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Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, USA, NYC

What are veterans actually entitled to?

Enlisting in the military is a huge decision that isn’t to be taken lightly. Yet millions of the population take that step without hesitation to protect their country and sadly, return home sometimes with life-changing injuries.

VA disability benefits

VA disability pay rates demonstrate how veterans are given a combined disability rating which is also impacted by their number of dependents. It is complex to understand and vets are not always awarded the right compensation they deserve, which is why legal advice is often necessary.

However, financial entitlement is merely one of the many issues facing vets when returning home. What they have to live on is only a small component of the multiple ways they are faced with piecing together a life after serving in the military. 

The adjustment from life on the frontline to life back in the world they have been defending can be difficult. This is not just in the cultural, everyday sense of no longer existing in a disciplined and structured way with danger and high risk at every turn, but also in the practical sense too.

The paperwork that is required to exist back in life as a normal citizen, the health implications that may be a result of service, the overwhelming list of things to organize to have everything you need – it is a whirlwind, to say the least.

Health benefits

Health issues can be extremely broad-ranging. From the hugely debilitating and devastatingly life-altering physically to the equally paralyzing mentally, and often, as a result of the latter, the all-consuming consequence of this being substance abuse.

Therefore, there is a wide range of health benefits vets are deservedly entitled to use, depending on their specific needs. However, it is often hard for them to know exactly which services they might need if they haven’t yet identified their issues, or it might be that they aren’t aware of the services or cannot get access to them.

Education tuition and career counseling

Another avenue for vets to go down is education and tuition to enable them to further their civilian training and find a suitable career route after the military. It could still be that they pursue a career within the military but just not in active duty, or it might be that they want to retire from service and pursue something different entirely in civilian life.

There are many ways they can do this, such as applying for help to cover the costs of school or job training, or it might be that career counseling is needed. This is when vets seek advice and guidance on where their skills might be best suited within other jobs and which programs would help them get on that path. 

Furthermore, it also helps them to recognize where they might be going through some issues which are preventing them from achieving their goals.

Housing

Vets are entitled to home loans and grants to help towards the costs of paying for their homes or any modifications necessary as a result of their injuries. This may be in the form of ramps, wider doorways or much more complex changes, that could potentially even impact the building structurally.

However, in more extreme circumstances, but sadly, increasingly more common these days are the instances of homelessness amongst vets. There is advice available on shelters and storage of personal belongings as well as what other options might be open, such as armed forces retirement homes and housing programs. 

In conclusion…

It is so important to create awareness and support our veterans who have done so much for our country. So, hopefully by sharing this information, people who may have vets in their family, or friendship circles can help them find the advice they need to get a better start after they return home.

There is a lot of confusion out there, just as there can be with any benefits. But, by being aware of the challenges these men and women face on civilian soil after performing their duty, we can all make it a better country by sharing this and helping them as they’ve helped us.