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Center for Women Veterans (CWV)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Veterans Benefits

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  1. How can I obtain emergency assistance with payment of my delinquent utility bills, rent, mortgage, etc.?

  2. How do I submit a claim for disabilities related to my active duty service or to have my disability compensation claim reevaluated?

  3. What education benefits am I entitled to?

  4. What is the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship?

  5. What is Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)?

  6. How and where do I apply for home, business, or car loans?

  7. Does the VA provide Life Insurance?


1.  How can I obtain emergency assistance with payment of my delinquent utility bills, rent, mortgage, etc.?

Your State Department of Veterans Affairs can best assist Veterans in this situation.  You can also obtain a list of State-specific benefits and resources via the National Resource Directory.  Also, local Veterans service organizations, churches, and community organizations may be able to assist Veterans in need.

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, there is also a hotline to provide emergency support and resources to Veterans.  The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is 1-877-4AIDVET (1-877-424-3838).

2.  How do I submit a claim for disabilities related to my active duty service or to have my disability compensation claim reevaluated?

You may submit a claim for service-connected compensation or request a reevaluation of your claim at any time.  You may submit your application via eBenefits or submit the request to the VA Regional Office by completing the VA Form 21-526ez, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension.

The VA also established a new Intent to File (ITF) for Veterans and Survivors who intend to file a claim for VA compensation, pension, or survivor’s benefits, but need additional time to gather all of the information and evidence needed to support their claim.  The intent to file process allows additional time to collect all of the information needed to support your claim while protecting the earliest possible effective date for any award of benefits or increased benefits resulting from your claim.  The date the VA receives your intent to file will be protected as your effective date as long as the correct application form is completed and submitted within 1 year.

The Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is an optional initiative that offers Veterans and survivors faster decisions from VA on compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims.  Veterans and survivors simply submit all relevant records in their possession, and those records which are easily obtainable, such as private medical records, at the time they make their claim and certify that they have no further evidence to submit.  VA can then review and process the claim more quickly.

A Women Veterans Coordinator is available at each VA regional office to assist women Veterans.

3.  What education benefits am I entitled to?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) is an education benefit program for Service-members and Veterans who served on active duty after September 10, 2001.  Eligibility for benefits expires 15 years from the last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.  If released for a service-connected disability after at least 30 days of continuous service, eligibility ends 15 years from when the member is released for the service-connected disability.

The Yellow Ribbon G.I. Bill Education Enhancement Program may assist eligible individuals with payment of their tuition and fees in instances where costs exceed the in-state tuition charges at a public institution or the national maximum payable at private and foreign institutions.  To be eligible, the student must be:  Veteran receiving benefits at the 100-percent benefit rate payable, a transfer-of-entitlement-eligible dependent child, or a transfer-of-entitlement-eligible spouse of a Veteran.

Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) Benefits may be used while the Servicemember is on active duty or after the Servicemember’s separation from active duty with a fully honorable military discharge.  Eligibility generally expires 10 years after the Servicemember’s discharge.  However, there are exceptions for disability, re-entering active duty, and upgraded discharges.  All participants must have a high school diploma, equivalency certificate, or have completed 12 hours toward a college degree before applying for benefits.

For more information, call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or visit the VA GI Bill website.

VetSuccess on Campus is designed to provide on-campus benefits assistance and readjustment counseling to assist Veterans in completing their college educations and entering the labor market in viable careers.  Under this program, a full-time, experienced Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and a part-time Vet Center Outreach Coordinator are assigned at each campus to provide VA benefits outreach, support, and assistance to ensure their health, educational, and benefit needs are met.

4.  What is the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship?

Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) to include the children of service members who die in the line of duty after September10, 2001.  The benefit is effective August 1, 2009; the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill takes effect.  Eligible children attending school may receive up to the highest public, in-state undergraduate tuition and fees, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.  For more information, call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or visit the VA GI Bill website.

5.  What is Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)?

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), or Chapter 31, provides services to eligible Servicemembers and Veterans with service-connected disabilities to help them prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment or achieve independence in daily living. For more information or to apply, visit the VR&E website.

6.  How and where do I apply for home, business, or car loans?

VA Home Loan Guaranty Program provides loan guaranties to service members, Veterans, reservists, and un-remarried surviving spouses for the purchase of homes, condominiums and manufactured homes, and for refinancing loans.  Some of the ways a VA loan guaranty can be used include:

  • Buy a home
  • Buy a residential condominium
  • Build a home
  • Repair, alter, or improve a home
  • Refinance an existing loan
  • Buy a manufactured home with or without a lot

You must complete VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits, and submit it to the VA Eligibility Center along with acceptable proof of service as described on the instruction page of the form.  You may also obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits on eBenefits.

VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners.  As part of our mission to serve you, we provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.  Find out more on the Home Loans website.

VA’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), in collaboration with BusinessUSA, offers a collection of tools to help you start and grow your small business; the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant ‘best-practices’ and information.  Information for Veterans who would like to start their own business is also available from the Small Business Administration External link to a government website.

VA does not provide assistance for automobile purchases, except for certain Veterans and service members who need special adaptive equipment.

7.  Does the VA provide Life Insurance?

The VA does provide Life Insurance.  Visit the Life Insurance website or call VA’s Insurance Center toll-free at 1-800-669-8477 for details.  Specialists are available between the hours of 8:30am and 6:00pm (Eastern) to discuss premium payments, insurance dividends, address changes, policy loans, naming beneficiaries, reporting the death of the insured, and other insurance issues.