Mid-Atlantic Regional Group 

Blinded Veterans Association



Washington, District of Columbia Veteran's Benefits

Financial Assistance

VA can pay you monthly compensation if you are classified at least 10 percent disabled as a result of your military service. You can receive a monthly pension if you are a wartime veteran with limited income, you are permanently and totally disabled, or you are at least 65 years old.

There is no time limit to apply for compensation and pension benefits.

Health Care

VA provides a number of health care services:

Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services

Domiciliary, nursing home, and community-based residential care

Sexual trauma counseling

Specialized health care for women veterans

Health and rehabilitation programs for homeless veterans

Readjustment counseling

Alcohol and drug dependency treatment

Medical evaluation for disorders associated with military service in the Gulf War, or exposure to Agent Orange, radiation, and other environmental hazards

VA will provide combat veterans free medical care for any illness possibly associated with service during a period of hostility for two years from the veterans' release from active duty.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

VA can help veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find and keep suitable employment+. For veterans with serious service-connected disabilities, VA also offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. The following are some of the services VA provides:

Job Search—Assistance in finding and maintaining suitable employment

Vocational Evaluation—An evaluation of abilities, skills, interests, and needs

Career Exploration—Vocational counseling and planning

Vocational Training—If needed, training such as on-the-job and non-paid work experience

Education Training—If needed, education training to accomplish the rehabilitation goal

Rehabilitation Service—Supportive rehabilitation and counseling services

To apply for these benefits, you generally have 12 years from the date the VA informs you in writing that you have at least a 10 percent rating for a service-connected disability.

Education and Training

VA pays benefits to eligible veterans, reservists, and active duty service members while they are in an approved education or training program. Based on the type of military service, here are the benefit programs:

Active Duty Service: Persons who first entered active duty after June 30, 1985, are generally eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30). Those who entered active duty for the first time after December 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985, are generally eligible under the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP).

Reserve/Guard Service: Benefits are available to Reserve and National Guard members under [a] the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 1606) who signed a six-year commitment with a reserve unit after June 30, 1985, and remain actively drilling and in good standing with their unit, and [b] the Reserve Education Assistance Program (Chapter 1607) who were activated under federal authority for a contingency operation and served 90 continuous days or more after September 11, 2001.  

Generally, veterans have 10 years from the date they were last released from active duty to use their education and training benefits, and Reserve and National Guard members have 14 years from the date they became eligible for the program unless they leave the Selected Reserves before completing their obligation.

Home Loans

VA offers a number of home loan services+ to eligible veterans, some military personnel, and certain surviving spouses. Currently, there is no time limit to apply for a VA home loan.

Guaranteed Loans—VA can guarantee part of a loan from a private lender to help you buy a home, a manufactured home, a lot for a manufactured home, or certain types of condominiums. VA also guarantees loans for building, repairing, and improving homes. 

Refinancing Loans—If you have a VA mortgage, VA can help you refinance your loan at a lower interest rate. You may also refinance a non-VA loan. 

Special Grants—Certain disabled veterans and military personnel can receive grants to adapt or acquire housing suitable for their needs.

Life Insurance

Veterans can qualify for several forms of life insurance+ based on their military service and disabilities.

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is low-cost term life insurance for servicemembers and reservists. Coverage of up to $400,000 begins when you enter the service. Generally, it expires 120 days after you leave the service.

Traumatic SGLI is automatically included in SGLI and provides for payment up to $100,000 for servicemembers who lose limbs or incur other serious injuries.

Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is renewable term life insurance for veterans who want to convert their SGLI up to an amount not to exceed the coverage you had when you separated from service. You must apply within one year from separation from the service.

Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance, also called "RH" Insurance, is for service-connected veterans. Coverage is $10,000. You may be eligible for a $20,000 supplemental policy if you are totally disabled. You must apply for RH within two years of being rated service connected by VA.

Dependents and Survivors

The VA offers benefits to surviving spouses and dependents of military personnel who died while in active military service and to the survivors of veterans who died after active service.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is payable to certain survivors of the following:

Servicemembers who died on active duty

Veterans who died from service-related disabilities

Certain veterans who were being paid 100 percent VA disability compensation at time of death.

Death Pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. The benefit is based on financial need.

Parents’ DIC is payable to some surviving parents. The benefit is based on financial need.

VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHVA) shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans.

Dependents &; Survivors Education &;  Training:  Some family members of disabled or deceased veterans are eligible for education and training benefits.

Home Loans:  Certain surviving spouses may be eligible for home loans.

For education and training benefits, spouses and surviving spouses have 10 years from the date VA first finds them eligible, and surviving spouses of servicemembers who died while on active duty have 20 years. Children are eligible from age 18 to 26. These time limits can sometimes be extended. There are no time limits to apply for the other benefits described above.


VA offers certain benefits and services to honor our nation's deceased veterans.

Headstones and Markers—VA can furnish a monument to mark the unmarked grave of an eligible veteran.

Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC)—VA can provide a PMC for eligible recipients.

Burial Flag—VA can provide an American flag to drape an eligible veteran's casket.

Reimbursement of Burial Expenses—Generally, VA can pay a burial allowance of $2,000 for veterans who die of service-related causes. For certain other veterans, VA can pay $300 for burial and funeral expenses and $300 for a burial plot.

Burial in a VA National Cemetery—Most veterans and some dependents can be buried in a VA national cemetery.

There is no time limit to claim reimbursement of burial expenses for a service-related death. In other cases, claims must be filed within two years of the veteran's burial+.

End of Document

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