According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 1.6 million veterans living in Texas. Yet only a fraction of these vets are getting all of the benefits they deserve. Many veterans simply do not realize that they and their family members are eligible for benefits because there is a persistent rumor that only people who are seriously injured or killed in combat are eligible for benefits.
Below are just a few of the many benefits that we have helped veterans and their families secure:
Health Care: Any veteran who was on active military service and was not discharged dishonorably may qualify for VA health care benefits.
Education & Employment Training: The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education all administer employment, education, and training programs for veterans. Career and educational counseling is available to help veterans figure out which programs will work best for them.
Disability Compensation: Veterans with a service-related disability may qualify for a monthly payment. These benefits are generally tax-free and are paid to veterans who have injuries or diseases that occurred while on active duty, or were aggravated and made worse by active military service.
Burial and Memorial Services: Veterans, their spouses, and their dependents are often eligible for burial and memorial benefits which can help cover the costs of funerals and burial or cremation. There are also special cemeteries that are only open to military families. It is a good thing to plan ahead if you want to take advantage of any burial or memorial benefits because it can take a while to process these claims, and that is not something you want to be dealing with while grieving.
Death Pension: Certain dependents (typically spouses and children) of deceased wartime veterans are eligible for a VA Death Pension. There is a separate benefit available to the parents of a military service member or veteran who has died.
Unfortunately, knowing what benefits are available and applying for them does not guarantee deserved benefits will be received. Many eligible beneficiaries are initially denied benefits when they first file a claim because navigating the VA bureaucracy is unnecessarily difficult, and as the many news stories on the topic attest, the VA is sometimes bad at doing its job.
Veterans and their family members who are denied benefits should not give up! Most denials can be appealed, and the VA allows veterans to hire an attorney to get help with the appeals process. An experienced attorney will know what sort of arguments the VA finds compelling, and will be able to assist veterans who need help getting their paperwork in order.