Thank You For Your Service: New VA Benefits You Should Know About

Thank You For Your Service: New VA Benefits You Should Know About

August 10, 2020 Off By Glespynorson

Want to learn more about new VA benefits? It’s impossible to keep up with the changes in Veteran Affairs. At least, that’s how it feels most days.

This is why we’ve highlighted the important changes to your benefits below. When you’re ready to learn about all the exciting benefits that will improve your health and save you money this year, read on.

VA State-Specific Benefits

These benefits are the most underused benefits for the retired men and women of our armed services. Each state boasts its own set. Let’s take Pennsylvania’s Blind Veterans Pension for example.

This fund gives blind veterans a $150 pension each month if they live in Pennsylvania. Currently, approximately 100 vets are enrolled.

If you’re a disabled veteran, and you don’t know how to find which benefits apply to you, seek out a local VA lawyer for assistance. For instance, Martin Law, a local Southern Pennsylvania law firm, even helps disabled veterans who didn’t feel the effects of their injury until after their time in the military. If a lawyer isn’t right for you, reach out to your local VA office for assistance in finding the help you need.

New VA Benefits Under the MISSION Act

Did you know that as of 2018, the MISSION Act expanded both urgent care and telehealth for veterans? Under the MISSION act, veterans may elect for community healthcare in their area. These services would replace those given at a VA medical facility.

2021 VA Benefits Increase

Next year will see a $243 billion budget increase if the Department of Veterans Affairs gets its way. This 10.2% budget increase boosts housing, insurance, readjustment, pension, and compensation benefits. These are the highlights:

  • Blue Water Navy
  • Systems for Transforming Businesses
  • Veteran Suicide Prevention
  • Women Veteran Healthcare
  • Electronic Health Record Modernization
  • Capital Investments
  • Veteran Affairs National Cemeteries

The proposed budget affects VA hidden benefits across the board rather than focusing on any one area. It will only be effective because it’s a whopping, unheard-of 10% increase. Anything smaller wouldn’t have the muscle to influence so many disparate benefits for veterans.

New VA Direct Deposit Options

As of December 20th, 2019, the Veteran Benefits Banking Program went into effect. It’s run through the Association of Military Banks of America or AMBA. This program gives veterans the choice to pick their own bank rather than relying on traditional VA banking systems.

The program is designed to give VA beneficiaries the option to directly deposit their benefits into a new (or pre-existing) bank account. It addresses the problems many VA beneficiaries suffered if they couldn’t open a new bank account.

Improved Commissary and Exchanges Regulations

Starting January 1st of 2020, more veterans will be eligible to shop at military stores. That includes veterans from across a wide variety of VA disability ratings, including:

  • Former prisoners of war
  • VA family caregivers
  • Purple Heart recipients

That potentially means an extra 4 million veterans will be eligible for exchanges, commissaries, recreational, and welfare facilities.

What’s Next?

Now that you know the new VA benefits affecting you this year, it’s time to act. Reach out to your local VA office and ask them how to take advantage of changes that concern you.

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