Veterans Affairs (VA) Resources

Veteran Affairs (VA) Resources

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide range of benefits to wounded, ill and injured Veterans and their Families/Caregivers. Some of these benefits are also available to service members still on active duty.

Important VA Resources

Health and Recovery
Adaptive Reconditioning and Rehabilitation
Families and Caregivers
Home and Transportation


GI Bill – Montgomery, Post-9/11 and Expirations

Veterans who serve at least 90 days of active duty and are honorably discharged can receive Montgomery GI Bill benefits, which provide help with education and training costs. Montgomery GI Bill benefits expire after 10 years.

Veterans who served after Sept 11, 2001 may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill . In order for Veterans to receive additional benefits covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Veterans must convert their Montgomery GI Bill to the Post-9/11 GI Bill before the 10 year deadline. You must use your 36 months of benefits within 15 years of your discharge date.

For additional information on the Montgomery GI Bill, Post-9/11 GI Bill, instructions on how to convert your GI Bill, and expirations, visit the GI Bill section of the VA website .

GI Bill – Tutorial Assistance

Veterans can receive a special allowance for individual tutoring if they are participating in a postsecondary program and are enrolled half time or more. To qualify, Veterans must have a de?ciency in a subject, making the tutoring necessary. The school must certify the tutor’s quali?cations and the hours of tutoring.  If eligible, Veterans can receive a maximum monthly payment of $100. The maximum total bene?t is $1,200. The entitlement for tutorial assistance is not charged. 

To apply, complete VA Form 22-1990t Application for Individualized Tutorial Assistance .

GI Bill – Rules on Repaying Classroom Benefits

The following are the VA’s rules for handling GI Bill benefits for classes and instances where you must repay the VA:

  • Withdrawal from Classes: Depending on when and why you withdraw from classes, you may owe money to the school and may have to repay any GI Bill benefits you received for those classes if your training time is affected.
  • Failing Grades: If you receive a failing grade for a class you will not be required to repay the GI Bill benefits you received for that class because the grade counts towards graduation (even negatively). You may retake the class and receive GI Bill benefits for it if a higher grade is required for graduation.
  •  No Credit or Unsatisfactory Grades: If you receive a "no credit", "no pass", "unsatisfactory", or "no basis for grade" in any class, you may owe money to the school and may have to repay any GI Bill benefits you received for those classes if your training time is affected. These grades are known as "non-punitive" grades, meaning they do not count as earned credit. Since you did not receive credit for the class, you do not receive GI Bill benefits for it.
  • Incomplete Grades: Incomplete grades are given when you receive no credit for the class at the end of the term; for example if you didn't turn in a necessary project. The VA will not take any action for up to 12 months from the end of the term. If the school has a policy that says you must make up an incomplete grade in less than 12 months, the VA will follow their policy. If the incomplete class is not completed at the end of the 12 months or by the school’s time limit (whichever is shorter), you may owe money to the school and may have to repay any GI Bill benefits you received for that class if your training time is affected. Since you do not receive credit for the class you do not receive GI Bill benefits for it.
  • Terminated due to Unsatisfactory Attendance, Progress, or Conduct: If you are terminated for unsatisfactory attendance, progress or conduct, the VA will immediately stop your GI Bill payments, and as a result you may owe money to the school and may have to repay any GI Bill benefits you received for that enrollment. You can reenroll for a future term at the same school in the same education field and receive GI Bill benefits if the school allows you to. If you enroll in a different school OR a different education program, the Veteran’s Administration must find that the cause of the unsatisfactory attendance, progress, or conduct has been removed and the program of education or training to be pursued is suitable to your aptitudes, interests and abilities.

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Veteran Employment Service Office - VAforVETS

The VA created a series of videos to assist you with your federal job search. To view playlist, click on the 'PLAYLIST' feature on the upper left-hand corner of the video frame.

    Videos in the playlist

  • "Veterans Preference and Special Hiring 101"
    Learn more about hiring preference for qualified Veterans when applying for Federal employment.

  • "About Interviewing"
    Find out what the hiring manager is thinking from the other side of the desk during the interview process.

  • "Research Before the Interview"
    It is essential to conduct research about your potential employer before you arrive for the interview.

  • "Dress for Success (Women)"
    First impressions are important. Learn how to dress for success.

  • "Dress for Success (Men)"
    First impressions are important. Learn how to dress for success.

  • "The Elevator Pitch"
    Learn how to answer the question: "Tell me a little bit more about yourself" and other typical interview questions.


Federal Jobs Preference Letter

If a Veteran has at least a 10 percent service-connected disability, he or she can obtain a Veterans preference letter from the VA Regional Office to help get a Federal job. Call the VA benefits line at (800) 827-1000 to request one or go to .

Federal Jobs Preference Letter for Spouses

If a Veteran is 100 percent totally and permanently disabled, the spouse can request a Veterans preference letter for themselves. Contact the VA benefits line at: (800) 827-1000 or visit for additional information.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program is designed to help Veterans find gainful employment and will pay for a degree, if that is what is needed.  The VR&E Counselor (VRC) will provide ongoing counseling and assistance, and coordinate services such as tutorial assistance, training in job-seeking skills, medical and dental referrals, adjustment counseling, payment of training allowance, if applicable, and other services to help the Veteran achieve rehabilitation. Veterans need at least a 20 percent VA disability rating.  For additional information on VR&E, visit .

VR&E – Independent Living Program

Veterans whose service-connected disabilities are so severe they are currently unable to pursue an employment goal may qualify for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment – Independent Living program .The Independent Living program helps to make sure that each eligible Veteran is able, to the maximum extent possible, live independently and participate in Family and community life, increasing their potential to return to work. Services may include the following: 

  • Assistive technology
  • Specialized medical, health, and / or rehabilitation services
  • Services to address any personal and / or family adjustment issues
  • Independent living skills training
  • Connection with community-based support services

To apply, go to Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP) and fill out the Vocational Rehab Form 28-1900 .  Following form submission, a counselor will call to set up an appointment. For additional information, call (855) 829-6636.

VR&E - Chapter 36 Vocational Counseling

Veterans in the medical board process and who were discharged within one year are eligible for Chapter 36 Vocational Counseling. Vocational Counseling will:

  • Assess Veterans’ vocational interests, aptitudes and abilities
  • Explore vocational career opportunities
  • Select an appropriate vocational goal
  • Address barriers that may impede success in training or employment

To apply, fill out a VA Form 28-8832 and send it to your regional VA office .

GI Bill – Work-Study Program

Veterans using their GI Bill are eligible for the Work-Study program. This program provides part-time employment to students receiving VA education benefits who attend school three-quarter time or more. Services performed under a VA Work-Study program must be related to VA work. A student can work at any VA facility, a hospital, a Regional Office, a Veteran Center, or even at the school he or she is attending to help fellow Veteran students. Veterans are paid either the State or Federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. For additional information, visit the VA website .

Individual Unemployability

If a VA doctor deems a Veteran unable to work and the Veteran has a disability rating of at least 60 percent, they may be eligible to receive VA pay at the 100 percent level.  Veterans will need the VA doctor to put it in writing that they are unemployable. 

It may be best for you to request assistance from a Veteran Service Officer to help you apply for this benefit.

Volunteer Opportunities at the VA

If interested in volunteering at the VA, contact the VA Voluntary Services Office .

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Health and Recovery

My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet’s free, online Personal Health Record is available 24/7, wherever there is Internet access. Those with an upgraded account (obtained by completing the one-time In-Person Authentication process) can: 

  • Participate in secure messaging with VA health care team members 
  • View key portions of DOD military service information 
  • Get VA wellness reminders 
  • View VA appointments 
  • View VA lab results
  • View VA allergies and adverse reactions

For additional information, visit My HealtheVet’s website .

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their Families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text message. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online , or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24/7 every day of the year.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment Options and Inpatient Clinics

Veterans should speak with their VA primary care physician (PCP) for PTSD treatment options and programs. For additional information on PTSD treatment options, visit the VA National Center for PTSD or to find a PTSD program near you, access the VA PTSD Program Locator .

Vet Center – PTSD/Readjustment Counseling

The Vet Center is funded by the VA, but is a separate entity that can provide one-on-one PTSD readjustment counseling. There are professionals to help you deal with readjustment or talk through PTSD issues. Click here to find your nearest counseling location or to contact the 24/7 Vet Center Combat Call Center .

Vet Center – Spouse Counseling

The Vet Center can provide one-on-one counseling for spouses.  Both the Veteran and their spouse will have to go to the intake appointment together.  At the end of the intake, the counselor will suggest couples counseling. 

Substance Abuse Programs

Veterans who have a substance abuse problem and want help can visit their nearest substance use program facility or contact their nearest Vet Center for additional options.

Smartphone Application for Insomnia

Veterans who are dealing with insomnia and are going through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may access a free app called the CBT-I Coach. For additional information, visit the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) section of the VA’s website .

Women Veterans’ Hotline

The Women Veterans’ Hotline call center is setup to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their Families and Caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans. The hotline can be reached at: (855) 829-6636.

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Adaptive Reconditioning and Rehabilitation

National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

The week-long National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic features adaptive surfing, sailing, cycling (hand and tandem), track and field events and kayaking.  Veterans come from all over the country with a variety of injuries, ranging from traumatic brain injury and polytrauma, to spinal cord injury or loss of limb.

VA Annual Winter Sports Clinic

The VA holds annual Winter Sports clinics. The five-day clinic consists of downhill and cross-country ski lessons, a challenge race, adaptive sports workshops and educational classes, plus sponsored and self-directed alternate activities such as scuba diving, sled hockey, a climbing wall, snowmobiling and other activities. More than 200 certified ski instructors for the disabled and several current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team serve as ski instructors to meet the unique needs of the participants. 

VA Annual Wheelchair Games

The VA sponsors annual wheelchair games in the summer. The following events are held: air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, field events, handcycling, a motorized wheelchair rally, nine-ball, power soccer, quad rugby, slalom, softball, swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting and weightlifting.

Valor Games

The Valor Games brings together disabled Veterans and wounded, ill and injured service members and engages them in three days of Paralympic sport competition. The event celebrates sport as a means of empowering individuals and strengthening community. Beyond competition, the Valor Games connects athletes with ongoing sports opportunities and resources in their local communities.  Events include: air guns, basketball, seated volleyball, table tennis, fencing, cycling, kayaking, and power lifting.

Annual Adaptive Golf and Bowling Tournament

The VA has an annual TEE Tournament in September for the blind and other eligible Veterans to participate in adaptive golf and bowling.

VA Annual Creative Arts Festival

The VA Creative Arts Festival promotes rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.  The local competitions are held in January and February of every year and the national competition is usually in October.  The divisions are:  

  • Art (53 categories)
  • Creative writing (19 categories)
  • Dance (34 categories)
  • Drama (22 categories)
  • Music (45 categories)

VA Paralympic Team Grant

For Veterans eligible to compete on the US Paralympic team, the VA will give a subsistence allowance if selected to compete for a slot. The allowance is around $570 a month per Veteran plus extra for each dependent.

View the disability classifications .
View the full list of sports

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VA Disability Compensation

Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. For additional information, visit .

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Families and Caregivers

Death Benefits for Families

Some of the death benefits available for Families of deceased service members are:

  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) – monthly benefit paid to a surviving spouse or child (approx. $1200/month) for Veterans that died of a service-connected disability
  • Chapter 35 Education Benefits – 45 months of education assistance for each surviving dependent for a Veteran that dies of a service-connected disability or rated at 100 percent
  • Burial Allowance – reimbursement of funeral expenses up to $2,000 by the Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Death Gratuity - $100,000 if death was in service or within 120 days of discharge
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) - $400,000 life insurance while in service or within 120 days of discharge
  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) – for Veterans who apply within one year and 120 days after discharge
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate – an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased Veterans
  • VA Home Loan for Spouses
  • Headstone Markers
  • Burial Plots in a National Cemetery
  • Burial Flag
  • Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) for Spouse or Children – for a Veteran that dies of a service-connected disability or rated at 100 percent
  • Bereavement Counseling through the Vet Center

Visit the VA website or access the “Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors Guide ” for full details.

Accelerated Death Payment for Those Insured with SGLI, FSGLI and VGLI

A service member is eligible to receive an accelerated benefit if he/she or a covered spouse has a valid written prognosis from a physician of nine months or less to live.  Only the insured member may apply for an Accelerated Benefit.  The amount of Accelerated Benefit available to a member is up to 50 percent of the face value of the member's insurance coverage. To apply for this benefit, complete the claim for accelerated benefits form and mail to:

Office of Service members' Group Life Insurance
80 Livingston Avenue
Roseland, NJ 07068-1733

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors

VA compensation is available for the Families of Veterans who pass away from a service-connected disability. Currently, Survivor Benefits Plan (SBP) is reduced dollar-for-dollar according to the amount of DIC that is given.

To apply for DIC, complete a VA Form 21-534 Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child  and mail to the regional VA office .

Chapter 35 Education Benefits for Dependents

The Chapter 35 Education Benefits for Dependents program is only for Veterans declared by the VA as 100 percent permanent and totally disabled. This program provides 45 months of education benefits to every dependent.  Spouses have ten years to use the benefits after the VA rating decision and children must use it between ages 18 and 26.  For additional information, visit the VA’s website .

VA Caregiver Program and Caregiver Support Line

If someone that lives with an Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veteran and helps the Veteran accomplish activities of daily living, that person may be eligible for the VA Caregiver program, which can provide basic training, a monthly stipend, counseling and other services. To apply, you must submit a VA Form 10-10CG . Visit for additional details.

The VA Caregiver Support Line also provides licensed and caring professionals that can:

  • Tell you about the assistance available from the VA
  • Help you access services and benefits
  • Connect you with your local family Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA medical center near you

Online Parenting Course

The VA and DoD have created a free online parenting course . Topics include:

  • Back into the Family
  • Promoting Positive Parent-Child Communications
  • Helping Your Child with Difficult Emotions and Behavior
  • Positive Approach to Discipline
  • Managing Stress and Emotions as a Parent
  • Parenting with Emotional & Physical Challenges

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Home and Transportation

VA Home Loan

Veterans are eligible for a VA loan. In most cases, there is no down payment and the closing costs are included in the loan amount. Veterans can also refinance their homes through the VA Home Loan Guaranty program . The Certificate of Eligibility is available through the eBenefits website or Veterans may apply with a VA Form 26-1880 .

VA Home Loan – Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

Veterans can add the VA funding fee and up to $6,000 of energy efficient modifications to the home into the home loan. For additional information, visit the VA website .

VA Home Loan - Relocation Assistance

Veterans who have a VA loan on their house and have to short sale it or do a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the VA has authorized mortgage servicers to give $1,500 to the Veteran to relocate.  

Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance

Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) is mortgage protection insurance that can help families of severely disabled service members or Veterans pay off a home mortgage in the event of their death.  The Veteran must have used a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant from the VA to be eligible for this benefit.  To apply, complete a VA Form 29-8636 .

Homeless Hotline

The VA has a hotline to provide support and resources for Veterans in danger of being homeless or those who are already homeless. The hotline can be reached at (877) 424-3838 or visit .

VA Services Veterans Living Overseas

For Veterans traveling or living overseas, the VA can provide benefits services such as disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment and burial. Non-service connected benefits may be excluded. If you are traveling to the following countries, call (877) 345-8179:

  • Australia, Costa Rica
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

For Canada, call (613) 943-7461.

Automobile Grant

Veterans with the following disabilities many receive a one-time automobile grant of up to $18,900 from the VA paid directly to the dealer:

  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands, or
  • Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a certain degree 

To apply, complete VA Form 21-4502 and mail to your regional office .

Adaptive Equipment for Vehicles

The VA will pay for adaptive equipment and installation of equipment for Veterans who need this equipment in order to drive their vehicle. The VA will also pay for any repairs to the equipment and replacement and re-installation of new equipment. They will do this for up to two of your vehicles. There is a rule that says only two cars can be adapted every four years. So if you apply this benefit to two cars and then trade one car in two years later, the VA will not adapt the third car until four years have passed since the first car was adapted.

If you need these services, you must have a prosthetics consult with your VA primary care physician, which can be requested through a secure email using  My HealtheVet . For additional information, speak with a Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) representative .

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Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance

100 percent total and permanently disabled Veterans can get up to $30,000 of life insurance for free. Visit the insurance section of the VA website for additional details .

Convert SGLI, VGLI, or FSGLI to a Commercial Policy

There is an option to convert to a commercial insurance policy under some conditions.  This applies to those covered under Service members Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs, as well as spouses covered under Family Service members Group Life Insurance (FSGLI).

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Veterans Court

VA Veterans Court representatives may be able to work with the local court system to modify or reduce punishments for Veterans in exchange for rehabilitation through the VA treatment systems.  For additional information, contact a local representative .

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Clothing Allowance

The clothing allowance reimburses Veterans if clothing gets permanently damaged by a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance, or by a prescribed medication for skin.

Submit VA Form 10-8678 , Application for Annual Clothing Allowance, to the prosthetic representative at any VA medical center.  Applications are collected throughout the year and held until the closing date of August 1st. They are then processed, and Veterans will receive payments between September 1st and October 31st. 

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