In 2017, Nearly one-half (47% to be exact) of military veterans in the U.S. received some form of service-related cash or benefit. Indeed, military personnel, whether active duty or veteran, have access to a host of well-deserved benefits.
Still, though, it can be tricky to discern who exactly qualifies for U.S. military benefits, as well as which benefits are accessible to some but off-limits to others. But, by finding the right military benefits for you, you can ensure you and your family are well taken care of.
In this guide, we’ll break down the best military benefits in 2023, including veteran benefits and benefits for active-duty members, dependents (family members), and more. Let’s get started.
Who Qualifies for Military Benefits?
When it comes to the question of who qualifies for claiming military benefits, the answer depends on who you’re asking for. As a general rule of thumb, anyone currently serving in the military, as well as the spouses of military members (known as dependents), can enjoy military benefits. Even your children can enjoy military benefits since they, too are considered dependents.
And of course, military veterans can also receive benefits like health insurance and disability pay.
Types of Military Benefits
Below is a breakdown of the most common types of military benefits. Military benefits come in many forms and can help you pay for school and a home or cover hospital bills from injuries accrued during service.
Probably the most well-known military benefit, the GI bill refers to the ability of a military service member to receive a free education. This bill first got its start when World War II veterans returned home, and the military wanted to help them transition from combat to a career.
Nowadays, service members can use the GI bill’s benefits to further their education and pursue a bachelor’s, associate’s, or master’s degree. You can also use this bill’s benefits to pay for on-the-job training or apprenticeships.
And, if you qualify for Chapter 33 of the GI Bill, also known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can even pass these benefits off to your dependents (like your spouse or kids). To qualify for Chapter 33, you need to have served for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001.
Looking to purchase a home soon? Maybe you’re relocating soon and need a home for your family off-base. In that case, the VA Home Loan can be a big help for you and your family because it allows you to purchase a home with no down payment, no mortgage insurance, and flexible credit requirements. This benefit extends to active-duty members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses.
However, it’s important to realize that only certain types of homes can be used with the VA Loan. Single-family homes that you intend to use as your primary residence are eligible for a VA loan.
Another big pro to the VA loan is that it’s reusable—just because you’ve had a VA loan in the past doesn’t mean you’ve lost your eligibility. Loans for veterans exist as well.
In addition to the GI bill, the military also offers a variety of scholarships and educational programs that you can take advantage of. Some of these benefits include a full-time scholarship to attend a school where you can defer your military commitment until you’re done with school or participate in the National Guard reserves while in school.
To check what type of scholarship you may qualify for, it’s best to consult with your recruiter. Every branch of the military offers a different kind of scholarship program, and the details of the programs change often. In addition to these benefits, if you qualify for any branch’s College Fund Program, you could potentially receive up to $10,000 in college funds on top of the GI bill.
There are also options for part-time students, those who wish to attend community college, and for the Reserve Officers Training Corps (known as ROTC). ROTC allows you to attend military classes and training during your first couple of years in college, with the potential to cover the second half of your college, including tuition, books, and other expenses.
Because the U.S. has such a large military—one of the largest in the world—there are plenty of military-friendly colleges located around the country. These colleges come with programs that help service members and veterans get college degrees.
Some of the military-friendly colleges include the University of Alabama, Colorado State University, and the University of North Dakota, among many others. By attending any one of these schools, you can receive an in-person or online education for a variety of degrees like teaching or science.
Finally, this last benefit applies mostly to veterans and those honorably discharged from the military. There are also benefits for disabled veterans. So, if you’re a veteran or have experienced an injury from the military, you are entitled to receive a certain amount of money each month, known as disability pay.
This is intended to cover medical expenses like hospital bills, doctor visits, and physical therapy. Veterans can also receive money each month simply for serving. Make sure to call your recruiter or military contact to see if you qualify for cash payments.
Find the Best Military Benefits for You Today
Remember that the best military benefit is the one that works best for you and your family. Some benefits may work better for others depending on their particular situation, but the great thing about military benefits is that there’s something for everyone.
To get started with your military benefits today, visit the military benefits tab to apply for the benefits you qualify for.