Want to Tap into Benefits for Veterans? What You Will Need to Do
When you serve your country, even in times of peace, you are still considered a "veteran." That means you are entitled to multiple benefits that civilians do not have. If you have gone years without tapping into any sort of extra benefit reserved for veterans, maybe now is the time you should look at taking advantage of some of those benefits. Here is what you will need to do, as well as some of the benefits that are reserved solely for veterans.
Get Your Certification for Veteran Benefits
Certification for veteran benefits opens a lot of doors. You will need to go through your commanding officer, or former military base, to get this piece of paper. It certifies that you are serving or have served in a branch of the military and that you are entitled to all benefits connected to your service. You may need copies, so it is wise to ask for duplicates. Some benefits, such as applying for employment with your state government or the federal government, will ask to keep a copy of your certificate on file. Rather than having to keep going back to your base to get the same piece of paper, request the maximum number of copies allowed up front. You can store extras in a home safe for later use.
Become Familiar with Your Veterans-Only Benefits
Veterans-only benefits include loans for homes and businesses, preferential treatment for entering colleges and universities, and the first crack at any state or federal job, including working for your local post office and police force. Choose which benefits you want to pursue. Then, fill out the applications and submit a veteran's certificate with each application. In some cases, no additional action is required on your part. In other cases, such as applying for a state or federal job, you may need to take a written exam to prove competency. However, your veteran certificate in these instances provides you with "extra credit points" in case your written test is a few points lower than a civilian's score, or you tie with other high-scoring candidates.
Going to College? Make Sure You Get Your Grant Money Too
Whether or not you signed up under the military's G.I. Bill program, you are still entitled to grants and funds for college. Regardless of your age, you can return to or start school at any time. If this is one veteran's benefit you think you would now like to pursue, make sure you get your grants sent to the correct school along with your veteran's certificate.