After serving in the military, veterans are entitled to benefits through Veterans’ Affairs. However the process is not always easy to understand and it’s not always simple to maneuver the in and outs of the system. There are spokespersons, of course, but they are often inundated with requests and edits to applications and tending to the backlog. Dan Thorstad spoke with Task and Purpose and answered some questions veterans typically have when navigating through the system. Dan Thorstad served 23 years active duty in the Army. He deployed twice and retired as a first sergeant. ‘
Discharge papers are integral to receive benefits. The papers are important because there’s a host of people that will need to see them! Loan officers, medical personnel, anyone helping you receive educational support, government officials, among others!
Once discharged, the first step is to register papers. The most important one is DD-214 and that should be registered with whichever county the veteran lives in. Make sure that the papers registered clearly identify the character of service as that is what is needed for veterans to be able to receive benefits. Once registered, you’ll be able to retrieve them to receive services in a timely manner.
The VA home loan is something that veterans are very interested in as housing is essential. If you can receive the benefit, veterans’ papers will say: Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The loan is supported by the VA, but the process is the same as any loan, save showing your eligibility. COE does lower expenses, but not all of them.
Healthcare is important and as for as veterans are concerned, is as complex for non veterans as well. Take dental care, which is always a fight. The VA does have a dental office accessible in hospitals, but to receive services, veterans need to meet some requirements prior to being seen. Veterans must be enrolled in VA health care and also must carry a service-connected dental injury or be 100% dependent on disability. Another condition is that the veteran takes part in the VA Vocational Rehab program. Lastly, there is also a condition is that if a veteran hasn’t received dental care within the most recent 90 days of service. If a veteran doesn’t meet these conditions, there is a VA dental insurance program available. For other health care needs, submitting a claim with an officer is the surest way to get your claim heard. Submitting your claim by yourself is susceptible to mistakes and then adds to the backlog. Let the Veteran’s Affair officer help you!
The aforementioned are just some the benefits apart of the conversation and not an exhaustive list, by any means. If you do have questions, don’t hesitate to contact a local spokesperson and set up an appointment to get some questions answered!