Veterans Affairs Benefits
Compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.
Veteran’s Pension & Widow’s Pension
The Veterans Pension program provides monthly payments to wartime Veterans who meet certain age or disability requirements, and who have income and net worth within certain limits. You may be eligible for the Veterans Pension program if you meet the requirements listed below.
Both must be true:
You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
Your yearly family income and net worth meet certain limits set by Congress. Your net worth includes all personal property you own (except your house, your car, and most home furnishings), minus any debt you owe. Your net worth includes the net worth of your spouse.
At least one of these must be true about your service. You:
Started on active duty before September 8, 1980, and you served at least 90 days on active duty with at least 1 day during wartime, or
Started on active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least 1 day during wartime, or
Were an officer and started on active duty after October 16, 1981, and you hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months
At least one of these must be true. You:
Are at least 65 years old, or
Have a permanent and total disability, or
Are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability, or
Are getting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income
Nursing Home Care Facilities
As a Veteran, you may be able to get assisted living, residential (live-in), or home health care through VA. Find out how to access these long-term care services.
Our long-term care services include:
24/7 nursing and medical care
Help with daily tasks (like bathing, dressing, making meals, and taking medicine)
Comfort care and help with managing pain
Support for caregivers who may need skilled help or a break so they can work, travel, or run errands
You can get this care in many different settings—some run by VA and others run by state or community organizations that we inspect and approve.
Care settings may include:
Private homes where a caregiver supports a small group of individuals
Adult day health centers
Veterans’ own homes
How do I access these services?
You may be able to use one or more of these services if you meet all of the requirements listed below.
All of these must be true:
You’re signed up for VA health care, and
We conclude that you need a specific service to help with your ongoing treatment and personal care, and
The service (or space in the care setting) is available near you
We may also consider other factors, like your service-connected disability status or insurance coverage.
To find out how to access these services, contact your VA social worker. Or, call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Burial Benefits for Veteran
VA burial benefits can help service members, Veterans, and their family members plan and pay for a burial or memorial service in a VA national cemetery. Family members can also order memorial items to honor the service of a Veteran.
Am I eligible for allowances to help pay for a Veteran’s burial and funeral costs?
You may be eligible for Veterans burial allowances if you’re paying for the burial and funeral costs and you won’t be reimbursed by any other organization, like another government agency or the Veteran’s employer. You must also meet all of the requirements listed below.
- One of these relationships or professional roles describes your connection to the Veteran. You’re:
- The Veteran’s surviving spouse (Note: We recognize same-sex marriages.), or
- The surviving partner from a legal union (a relationship made formal in a document issued by the state recognizing the union), or
- A surviving child of the Veteran, or
- A parent of the Veteran, or
- The executor or administrator of the Veteran’s estate (someone who officially represents the Veteran)
The Veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge, and one of these circumstances must be true. The Veteran died:
- As a result of a service-connected disability (a disability related to service), or
- While getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
- While traveling with proper authorization, and at VA expense, either to or from a facility for an examination, or to receive treatment or care, or
- With an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death, if they would’ve been entitled to benefits before the time of death, or
- While receiving VA pension or compensation, or
- While eligible for VA pension or compensation at time of death, but instead received full military retirement or disability pay
Or the Veteran:
- Had been getting a VA pension or compensation when they died, or
- Had chosen to get military retired pay instead of compensation
Note: We’ll also provide an allowance for the cost of transporting a Veteran’s remains for burial in a national cemetery.
You can’t get burial allowances for certain individuals
We don’t provide burial allowances if the individual died:
- On active duty, or
- While serving as a member of Congress, or
- While serving a federal prison sentence
Is there a time limit for filing?
You must file a claim for a non-service-connected burial allowance within 2 years after the Veteran’s burial or cremation. If a Veteran’s discharge was changed after death from dishonorable to another status, you must file for an allowance claim within 2 years after the discharge update.
There’s no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot, or interment allowance.
What kind of burial benefits can I get?
For burial in a national cemetery, you’ll receive an allowance for:
- Burial and funeral costs
- The plot (gravesite) or interment
- Transporting the Veteran’s remains for burial
Note: The Veteran’s family will need to cover the cost of funeral director services, like cremation.
What documents do I need to send with my application?
You’ll need to send copies of these documents:
- The Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)
- The Veteran’s death certificate
- Any documents or receipts you have for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains
- A statement of account (preferably with the letterhead of the funeral director or cemetery owner) that has this information:
- The Veteran’s name, and
- The type of service or item purchased, and
- Any credits, and
- The unpaid balance.
As a surviving spouse, do I need to file a claim for burial costs?
No, you don’t need to file a claim as a surviving spouse, as long as you’re listed as the Veteran’s spouse on the Veteran’s profile. When we receive notice of the Veteran’s death, we automatically pay a set amount to those eligible surviving spouses to help pay for the plot, the cost of interment, or transportation of the remains to the cemetery.
VA Home Loan Guarantee Certificate
VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of our mission to serve you, we provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.
VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.
Your length of service or service commitment, duty status and character of service determine your eligibility for specific home loan benefits.
Purchase Loans and Cash-Out Refinance: VA-guaranteed loans are available for homes for your occupancy or a spouse and/or dependent (for active duty service
members). To be eligible, you must have satisfactory credit, sufficient income to meet the expected monthly obligations, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Learn More
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): The IRRRL is a “VA to VA” loan, meaning it can only be done if you have an existing VA guaranteed loan on the property. The IRRRL is generally performed to lower the interest and reduce the monthly payment on the existing VA guaranteed loan. Learn More
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: The NADL program helps Native American Veterans purchase, construct, improve, or re-finance a home on Native American trust lands. Your tribal organization must participate in the VA direct loan program. You must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Learn More
Adapted Housing Grants: VA helps Veterans with certain total and permanent disabilities related to your military service obtain suitable housing with either a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant.
- Mexican Border – May 09, 1916 to April 05, 1917 (if Veteran served in Mexico, on borders thereof or the waters adjacent thereto)
- World War I – April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918, inclusive. If Veteran served with U.S. in Russia, the ending date April 01, 1920. Service after November 11, 1918 and before July 02, 1921 is considered WWI service. If Veteran also served in the active military, naval, or air service after April 05, 1917 and before November 12, 1918.
- World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
- Korean War – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War – August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
- Desert Storm / Gulf War – August 2, 1990 – TBD