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5 Benefits Veterans Should Know About

Military to Civilian Transition

Are you a veteran who needs help with a car loan, small business grant, or creating a disability-friendly home? What many people don't realize is that those who served in the United States military are eligible for a wide range of benefits that help them to improve their quality of life.

1. Car Loans

If you are a veteran who wants a new vehicle, then you'll want to know that you have plenty of auto loan options. Whether you need a new daily driver or want something a little more luxurious, loans for veterans typically include a fast financing process that is virtually hassle-free. Another option for your military or veterans discount includes refinancing your current loan, which means you can truly find a situation that works to meet your needs. Depending on where you go for your loan, you may have an all-encompassing experience that even helps you to find research and buy your new vehicle. In many situations, registration and titling can even be done through the same company.

2. Life Insurance

Members and former members of the military, as well as their families, are eligible for life insurance programs. There are several life insurance options for members of the military and their families, including policies for active-duty members, coverage for spouses and children, and short-term financial help for those who have suffered from a traumatic injury. Other options include veteran's life insurance, insurance for those who become disabled due to their service, and mortgage protection life insurance. Each policy has its own advantages, disadvantages, and eligibility requirements, but all provide online information access. You can also determine whether you qualify for benefits if you are disabled or terminally ill.

3. Education and Career Counseling

Known as VA Chapter 36, Personalized Career Planning and Guidance provides free career and education guidance for current and former military members. The provided planning and resources are also available for dependents of current and former military members who were on active duty within the last year. There are other eligibility requirements as well, such as not being dishonorably discharged. If you qualify for the benefits, you can apply online, in person at a regional office, or by mail using VA Form 28-8832. Those who are accepted will receive benefits such as career counseling, educational counseling, academic adjustment counseling, and resume support.

4. Small Business Support

If you are a veteran who owns a small business, then you may qualify for certain advantages, especially when it comes to bidding on government contracts. Veteran business owners also have access to resources and support that civilians don't have access to. The Vets First Verification Program, which the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization runs, allows you access to bid on federal and state contracts, access to more capital, tax relief, and a variety of other resources and education options. To qualify, your business must be at least 51% veteran-owned, including full control over daily management, working full-time for the business, holding the highest position in the company, and several other factors.

5. Disability Housing Grants

Veterans and active-duty service members who have service-connected disabilities may be eligible for grants that help them to find and pay for a permanent home or to make improvements to the one that they already have so that it is more accessible. This may include widening doorways or installing ramps. You must own the home and have a qualifying disability to qualify for improvements. Qualifying disabilities include loss of use of at least one limb, blindness in both eyes, severe burns, or more. The amount that your grant covers will vary by year. As of 2002, it was just over $100,000.

Are you interested in finding out more about the benefits that you may be eligible for as a veteran? Your local VA will be able to help you find out more about what programs you qualify for and how they can help you to improve your quality of life.

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