Navigating the world of VA benefits can be frustrating and overwhelming for any veteran. Figuring out which benefits you’re eligible for, how to apply for them, and how to use them is a long road. It requires commitment and patience, which is difficult to maintain after dedicating years of your life to military service already.There are several disability benefits available to Veterans, but unfortunately, the system can be so complicated that many are either unaware that these benefits exist or are so frustrated with the process that they give up looking. Knowing the benefits available to you as a disabled Veteran is the first step in securing the assistance you deserve.Here are some of the top VA disability benefits for retirees as well as some additional benefits available to disabled veterans.
The most obvious benefit available to disabled retirees is disability pay. The amount depends on your level of disability, which the VA determines on a scale from 0 to 100%. The percentage is based on the evidence you submit with your claim and your military records.
Disability compensation is a tax-free monthly payment that covers both physical and mental conditions. You must have gotten sick or injured while serving in the military, had a pre-existing condition made worse by serving in the military, or have a service-related sickness or injury that didn’t appear until after retirement.
However, disability pay isn’t a supplementary benefit for many retirees. Veterans who receive both services retired pay and disability pay with a rating of 40% or less will receive a VA Waiver that docks the amount of disability pay from the retired service pay amount to prevent “double-dipping.”
CRDP (Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay)
Luckily, there are two available programs to overcome this obstacle. CRDP restores the service retired pay that is typically withheld by the VA waiver. To be eligible for this benefit, veterans must be receiving both retired and disability pay, be a 20+ year retiree and have a service-connected disability rating of 50% or more.
Unlike many VA benefits, CRDP does not require an application. If you meet the requirements, DFAS will automatically eliminate the waiver and restore your pay.
CRSC (Combat-Related Special Compensation)
CRSC is the second program that helps eliminate the VA Waiver for disabled retirees with combat-related injuries from armed conflict, hazardous duty, an instrumentality of war, or simulated war. Unlike CRDP, CRSC is a tax-free entitlement paid monthly. It’s available to retirees with a VA disability rating of at least 10%.
To qualify, you have to be entitled to or receiving service retired pay as well as disability pay. You also must file an application with your Branch of Service.
VA DIC (VA Dependency Indemnity Compensation)
The VA Dependency Indemnity Compensation program offers financial assistance to the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness or was killed in the line of duty.
This benefit is also available to families of veterans who didn’t necessarily die from a service-related illness or injury but were eligible for compensation for a disability rated as totally disabling.
There are various requirements for spouses, children, and parents to meet before they receive compensation to prove their connection to the veteran and current situation in life. Nevertheless, this compensation is extremely helpful for families who depend on the service member’s sole income or the veteran’s benefits to get by.
Aid and Attendance
This benefit provides additional monthly payments on top of a retiree’s pension for assistance with daily activities and wellness. You may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance benefits if you receive a VA pension and:
- need assistance with daily activities.
- stay in bed most of the day due to illness.
- are a patient in a nursing home due to disability.
- are housebound due to a permanent disability.
- have severely limited eyesight.
This benefit also extends to survivors of retirees meeting the same requirements. An application and evidence of medical problems are required.
Housing and VA loan assistance
The VA loan program is one of the best benefits the military offers service members. No down payment and lower interest rates make purchasing a home a much more attainable goal for veterans than it would be otherwise.
Although the loan is available to all veterans, there are some additional benefits to disabled vets. If you receive disability benefits and are in the process of closing on a loan, the funding fee is completely waived. It’s also refundable if the loan is already closed.
Veterans with more severe disabilities often require special housing accommodations. The Specially Adapted Housing and the Special Housing Adaptation grants help veterans build, remodel, and modify homes to meet their needs. These grants can also be used toward mortgages and the purchase of adapted homes.
The Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption varies by state, but it can reduce the amount a disabled veteran owes annually in taxes.
Veterans’ preference for federal jobs
Veterans preference was created to give veterans an advantage over civilian job seekers when applying for federal jobs. Disabled veterans can certainly claim this benefit on federal job applications, but those with a disability rating of 10% or more are given an additional advantage and moved ahead of even other veterans’ preference candidates.
What benefits are you eligible for?
There are many more benefits available to disabled retirees and veterans, but with so many requirements and applications, it’s easy to get lost. Unfortunately, retirees with a disability rating under 40% miss out on valuable compensation. However, if you believe you should be receiving more benefits than you are or if your condition has worsened, it’s time to revisit your eligibility and file for a rating increase.
Veterans Guardian is a veteran-owned and operated firm dedicated to getting veterans the VA disability benefits they deserve. Our team has years of knowledge and expertise that have given us a 95% success rate in getting clients a disability rating increase. We can identify benefit opportunities for you and guide you through the claims process from start to finish.
Schedule a free consultation with us to learn more about our services and how we can help you. There is no fee unless we succeed, so please get in touch with us to find out more information.