Veterans and Retired Military Benefits



Veterans Memorial


The Difference Between Veterans and Retired Military

Veterans are individuals who served our country in the armed forces who were honorably discharged and/or who became ineligible for active service due to a disability received during active service. Individuals who retired from the military after twenty or more years of service or who became totally and permanently disabled due to military service are Veterans in addition to qualifying as retired military (with a separate set of benefits).

Our country offers benefits to Veterans in honor of their service. These benefits may change from time to time. Veterans are eligible for certain Federal benefits and are also, in some cases, eligible for additional state benefits.

In some cases, spouses and dependents of Veterans and retired military are eligible for certain benefits.




Benefits for Veterans and Their Families

Below are links to sites that will help Veterans and their families determine what benefits are available to them.

  • Contact the VA
    a part of the VA website where citizens can make an electronic inquiry directly to the VA. Questions are either answered directly or are referred to the appropriate office. This page also offers a long list of FAQs (frequently asked questions). Access to the VA's various toll-free numbers and regional offices is easy to access. This includes the Veteran's Benefits Administration, the Veteran's Health Administration, and the National Cemetery Administration.
  • Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents
    a part of the VA website that gives direct links to the part of the VA site related to specific benefits, including information on local VA centers nationwide.
  • Burials and Memorials
    honors Veterans with a final resting place and memorials. For more information on burial eligibility, call 1-800-827-1000.
  • My Health eVet
    a one-stop-shopping portal for VA benefits, special programs, health information and services, and health assessment tools. A voluntary portion of the site allows Veterans to store health information and to allow access to specified individuals.
  • National Resource Directory
    provides wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, their families, families of the fallen and those who support them with a web-based directory of resources.
  • Special Benefits for Certain WW II Veterans (Social Security)
    if a veteran meets a set of criteria such as being eligible for SSI, being over 65, and living outside the United States, he or she may qualify for "special benefits". This benefit is not available to the veteran's dependents or survivors.
  • Veteran's Administration Homepage
    providing access to a wealth of information about Social Security and the various programs offered.
  • VA Program for Senior Vets
    the Geriatrics and Extended Care Strategic Healthcare Group is divided into the following areas: Community-Based Long-Term Care, Nursing Home Care, Geriatric Care, and Residential Rehabilitation Care. The shared purpose of all these programs is to prevent or lessen the burden of disability on older, frail, chronically ill patients and their families/caregivers, and to maximize each patient’s functional independence.
  • Veteran's Health Administration
    provides medical and health care to Veterans nationwide through a network of local centers.




Types of Benefits That May Be Available

  • disability related equipment/assistance
  • education and training allowance
  • employment preference benefits
  • funeral assistance
  • health care coverage
  • home loans
  • hunting and fishing licenses discounts
  • income tax relief
  • life insurance designed for Veterans
  • property tax relief
  • special license plates
  • vocational rehabilitation assistance
  • and other benefits

Be sure to check with the national Veteran's Administration and your state Veteran's Administration to see what benefits you and/or the person you are caring for may be eligible.




If You or the Person You Are Caring for is Retired Military

If you or the person you are caring for is a member of the retired military or if you are retired military, check with the appropriate division of armed services if you have any questions about eligibility for programs and/or services.

  • Air Force Crossroads
    the Air Force guide to eldercare resources.
  • Exceptional Family Member Program
    information about what resources the military has to offer a family caregiver.
  • Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
    information on health care coverage for federal employees.
  • Military Service and Social Security
    earnings for active duty military service or active duty training are covered under Social Security as is inactive duty service in the armed forces reserves (such as weekend drills).
    the healthcare system for active and retired military. Be sure to investigate the TRICARE Pharmacy Program. Please note that not all veterans are retired military. TRICARE is a Department of Defense program, not a Veteran's Administration program. The Veteran's Administration provides benefits for those who served their country in the military but left the service, without retiring from the military, for civilian life.
  • TRICARE Retiree Dental Program
    information on affordable coverage for dental services, a comprehensive dental benefits program created for Uniformed Services retirees and their families.
  • US Marines Retired Activities Information Center
    easy access to information on Marine retirement and survivor benefits and other pertinent information.




When a Veteran or Retired Military Serviceperson Dies

If your family member was in the military, certain benefits may be available to you, including continued health care benefits through TRICARE. Please note that TRICARE is a program for active and retired military. For a definition of military versus veteran, click here. Contact the appropriate division of armed services for a complete listing of benefits and assistance.

Getting Records
Air Force
Coast Guard



If your family member served in the armed forces but did not retire as military, check with the Veteran's Administration for potential benefits and services. Please note that if your family member is retired military, he or she is also a Veteran.

For Funeral Arrangements
If your family member is a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides small burial allowances. Burial at no charge may be possible in an area where a national Veterans Cemetery is located. Members of the Reserve or National Guard may also be eligible.

VA Regional Offices can assist in determining eligibility for burial in VA national cemeteries. The toll-free number for the nearest VA Regional Office is 1-800-827-1000.

Military Burial
Upon the family's request, every eligible veteran may request a military funeral honors ceremony, to include folding and presenting the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps. The military funeral honor detail will consist of two or more uniformed military, with at least one being a member of the veteran's parent service of the armed forces.


A Presidential Memorial Certificate, an engraved paper certificate signed by the current President to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans, may be requested.


Remember that states may offer benefits in addition to the Federal benefits.

Some of the benefits that you may be eligible for are:

  • Burial Benefits
  • Death Pension
  • Dependents Education
  • Dependents Indemnity Compensation
  • Disability Assistance
  • Educational Loans
  • Home Loan Guarantees
  • Military Exchange & Commissary Privileges
  • Priority Medical Care
  • Special Benefits for Those in Nursing Homes
  • Special Benefits for Those With Mental or Physical Disabilities
  • State/Local Veterans Benefits
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
  • Work-Study Assistance


The Veterans Benefit Administration offers easy to access information on benefits. The site also provides the needed forms to complete to apply for benefits.

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