In this blog I’m going to list 24 different Federal and State VA benefits that are available to you as a Veteran. If you are a Veteran who was honorably discharged and have a service-connected disability, you may be eligible! Most of the Federal VA benefits apply to those who are rated as 100% disabled, but there are some State benefits available with only a 10% disability rating. Each state has different Veteran benefits and here I’m going to be talking about those available in Georgia. If you are in a different state, I would suggest contacting your local VSO office to learn about those particular benefits/
Federal Veteran Benefits
1. VA Disability Compensation
This one of the Veteran benefits that we discuss the most on this blog. VA disability compensation is tax free money that you receive each month because of a service-connected injury. If you are rated as 100% disabled, your maximum benefit is approximately $3,600 per month.
2. VA Healthcare & Medications
If you have a 100% VA disability disability rating, you most likely already know these Veteran benefits. If you don’t or you’re not currently enrolled in VA healthcare, proceed directly to the VA and sign up. It’s free! Take advantage of it!
3. Travel Allowance
This is where the VA reimburses you for mileage and other travel expenses for scheduled medical appointments at a VA facility or medical facility in which the VA referred you for care. There are some timelines as far as when you have to submit information for your reimbursement. Read this blog for more info on these Veteran benefits.
4. Dental Care
You can receive dental care through the VA. If there isn’t a facility in your town, you can get these services through the cared community program. Check with your local VSO for details.
5. VA Home Loan Funding Fee Waivers
When using a VA home loan, there is usually some kind of funding fee that can range anywhere from 1% to 4%. If you have a $100,000 mortgage, that fee could be as much as $4,000. Under this waiver program, you don’t pay that because you’re 100% disabled. This is a huge benefit because it could save you $4,000!
6. VA Federal Employment Assistance
Do you want to be employed? The VA offers employment assistance if you have a 100% disability rating. This qualifies you for a 10 point preference when applying for Federal jobs. For example if you’re going to apply to the post office or the civil service, you get 10 points added to your resume because you are 100% disabled. You’re also eligible for a direct hire when competing with someone who is not a Veteran or someone with a lower disability rating.
7. Vocational Rehab
This program is now called the Veterans Readiness and Employment Program. Unlike the GI Bill, this program is specifically tailored to your individual needs. Be careful though! As of April 1, 2021, the VA no longer counts the use of Veterans Readiness and Employment benefits against the 48 month limit to the GI Bill. This is a one way street here. If you’re using the GI Bill, the GI Bill benefits count against the 48 month limit for vocational rehab benefits. It makes no sense (I know!), but be careful.
8. Additional Disability Compensation for Dependents
The VA recognizes that you may need additional compensation or additional assistance when providing for your family. You may be able to add your spouse, children, or even your parents onto your Veterans benefits for disability. The number of dependents you have will determine how many. you can add. Check with your local VSO for more details on that.
9. Disability + Retirement Veteran Benefits
Can you receive both military retirement and disability pay? If you’re rated as 100% disabled, you can. You get your full military retirement and your full disability compensation. That’s one of the only scenarios really where you can “double dip.”
10. Educational Assistance Programs
The VA can help you and your dependents with educational assistance programs. Just tell your kids to contact the VA for assistance. Also make sure to remind them to ask the VA about any scholarships.
11. Civilian Health Medical Program
The VA has a Civilian Health Medical Program called CHAMPVA. These Veteran benefits for dependents may cover a percentage of the cost of medically-necessary services. It’s just like health insurance. Some things are going to be covered and some of them are not. Even though your doctor says you have to have a service, CHAMPVA may deny payment.
12. VA Burial and Plot Allowance
Check with your local funeral director or VSO for more details on this one. The VA can help you with the cost of planning or procuring a plot and with covering up to $2,000 of burial expenses.
13. Uniform Services ID Card
If you’re 100% disabled, you can get a uniform services ID card. It’s just like your military ID, and it can grant you access to priviliges at DOD facilities. .For example, it allows you to get into the commissary.
14. VA Adaptive Housing and Automobile Grant
Under this Veteran benefits program, you may be able to get a grant to make additions to your home such as a wheelchair ramp. This is money that you don’t have to pay back. It could be used to widen doorways or make your bathrooms more accessible If you’re having trouble getting your wheelchair into your van, you can get a special lift under this program also.
Georgia State Veteran Benefits
1. Georgia Veteran Homes
In Georgia we have two Veterans Homes — one in Augusta, GA and one in Milledgeville, GA. Admission is open to honorably discharged Georgia Veterans who served during a qualifying wartime period. There’s a nominal fee charged and you can apply for Aid & Attendance benefits to help offset this fee. You need at least a 70% disability rating or higher and your disability rating has to be service-connected. If you have any questions regarding that, check with your local VSO or check with those homes in August or Milledgeville.
2. Georgia Veterans Financial Benefits
This is an exemption from the homestead tax. For 100% disabled Veterans and those getting VA disability for loss of vision or limb, the surviving spouse (who is not remarried) may be exempt from property tax on their homes. The tax exemption changes every year and right now the max is set around $93,000.
3. Vehicle Tax Exemption
GA has a vehicle tax exemption for permanent and totally disabled Veterans, or those getting disability benefits for loss of vision or limb(s). This is one of the Veterans benefits that’s really kind of a non-issue nowadays. When you buy a vehicle, you go ahead and pay the sales tax up front so you’re not subject to the ad valorem tax each and every year.
4. Licenses and Special Taxes
Georgia Veterans are eligible for a certificate granting exemption from occupational taxes. If you want to open a business, you don’t have to pay an occupational tax or special fees imposed by any kind of local government for conducting business.
5. Free Drivers License
Georgia Veterans that were honorably discharged can get a free drivers license. We get a lot of questions whether this applies to National Guard members. Yes, it does. If you were a member or former member of the National Guard and have at least 20 years or more of credible service, you could also qualify. If you are the spouse of a qualified Veteran whose disabilities don’t allow them to operate a motor vehicle, you are eligible for a free drivers license also. You do have to be a resident of Georgia.
6. GA Veterans Employment Benefits
This is similar to #6 on the Federal Veteran benefits list. In Georgia a 5 point credit is given to Veterans seeking state employment.
7. Business Licenses
If you are an honorably discharged Veteran with at least a 25% disability (10% if wartime), you’re exempt from payment of occupational taxes and other fees.
8. Firefighter Training
If you received military firefighting training, that is accepted as required basic training for full time, part time, volunteer firefighters, and airport firefighters here in Georgia.
9. Recreational Veteran Benefits
Georgia is a big recreational state is we have recreational Veteran benefits. Permanently and totally disabled Veterans are eligible for a discounted Sportsman license and you also can get discounts for State Park admissions.
10. State Veteran Cemeteries
Any Veteran or family member of the Veteran may be buried in one of the two Georgia State Veteran Memorial Cemeteries. There is one in Milledgeville, GA and there is one in Glenville, GA. The eligibility requirements are the same for burial in a VA cemetery and require something other than a dishonorably discharge. I would check with your local funeral director for more information.
Contact Us So We Can Help!
If you need assistance with any of the VA benefits listed above, you can complete this form or give us a call at (229) 226-8183. If you’d like to see this blog in video format, you can watch it below. Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel and click the bell notification button so that you’re notified each time we publish a new video.