Veterans Deserve More: Their Benefits by States

Life in the military isn’t easy. We definitely live in the Land of the Free, thanks to our courageous military men and women who risk their lives and sacrifice time with family just to defend the liberty American people have come to enjoy. And because of that, these heroes deserve more.

What are the benefits provided to veterans by the U.S. government? Are the enough?

Disability Benefits

In 2018, there were 4.7 million veterans who had a service-connected disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When they return from service, these soldiers have two options: either they avail the monthly disability compensation which is around $3,000, or find a job. Without a doubt, the majority of veterans would go for the first option. And while this sounds like a big help, being labeled as ‘disabled’ does take a huge toll on the life of many who spent decades in the service.

Instead of being encouraged to pursue new careers, re-enter the workforce, and live life the way normal people do, ex-military men and women who suffered from a disability are somehow retracted from the society where they are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and live alone.

Healthcare Benefits

With the rising number of health-related issues experienced by military personnel after retirement, it is but fitting to provide them the best possible healthcare benefits. As many VA officials enjoyed millions of executive bonuses (and despite the 73% increase in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget in recent years), thousands of veterans suffer from delayed and ineffective healthcare benefits. Without other means like getting personal loans for veterans, it is absolutely difficult for our former soldiers to deal with their health issues after retirement.

Having risked their lives protecting our nation, veterans definitely deserve so much better when it comes to healthcare. They should be given an option to choose their own VA doctor, and be given easy access to the services they need (for example, be able to set doctor’s appointment, get medical advice, or refill a prescription without having to go through the time-consuming bureaucracy.

Compensation from Abuse

Sexual assault in the military is an ongoing issue. At least 32% of military women reported having experienced sexual assault while almost 80% had been sexually harassed. Unfortunately, many victims are not able to apply for benefits because they had a hard time meeting the burden of proof.

With claims for military sexual trauma more likely to be denied than claims for PTSD and other types of trauma, the Ruth Moore Act is highly relevant and timely. If passed, the bill enables veterans who have had sexual trauma to simply obtain a medical diagnosis and show a link between the assault and the said mental health condition to be granted benefits.

More Benefits

In addition to disability claims and medical care, veterans are entitled to some more benefits. Unfortunately, many of them are not aware of these. For example, veterans can actually apply for loans that they can use for starting a business or for their college degree. There are also programs that will help them buy a house, travel, etc., along with benefits and programs for surviving families.

Currently, veterans seeking such benefits would have to inquire at The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, the VA should be more proactive with their services so that more veterans are able to access the programs and benefits that they deserve.

Hopefully, the issues tied to the current benefits afforded to veterans will soon be addressed by the government and more programs will be created to honor the courageous men and women who once risked their lives and freedoms to protect ours.