Disabled Veterans Benefits – Why We Need Improvements

GiBill.Va.Gov

The seemingly endless struggle of the US soldiers in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to achieve peace in those regions have, sadly, not gone without incurring heavy tolls upon those who have risked their lives for the cause. Over more than 20,000 men and women who have volunteered to serve and protect their country come home from Afghanistan and Iraq sustaining wounds that completely alter their lives forever. Such is perhaps the saddest reality that the only way US troops get to come home even when the on going struggle in the Middle East ensues is when they become too disabled to function even in times of peace.

Even after they have been relieved of the burdens of war when they get home, these disabled veterans are forced to struggle in a new fight within themselves in claiming the disabled veteran benefits that the government has promised them and their families. The current system possesses more than enough flaws to make it hard for these already disabled and aged veterans to get benefits such as hospital treatment. GI Bill

Matters of red tape and delays are so abundant that even disabled veterans who manage to go through with the already tasking job of handling tons of paperwork for applying for benefits still find their efforts to be in vain because, more often than not, they end up with very little or nothing at all. In hospitals, veterans are often overlooked and are not prioritized, forcing them to wait in line amongst relatively healthier and more capable patients when getting their check ups. The competence of those working in hospitals as well as offices concerned also cause inconveniences for veterans because of the uncommon cases of misplaced data or paperwork or failed transactions that cause delays of all kinds. Even worse are those cases where disabled veterans are dismayed to find that they are rejected by government agencies because they were “unqualified” to claim these benefits. GI Bill

To most people, these might seem like minor inconveniences that they can afford to live with. But when we talk about individuals who have risked their lives and limbs for the country who end up being unable to support them or their families, these inconveniences become great losses that can become unbearable.

It is the duty of the state and its people to exert effort to be thankful to those who have diligently served the country, and disabled war veterans should be on top of the list. If we cannot even give the least to thank them for their lifetime dedication by making sure they and their families are protected and secure, these veterans will feel the greater loss of the state’s ungratefulness that no physical disability can even amount to.

Want to help our veterans? Donate to the Army [http://www.donatetroops.info] via the USO. GI Bill

Need other ideas to help? Please Check out the Top 10 Ways to Support Our Troops [http://www.ourtroops.org]

Military Educations Benefits Explained: Post 911 GI Bill and More

GiBill.Va.Gov

If you are looking to further your education and are attached to the military in any way, make sure you take full advantage of your military education benefits, specifically the GI Bill. Don’t let it go to waste. Here are some of the basics of what you should know about your military education benefits and what they can do for you.

Military education benefits you may be eligible for include:

  1. The Post-9/11 GI Bill (New)
  2. The Montgomery GI Bill (Traditional)
  3. The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

What exactly is the GI Bill?

The GI Bill is actually a variety if bills in place to help active military, veterans and their family members pay for a higher level of education. This involves financial assistance for education-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies and housing allowances.

David Munõz from Colorado Springs, former Senior Airman/E4 of the United States Air Force, has this to say about the Post 9/11 GI Bill that he is currently using to pay for a 2 year educational program:

“The Government pays my school directly for my tuition and fees, sends me a $500 stipend every semester for books, and gives me a monthly living allowance based on my zip code. All of this allows me to attend school full-time and focus on studies without having to work a full-time job. It’s working out great for me.”GI Bill

GiBill.Va.Gov

Top 5 Benefits of the GI Bill

  1. The money is totally non-taxable.
  2. It works for a variety of educational program types.
  3. There is usually enough money to cover all educational expenses, and depending on the program, living expenses as well.
  4. With the added funds for living, you may be able to go to school full time and not have to work on the side, allowing you to focus on your studies and finish faster.
  5. It’s good for 10 years after you leave the service and will likely cover your entire educational experience.

What can these benefits be used for? GI Bill

  • Vocational or occupational training
  • Technical training
  • Undergraduate degrees
  • Graduate degrees

How do I apply for the GI Bill?

You can apply for the GI Bill with the Department of Veterans Affairs by filling out a simple form.

When and how do I use my benefits?

You can begin using your military benefits after two years of service. Although you can use your educational benefits as an active duty service member, it is advised that you wait until after you have completed your service to get the most out of it. GI Bill

Who do I contact for more information about military education benefits?

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Your commanding officer
  • A financial advisor at your chosen college campus

1 – The Post-9/11 GI Bill

The US Department of Veteran Affairs describes the Post-9/11 GI Bill as “financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”

If this applies to you, check out this list of approved training opportunities and find something that fits your lifestyle. Career-focused training programs are a great way to get started.

Approved Training for Post-9/11 GI Bill

  • Graduate and undergraduate degrees
  • Vocational, technical trades, or career training
  • On-the-job training, flight training
  • Correspondence training
  • Licensing and national testing programs
  • Tutorial assistance

What might be a little confusing is that they also say training and apprenticeships are not covered under this bill, but are due to be added as of October 1, 2011, along with many other benefits covered under the MGI Bill that were left out of the new bill.

2 – The Montgomery GI Bill

The US Department of Veteran Affairs describes the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) as “available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months; and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. Under Chapter 1606, a reservist must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.” GI Bill

This bill will apply to the majority of military seeking financial assistance for education. It can be used for a variety of educational programs ranging from graduate to vocational studies.

3 – The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

The US Department of Veterans Affairs explains REAP as a program that “provides educational assistance to members of National Guard and reserve components – Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) – who are called or ordered to active duty service in response to a war or national emergency as declared by the President or Congress.”

Eligibility depends on active duty served on or after Sept.11, 2001. If you have served at least 90 consecutive days or an accumulated total of three or more years, you may be eligible for these benefits. Eligibility based on continuous service constitutes payments based on the number of continuous days served, while eligibility based on active duty service accumulation of three or more years constitutes the full allowable payment. GiBill.Va.Gov

If you are a reservist in any branch of the military, make sure to look into these benefits and take advantage of what you are eligible for; you won’t regret it.

Approved Training for REAP

  • Undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate courses
  • State licensure and certification courses
  • Courses for a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools
  • Cooperative training
  • Apprenticeship or on-the-job training
  • Correspondence courses
  • Independent study programs
  • Flight training;
  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Remedial, deficiency, or refresher courses needed to complete a program of study
  • Preparatory courses for tests required or used for admission to an institution of higher learning or graduate school

Contact your local College or Technical School to find out how to use your military benefits and get your education today.

Sources

IntelliTec College offers accelerated career training programs in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Pueblo. Request more info at: http://www.intelliteccollege.com/requestInfo.php or call 1-800-748-2282.

How Veterans Administration Loans (VA Loans) Work

GiBill.Va.Gov

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides a loan guarantee service to honorably discharged veterans of the United States military. Essentially, any serviceman or their surviving spouse is eligible for 100% financing without a down payment or mortgage insurance or 90% refinancing on an existing home.

How exactly does a VA loan work?

The VA loan isn’t issued by Veterans Affairs. Instead, the loans are issued by private lenders like banks and mortgage companies, but insured by VA. This means that if you default on your loan, Veterans Affairs will guarantee or secure it. This often translates to lower down payment requirements and eligible interest rates.

What else does the VA loan program do?

The Veterans Affairs loan program also provides pre-purchase counseling. VA officers will sit down with you and your families and go through the process of purchasing and owning a home, obtaining financing and basically understanding the home ownership process.

Does entitlement to a VA loan guarantee a mortgage?

Unfortunately, no it doesn’t. Veterans Affairs can’t force a lender to issue you a home loan, but it can help to make you a more attractive recipient. You still must meet basic credit and income requirements. But if a lender is concerned, for example, about a veteran’s poor credit history, the loan can still be denied or offered at a higher interest rate.

How much are veterans entitled to under the VA loans program?

The bare-bones, basic entitlement is $36,000, but this varies depending on region, median home prices and the amount required. While the amount changes yearly, the limit for the continental U.S. in 2008 was $417,000. Consequently, a qualified veteran could obtain a no down-payment mortgage for an amount up to $417,000. GiBill.Va.Gov

What do I need to get a VA loan?

You need a Certificate of Eligibility. You can get one either from your lender or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Most recent veterans’ information is stored in an online database known as ACE (Automated Certificate of Eligibility), so lenders can access this database to find out if a borrower has a certificate.

How do I get a VA loan?

First you need to select a home and sign a purchase contract that’s dependent on you receiving a VA home loan. Next, you should choose a lender and complete a loan application with your Certificate of Eligibility. The lender will then contact Veterans Affairs to assign an appraiser to determine the market value of the home.

Once a Certificate of Reasonable Value has been issued on the home, your lender will let you know that you’ve been approved for your loan. At that time, you’ll attend the closing where the lender or its attorney will explain the terms of the loan to you, and you will sign the loan agreement.

After the signing, the loan is sent to Veterans Affairs for guaranty, at which point your Certificate of Entitlement is annotated and sent back to you. Finally, once all appropriate approval has taken place and paperwork is signed, you move in.

For insightful information on home enhancements, see hometownemarket.com, a popular site that assists in your search for the perfect home furnishings [http://www.hometownemarket.com] such as dinner tables [www.hometownemarket.com] and many more!

Disabled Veterans Benefits

GiBill.Va.Gov

If you served your country and received a debilitating injury while on duty you deserve far more than just the condolences and admiration of the United States government. It is the duty of the military to provide for its veterans, especially those that were injured. Your disability might be conflicting with your type of post military work and may be making providing for yourself and your family close to impossible.

This should not be something you have to live with. There are veteran disability compensation programs that are meant to provide income and medical reimbursement for veterans who were injured while on duty. Speak up for your rights and demand the compensation you deserve from the Veteran’s Affairs office closest to you. GiBill.Va.Gov

Types of Injuries that can be Covered

Veteran disability compensation does not only include compensation for physical disabilities. Most veterans know that psychological disorders can be rampant for ex military. You have the right to request compensation for:

– Spinal injuries
– Lost limbs
– Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
– Combat related anxiety
– Combat related depression
– Any other disability that occurs while on duty

How to Obtain Compensation

Any military service person that has a service related disability and was discharged under other than dishonorable conditions can apply for disability compensation. This compensation can qualify you to receive between $123 and $3100 in monthly benefits. You may be eligible to receive additional monetary benefits if you:

– Have very severe disabilities or loss of limbs
– You have a spouse, child(ren) or dependent parents
– You have a seriously disabled spouse

If you want to start the process of seeking veteran disability compensation, start by contacting your local Veteran’s Affairs office and filling out a VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation or Pension. You should try to find and attach the following material to your application so you have a greater chance of being awarded benefits. GiBill.Va.Gov

– Dependency records (marriage and children’s birth certificates)
– Medical evidence (doctor and hospital reports)

Special Compensation for Certain Veterans

Certain veterans are able to apply for more substantial payouts if they are one of the following:

– A Prisoner of War
– A victim of diseases and cancers caused by agent orange or other herbicide exposure
– A sufferer of radiation exposure
– A Gulf War Veteran

For more info on VA Disability Benefits, contact Indianapolis area attorneys.

Joseph Devine

GI Bill Government Benefits Changed Do You Know Your Options?

GiBill.Va.Gov

Your GI Bill Government benefits has changed, and these changes can make a big difference in the amount of money you could receive for you education. This makes it very important for you to understand the differences, so that you select the program that is best for you.

The major difference in your benefits is the addition of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which in most cases is a better option than other educational benefits such as the Montgomery GI Bill.

Here are the differences between the two Bills mentioned above.

The Post 9/11 Bill will pay directly to the school you select all tuition and fees up to the cost of the most expensive state Institution of Higher Education of the Sate the school you select resides.

You will also be entitled to a housing allowance that is based on an E-5 with dependence. The amount is based on the zip code of the school you will be attending. GiBill.Va.Gov

You will also receive a stipend of up to $1,000 for books each year.

This compared to the monthly allowance of $1,321 paid by the Montgomery GI Bill makes the Post 9/11 Bill look to be the best choice, but there are other factors to consider.

One such thing to consider is, some States the cost of tuition and housing would be less than the $1,321 monthly allowance you would receive under the Montgomery Bill., therefore making it the best choice.

There are also States that have Colleges that do not charge Veterans tuition, and this might also make the Montgomery Bill more appropriate. GiBill.Va.Gov

While the new Post 9/11 GI Bill is a great benefit, because it gives you more options, it also makes it very important that you do your homework before you select a school.

You will only have one chance to make the correct selection between the two Bills, and once you make that choice you can not change your mind.

The easiest way to make the right choice is to contact Military friendly schools within the Sate that you want to attend classes, and allow them to help you pick the Bill that will pay you the most benefits. GiBill.Va.Gov

Military friendly Schools will have staff that understands the different GI Bill Government programs, and it is in their best interest to help you make the right decision.

You earned these benefits by serving your Country and below you will find a link to a resource that will put you in contact with a list of Schools that will be honored to help. GiBill.Va.Gov

Mike Considine has done extensive research on gibill gov [www.getstudentloanhelp.com/gi-bill-status/] benefits & where to find the best Military friendly schools.

Veteran Benefits – Aid and Attendance

GiBill.Va.Gov

The basics of an oft-misunderstood VA pension benefit that is available for veterans and their widowed surviving spouses.

Wartime veterans and their surviving spouse with limited incomes, who are totally and  permanently disabled for reasons not traceable to their service, may be eligible to receive compensation under the NSC (non-service connected) VA disability program. There are two disability programs available through the VA that pays monthly benefits to  disabled veterans. They are:

1.      Disability Compensation (service related disabilities)

2.      Disability Pension (non-service related disabilities)

This article will focus on the Disability Pension. Under this Pension there are three pension benefit levels. They are:

1.      Disabled Veteran unable to work

2.      Housebound disabled veteran or surviving spouse

3.      Disabled Veteran or surviving spouse who needs aid & attendance care

Let’s focus and drill down more on the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit Provision.

Most VSO (Veterans Service Organizations) and VCO (Veterans Commission Offices) provide very little information on the aid & attendance provision of the disability pension. This lack of communication along with the large government bureaucracy and run-around most veterans or surviving spouses experience when dealing with the VA has led to many eligible individuals to not fully receive the benefits they earned and are entitled.

This benefit provided by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) is the “Improved Pension Disability Pension with Aid and Attendance entitlement” but often called just the Aid and Attendance VA Benefit.

It is available to certain wartime veterans who are totally disabled because of a non-service connected condition; who are in financial need; and who need the aid and attendance of another person in order to avoid the hazards of the daily environment.

This Improved Pension program allows for Veterans who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing or taking care of the needs of nature to receive financial benefits paid to them monthly.

An improved pension benefit is also available for the surviving spouse of the wartime veteran.  The spouse is only eligible for this VA financial assistance when he or she is a widow and has not remarried.  This improved pension is called the “Improved Death Pension Benefit with Aid and Attendance entitlement.”  The eligibility requirements are identical but the monthly benefit is a lower dollar amount.

Applying for the pension benefit is not difficult.

It requires you to complete a long application and provide documentation.  The VA is picky on how the documentation looks and what it states.  Of particular confusion is the medical documentation.  The VA has three different medical forms and none of them are doctor friendly.

The real difficulty with applying for the VA disability pension benefit is understanding what the VA really wants, in what format and when.  Add to that the really confusing multiple letters you will get during the claim processing. GiBill.Va.Gov

Here is an example.  You send in everything that is required in the right format and on the right forms.  You then receive a letter from the VA that lists that they need this huge list of information and documents to support the claim and to further process the application.   It is not until the 4th or 5th page of this letter that you see a small list of items they have received with your claim application. GiBill.Va.Gov

Confused?  You bet.

Do you still need to send in additional information?  Was what you sent them okay, or do they want more?

To add to the confusion there is this form called the “VCAA Notice Response” and it has only two boxes to check. One box asks if you want an additional 60 days to send in supporting information.  The other box says they will adjudicate your claim immediately because you don’t want to send in any more supporting information.

What to do?  Panic and self-doubt sets in.  Nothing in the letter tells you what to do.  It sounds like they want more information.  Why did they send all these additional forms to fill out?

Should you sign this form that wants you to Authorize Release of Medical Information?  You sent in the doctor’s evaluation with the original application, wasn’t that good enough?

The vast majority of people wish they knew how to respond and understand these confusing letters from the VA.

Why do they make it so hard to get this financial assistance?

Hundreds of people have turned to an Aid and Attendance Handbook from Veterans Care Advisors to get these answers, and more.   Understanding what the VA wants when you apply for the Aid and Attendance (just one of the little-known veteran benefits) can make the difference between a faster approval or even getting approved.

In the example above – Checking one box will add 4 months onto the claim processing where checking the other box will result in you getting your financial assistance within 60 days. Which box should you check – and why? http://www.VeteransCareAdvisors.com provides the answer to this question along with real samples of the numerous letters the VA will send you.

There is an easier way to get the money you need from the VA with all the answers to your questions.GiBill.Va.Gov

Greg Cook is a consultant with extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies in the financial world and with major non-profit organizations. He has helped hundreds of senior citizens successfully navigate the long term care industry.

He is a senior advocate, geriatric care manager and a Certified Senior Advisor. To learn more about how to qualify for up to $1,843 per month in VA financial assistance, visit Mr. Cook’s web-site; Veterans Care Advisors dot com.

Using Your GI Bill For a Degree in Information Technology

GiBill.Va.Gov

If your thinking of ways to make the transition back to the civilized world and you are interested in the field of technology, you have the opportunity to use your generous GI Bill benefits to kick start your career.

About The New GI Bill and Montgomery Bill

In July of 2008, the new Post 9/11 GI Bill was signed into law and the benefits have been described as highly robust. Of course, the benefits are tiered based on the amount of days served on active duty. In general, the benefits are for service members and veterans who would like to attend education and training programs through an accredited school. You must have served as a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves for a minimum of 90 days after September 10, 2001. GiBill.Va.Gov

The new benefits of the Post 9/11 bill include:

  1. Up to 100% coverage of tuition and fees.
  2. A monthly living (housing) payment.
  3. Up to $1000 per year for books and supplies.
  4. A one time relocation allowance if you want to relocate to attend a school.
  5. An option to transfer benefits to other family members.

This is not an exhaustive list of the benefits; however, it does highlight some of the most important aspects of the bill. If you are going to pursue a degree completely on-line or through a distance learning program, you may not be eligible for the housing stipend. You can inquire about your personal benefits eligibility by calling the Department of Veteran’s Affairs hotline at 1-888-GIBILL-1.

The Montgomery Bill

The Montgomery Bill is similar to the GI Bill, but it is specifically for those who have agreed to be on the Reserves programs for a period of 6 years. It doesn’t require that you have actual service in the Armed Forces in order to qualify. You can use your benefits to attend both traditional colleges and universities as well as Technical Schools and colleges that offer IT programs. In addition to the education fees, the Montgomery Bill will also cover any certifications or licenses needed in order to get a job in the civilian world. GiBill.Va.Gov

Why Military Technology Skills Translates into an IT Degree

Many of the duties performed while in the military are centered around the use and application of different forms of technology. Serving in the military is often cited as a kind of testing ground for the use of one’s skills out in the field where one can “try on” different types of jobs that might suit their interests and skills in the civilian world. Those who have enjoyed using technology skills in the military have found potential for a civilian career in information technology. GiBill.Va.Gov

It can be frustrating to learn that even though you have work experience using IT skills in the military, many employers in the civilian realm are unsure how it translates into the type of job candidate they need for a particular job. This is where completing a formal education to supplement your experience is the necessary ingredient to your success. Once you complete your IT degree, you will have the advantage of being able to show both formal education and applied experience on your resume.

Some of the more common transitions into IT careers using military experience occur in the sub field of Computer Forensics, IT Project Management, and Computer Networking, just to name a few. The military often conducts it’s own investigations into matters using computer forensics. Forensics is the use and application of technology to solve crimes. Other options include Information Security, Graphic Design, and Multimedia. The military works closely with private companies to develop 3-D interactive training software.

All of these possibilities within the field of Information Technology are within your reach with the generous benefits of your post 9/11 GI & Montgomery Bill. Be sure to take advantage of them and get your career started.

Visit:  http://www.technology-colleges.info/ for more information on technology colleges.