.”

VA assistance for transitioning female service members

VA Offers Specialized Assistance for Transitioning Female Service Members

VA Offering Specialized Assistance for Female Service Members Transitioning to Civilian Life There is a long history of underrepresentation for women in the military. Even with the more recent creation of female-driven support and services, there is still a lack of utilization of those benefits. In collaboration with the Department of Defense, the VA has… Read more »

va auto adaptive equipment allowance

VA Auto Allowance for Adaptive Equipment

Allowance for Auto with Adaptive Equipment from VA Few things diminish your freedom and independence like being unable to drive.  If a service-related (service-connected) disability has impacted your ability to drive, you may be eligible for an allowance to buy adaptive equipment designed to help you get back on the road.  Find out if you… Read more »

military benefits changes 2021

Military Benefits Changes for 2021

Military and veterans’ benefits changes that have been announced for 2021 for TRICARE, military pay, BAH, BAS, COLA, Social Security, TSP and more!

2021 retiree VA disability pay increase

New 2021 Military Retiree and VA Disability Pay Increase!

Military retirees who receive some disability or other benefit from the Department of Veteran Affairs will have a very pleasant surprise greeting them in the upcoming year. They will see a 1.3% increase in their monthly checks starting in 2021!

preventing suicide

PREVENTing Suicide and REACH Public Health Campaign

PREVENTing Suicide September was Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This September, progress was made in several pieces of legislation addressing suicide prevention. Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act Veterans COMPACT Act The Brandon Act In an executive summary of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, a somber… Read more »

less than honorable discharge

Veterans’ Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Lawsuit

The eras of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has led to an increase of veterans with mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And since Sept. 11, 2001, over 150,000 soldiers have been discharged from the Army with a less-than-honorable discharge. By receiving these discharges, these veterans no longer have access to government benefits that would help them with their mental health. Instead of assistance, many veterans have faced unemployment, substance abuse, or homelessness. A new lawsuit hopes to provide some of them with upgraded discharge statuses to get them the help and services they need.

childcare for military families

Childcare Options for Military Families

Childcare: Today’s Hottest Commodity for Military Families In today’s chaotic world of pandemic shut downs, more and more Americans are trying to get back to work. Our military community, many of whom were deemed essential as civilians were furloughed, have also faced concerns over the waning availability of childcare. Last August, the Department of Defense… Read more »

Free Entry to National Parks for Veterans and Gold Star Families

National Parks Now Free for Veterans and Gold Star Families

The federal government, as of Veterans Day 2020, will grant free access to National Parks and other federal lands to veterans and Gold Star Families. Entrance fees and standard recreation fees will be waived allowing them access to 2,000 locations under a new initiative from the Department of Interior.

VA Caregiver Program Expanded

VA Caregiver Program Expanded

Expansion of VA Caregiver Program Now Includes Caregivers from All Eras Originally available only to caregivers of post 9/11 veterans, the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) began its first phase of expansion on October 1st, 2020. Over the next two years, this VA service will become available to caregivers of veterans from… Read more »

VA Support and Resources for Caregivers

VA Support and Resources for Caregivers

Playing the role of a caregiver – and the mountain of responsibilities that come with it – can be overwhelming. Caregivers of veterans can easily identify resources through the VA Caregiver Support Website and Caregiver Support Coordinators. A plethora of resources for caregivers is summarized here.

state benefits outdoor recreation veterans

8 States with Underused Outdoor Recreation Benefits for Veterans

If you are a member of the military community, and you love hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation, then you do not want to miss these awesome state benefits! The following states report that these state benefits are the most unused each year.

land and housing state benefits for veterans

4 States to Find Untapped Land & Housing Benefits

If you are a veteran and you are from, or live in, one of the following states, then you may have overlooked some really great state benefits dealing with land and housing.

State License Benefits for Veterans

These 4 States Offer Licensing Benefits for Veterans

The following three states have programs for veterans that either revolve around occupational licensing or veteran designations on their drivers licenses. Unfortunately, many veterans are not taking advantage of them. Take a look.

veterans cola act 2020

New Bill to Benefit Disabled Veterans Awaiting Presidential Signature

Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2020 Legislation aimed at increasing benefits for disabled veterans passed through the Senate and is now awaiting President Trump to sign it into law. Bi-Partisan Bill Introduced and Championed by Veterans, Elaine Luria and Mike Bost H.R. 6168, Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2020, was first… Read more »

Overlooked state financial benefits veterans

Overlooked Financial Benefits for Veterans in These 6 States

I don’t know about you, but it seems like we can all use some help these days. With the pandemic still affecting huge swaths of our country, money has been tight. For this reason, I’d like to call your attention to 6 states that offer overlooked financial benefits to their resident veterans.

Celebrate Day of The Deployed

Celebrate the National Day of the Deployed

National Day of the Deployed is a day which honors the sacrifices that deployed service members and their families have made and continue to make in defense of our country. This day is celebrated yearly on October 26th.

USPS recommended holiday shipping dates

USPS Holiday Shipping Dates 2020

Many in our military community have just moved or are moving overseas, which can further complicate shipping times when it comes to sending gifts and care packages.  The best guidance available is from the United States Postal Service (USPS), who have just published their recommended holiday shipping dates to best ensure deliveries before December 25, 2020.

va healthcare compare

How Does VA Healthcare Compare to Non-VA Healthcare?

Did you know that the VA is the largest healthcare provider in the US? In any health care system – especially one that serves millions of Veterans – ensuring timely access to high-quality healthcare services is extremely important. Recent research shows that VA healthcare is comparable to healthcare provided at non-VA hospitals.

va-tackles-backlog-of-claims-inventory

VA Tackles Backlog of Claims Inventory

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has improved procedures by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the time it takes to process in-coming mail from 10 days down to one.

VA travel reimbursement online

VA Moves Its Travel Reimbursement System Online with AccessVA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making it easier for veterans and eligible beneficiaries to submit travel claims for traveling to receive medical care.  AccessVA will be online filing system for travel reimbursement moving forward.

DoD ID Card Military Retirees and Families

New DoD ID for Families and Retirees

Beginning on July 31, 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) began issuing a new form of ID for family members and military retirees to access service benefits and privileges. They are transitioning away from the paper-based ID card to a more secure one similar to the Common Access Card (CAC) issued to active military, Selected Reserve, members, and Defense civilian employees.

veterans cancer risk

VA Evaluates Environmental Hazards and Cancer Risk

It’s no secret that hazards exist during military service. The VA continuously evaluates the link between environmental hazard exposure and risk for diseases. They do this by compiling data in six Environmental Health Registries. Learn more about these registries.

VA Partners with OnStar on Veteran Suicide Prevention

VA Partners with OnStar in Suicide Prevention

VA Partners with OnStar in Suicide Prevention The VA recently announced a new partnership with OnStar emergency services. The goal of the partnership is to improve access to suicide prevention resources for Veterans. Suicide among our Veteran population produces alarming statistics. Over 6,000 Veterans die by suicide each year Suicide rates among Veterans are 1.5… Read more »

free child care program for military families

Military Gets Free Assistance Finding Child Care

Military Gets Free Assistance Finding Child Care The demands of military service pose unique challenges when it comes to raising kids. Covid-19 has added another layer of challenges. Whether your family is preparing for a deployment, resettling after a PCS move, moving your child into new age level of care, or are among the many… Read more »

free yoga veterans

Free Yoga for Veterans

Did you know that yoga has the potential to improve chronic low back pain, PTSD symptoms, and insomnia? As a veteran, you likely have access to free classes and can benefit from yoga – which may aid your general well-being even if you don’t suffer from back pain or PTSD.

tricare free physical therapy

TRICARE to Provide Free Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

TRICARE beneficiaries in select states who have a documented diagnosis of low back pain will receive three free physical therapy visits. The goal of the demonstration is to determine whether waiving physical therapy cost-sharing will incentivize more beneficiaries to attend physical therapy, which may in turn reduce overall healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.

lung cancer screening veteran

VA Partnership to Expand Lung Cancer Screenings

The VA recently announced a new partnership to increase awareness and expand resources for lung cancer screening for veterans. This is big news because cancer is more prevalent among veterans than the general population.

new tricare providers

More Provider Choices for Some TRICARE Recipients

There are a number of changes to the TRICARE program every year. The most recent proposed change will allow the option for some military families and retirees to choose a different health network apart from the current East and West regions available. Presently, Humana Military Healthcare Services holds the TRICARE East contract and Health Net Federal Services holds the TRICARE West contract.

Digital Garrison Mobile App for Army

New App Provides Info on Installations for Army

The new app, Digital Garrison, is connecting those who live near Army installations with information about a variety of programs, services, and offices on the installation.  

veteran supporting laws

President Trump Signs Two Veteran-Supporting Laws

Two Veteran-Supporting Laws Signed By President In August, President Donald Trump signed two pieces of legislation that will support veterans. One will broaden options for those caught within the legal system and the other will expand a home renovation grant program for veterans who are disabled and blind. The Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act The… Read more »

suicide counseling veterans

Veteran Suicide Prevention Legislation Passes House

Senators are calling on the House of Representatives to pass the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. This landmark legislation is named to honor the legacy of retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon. The bill is focused on efforts to prevent veteran suicides and improve mental health outcomes through improved access to care, better diagnostic tools, and increased oversight of VA programs.

TRICARE Doula Coverage

TRICARE Doula Coverage Bill Proposed

A bill calling for the Secretary of Defense to provide additional resources, including the services of doulas, for pregnant beneficiaries in the Tricare program, was introduced in Congress this May. The sponsors for this bill, Senators Kiersten Gillibrand (New York) and Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) propose that the additional support would actually help to cut heath… Read more »

Largest House VA Budget Proposal

Largest VA Budget Proposal Passes House

Largest VA Budget Proposal Passes House On July 24th, legislation providing appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (HR 7608) passed the House with a contentious vote of 224 in favor and 189 opposed to the legislation. What is remarkable about this bill is that it was only introduced 11 days before it was approved,… Read more »