This guest post is brought to you by George Papas.
As a veteran, I have taken advantage of a number of benefits that have been a huge help to me and my family over the years. You too may be eligible for some of these benefits, so I thought I’d provide a bit more information on a few of the main ones that are available to United States veterans. Remember, you’ve served your country and now you deserve to be able to take advantage of all of the benefits that you are entitled to, so don’t miss out on any.
The military pension is one of best retirement deals available in any sector. As a basic overview, you need to serve at least 20 years of active duty to retire on at least 50% of base pay, which is great when compared to the standard pension plans in the private sector.
It does not matter how old you are when you retire from active duty, as long as you have completed 20 years you will be able to start enjoying your pension.
There are three different options available. The first is the Final Pay program, which is the plan for anyone who joined the military before 8 September 1980. The second is the High Three program, which is for anyone who joined on or after that date. This is the plan that you are automatically enrolled on, but there is another option called the REDUX program that you can choose as an alternative. This provides a bonus of $30,000 after 15 years of service, but lifetime benefits are reduced as a result.
This is a fantastic pension that all veterans can enjoy, so it is certainly worth considering staying a few extra years if you are nearing 20 years of service. However, that is a personal decision that only you can make.
The Veterans’ Pension is another pension that is available for those veterans who are disabled or who have a low income. It is only available to veterans who are 65 or older, and who have also completed 90 days or more of active military service, one of which was during a war period. As with many other benefits, you must have been discharged honorably.
The VA Mortgage is arranged by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and is available to veterans who wish to buy a home. Whether it is the right mortgage for you is something that only you can decide, and you may want to seek out professional advice before you make a decision.
However, there is no down payment required and you do not need to buy PMI, which will help to reduce the cost of the mortgage.
There are a number of medical benefits available for veterans that you may be able to take advantage of. These include prescriptions, outpatient services, counseling and a whole range of other benefits. To find out the full details and whether you can apply, visit https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/.
If you suffered an injury or disease while on duty, or if your condition worsened when you were on duty, you may be able to receive non-taxable pay benefits. You may be able to apply for this if you were discharged honorably or for medical reasons. The amount will vary depending upon how serious your disability is and other factors such as whether you have dependents.
Use Your Veterans’ Benefits
I have taken advantage of a number of veterans’ benefits since leaving the military, and I would highly recommend that you look into the various benefits available to you as soon as possible. You served your country, so make sure that you get everything you are entitled to.
For full information on all veterans’ affairs and details of the benefits available, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.
This article was contributed to The-Military-Guide.com by George Papas. You can read his other submissions on Luis Montalvan.
Reminder: This is a guest post. Please be polite, or the comments moderator will kick in.
“Who is a Veteran?” (PDF) from Congressional Research Service
Health Benefits application at Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Benefits Guide
Details of Veterans Pension from Department of Veterans Affairs
Veteran’s Benefits deadlines (PDF)
The regulation for calculating an active-duty pension
Over a decade later, REDUX still sucks
Effect of inflation on a REDUX military pension
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