What are my VA Benefits?

Of course I can read, but VA benefits are so complex in terms of where and when I served and how and why I was released from active duty that whenever I try to wade through the Veteran’s Administration website, my eyelids get too heavy. In truth I have not even bothered to try to deal with it in years.

I am fairly certain I am entitled to a headstone and a flag. I once had a VA mortgage, so I suppose I could get another one. I am at zero balance for my Montgomery GI Bill, so education is out the window I suppose.

Is there any easy, automated way to determine what I am and what I am not eligible for?

Maybe not automated, but if you come back to the States, there might be a VA-liason office in your city or county. Our county has one, and it’s the best place for personal attention – your entitlements, benefits, etc., not only from the US Government, but private programs as well. Ours will assist you in filling out forms, counseling, or applying for whatever you need.

You’ve probably Googled what your VA benefits are, but I’ll include a link anyway:

What are my VA benefits

Maybe a visit to my (otherwise useless) American Legion would help.

What a strange experience! I logged onto something called E*Benefits for the first time. I have never had to answer so many background questions! Finally, I opened an account and found … nothing. There was an (empty) mailbox and no way to send messages. There were no links to anything useful.

See, this is the sort of mind-numbing experience that puts me off.


A friend who had a regular 3 year enlistment in the 60s is now getting full coverage. He even got a fantastic bionic leg from them after losing one to diabetes.

Nothing special in his service record, just a spec5 clerk - now a retired upper middle class guy.

If your previous VA loan is paid off, then you can use that benefit again.

You can also be evaluated at a VA hospital to see if you have any service-connected disabilities. Warning: this process can be extremely arduous, but if you served in Vietnam and had any exposure to Agent Orange, it might be worth it.

However, keep in mind that the government is notorious for “losing” records, especially the ones YOU need.

You and your spouse are also entitled to be buried in a National Cemetery, at no cost to you. You’ll have to spring for the casket, though. Even if you are cremated, your remains can either be buried in the ground or placed in a columbarium.

Well, not as I understand it. When I was in the service, I saved money in some sort of educational account. I used that money for my master’s degree and then cashed the rest out. I suspect that I am now all done with educational stuff.

I suppose. Maybe.

I would pay someone to advise me on this stuff. So many government programs are so confusing. It would seem like a nice business for someone. The worst part is the whole thing makes me feel stupid.

Don’t do that!
Your government has people who will do that for free. And from my experience working in a Veterans Service Office, most of the ‘paid’ companies who do this are scams, taking your money but doing little for you.

Here in Minnesota, every county has a Veterans Service Officer who knows all about this stuff, can help you with getting any needed records, can help you with qpplications & forms – and will do all this for free. Other states might have different arrangements, but I think most of them provide similar services.

It might be hard to access these services when overseas, but you could try; email & phones may make it easier now. Try contacting them in your legal US residence county, or the county where you lived before going overseas.

By “VA loan,” I meant your mortgage. If that was paid off when you sold or refinanced the property, you can petition the VA to reinstate your eligibility for another loan. Your prospective mortgage company has folks who can handle that.

We used Hubster’s VA loan in 1979, and two years ago we obtained a VA refinance on a completely different property. The new mortgage company took care of all the paperwork so he could use the VA benefit again.

We were directed to an Advocate because it was all so confusing; if I called three times, I got three different answers. She said to record every call, every time. Get their name and job title, section (like Alpha) date, etc. any identifying thing and also write down advice you are given and phone #s and depts. you are directed to. Save all written communication. This really does help. Until then we kept being sent back to the beginning, do not collect $200.

The same thing happened to me when I tried it for the first time, but when I logged out and then revisited the same entry link posted earlier and logged back in, things worked much better.

Oh! Lookie at all the stuff! Gimme some time to see what there is.

I’m not having any luck at all with that site. My vet husband is registered, but I can’t get farther than the log-in page. Logging in just redirects me to that page, even when I back out and start over. Frustrating.

He’s a Viet Nam vet with Agent Orange exposure. He applied for assistance with medical care two years ago, and even with a local agent helping, nothing’s happening. He does get a discount though, on his meds and office visits. Free would be better, but a discount is better than nothing. :slight_smile:

I had major problems when my father-in-law’ died last year, he was a WWII vet and disabled during service in that war. It was a nightmare of red tape, to determine what benefits his widow (my mother-in-law) is entitled to (if any) – I finally found an advocacy organization in our county, and they were ENORMOUSLY helpful with filling out the forms, knowing which forms to fill out, etc. It’s a year since he died, and we still haven’t got a ruling on whether/what benefits she will receive, but at least I feel comfortable that I’ve submitted everything correctly. And she SHOULD be getting some widow’s benefits.

The advocacy told me that the VA is way way way behind. Every three months, I get a notice that they’re still considering it. Basically, i suppose, if they stall long enough, she’ll be dead too, and they won’t have to pay.