Veterans may be eligible for certain benefits based on their military service. The NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) empowers veterans and their families by ensuring that they get the financial benefits they have earned.
See below for a list of VA benefits you may be eligible for:
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The PACT Act
The Pact Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
Preventing PACT Act Fraud and Predatory Practices – A Letter from the Department of Veteran Affairs VSO Liason
The PACT Act will bring these changes:
Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
The Department of Veteran Affairs has added more than 20 burn pit and other toxic exposure presumptive conditions based on the PACT Act. This change expands benefits for Gulf War era and post-9/11 Veterans.
These cancers are now presumptive:
These illnesses are now presumptive:
If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits.
Toxic exposure screenings are available at VA health facilities across the country. Ask about the screening at your next VA health care appointment. If you don’t have an upcoming appointment, or if you want to get the screening sooner, contact your local VA health facility. Ask to get screened by the toxic exposure screening navigator.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monthly benefit that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays to eligible surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of veterans. Survivors become eligible for DIC if they can prove that the veteran:
Disability Compensation is a tax-free monthly benefit that the VA pays for disabilities caused or worsened by a veteran's military service.
There is no time limit to file a claim for disability compensation. You can be several decades removed from your date of discharge from the military, but you can still be awarded disability compensation from the VA if you can prove that a current disability was at least as likely as not caused or worsened by your military service.
There is no income limit to file a claim for disability compensation.
If you already have disability compensation from the VA but your medical condition has worsened DVS can represent you in a claim for a higher monthly payout.
Veterans with particularly severe disabilities caused by or worsened by their military service can be eligible for a heightened monthly payout known as Special Monthly Compensation. For example, veterans whose service-connected disability causes them to require assistance with activities of daily living can be found eligible for a heightened monthly benefit known as "Aid and Attendance."
Non-Service-Connected Pensions are a tax-free monthly benefit that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays to Veterans who served during a wartime era, currently has a total and permanent disability (which does not have to be related to military service), and has a low income and limited personal assets.
Wartime era service does not require service in a combat zone. Instead, wartime era service means that the Veteran served on active duty somewhere in the world during a time period when the United States was deemed to be at war. Those specific time periods are:
Income and assets for pension eligibility are calculated using established unique rules. For example, certain high-value assets, such as a house and any vehicles necessary for household use, are not counted against you in determining the value of your personal assets. You can also receive a higher pension payout if you meet all of the basic criteria for pension eligibility and you also are housebound or you require assistance with at least two activities of daily living.
Burial benefits include a gravesite or columbarium at any National Cemetery throughout the country, a government headstone or marker, burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate, Military Honor Guard, and perpetual care. Benefits also include burial allowances of up to $2,000 for eligible veterans to help cover burial, funeral, and transportation costs. Benefits may include burial allowances of up to $2,000 for indigent families of eligible service members.
VA Benefits for Presumptive Exposure
If you feel you have a chronic condition attributed to an in-service exposure, the VA highly encourages you to file a claim.
The VA is now processing service-connected disability claims for new presumptive conditions related to exposure to hazardous materials, including the following conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange:
The VA is also processing service-connected disability claims for the following conditions on a presumptive basis based on particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas:
The VA also encourages veterans to file a claim for benefits they've earned and deserve even if the illness or injury is not presumptive.
Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
Appeal Your VA Claim
Veterans and other claimants who disagree with the VA's decision on their claim can choose from three decision review options:
Read about your appeal options at the VA’s Decision Reviews and Appeals webpage.