The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs receives about $185 billion in funding for their programs that support veterans in numerous ways.
In the United States, the government offers federal grants as a way to fund various public services like veteran’s assistance programs. Federal grants provide billions of dollars in funding to assist in improving or maintaining the welfare of United States residents. These grants are often awarded to programs aimed to assist certain groups of people like veterans
In most cases, grants for veterans are distributed to applicants who meet unique requirements in order or them to meet specific needs in their lives. There are programs aimed specifically towards rural communities and others that provide disabled veterans with the funds to improve the accessibility of their homes or vehicles. Keep reading for more details about federally funded benefits and grant programs for veterans.
For the purposes of applying for VA benefits, a veteran is defined as a person who actively served in the military and was not dishonorably discharged. Often, a veteran’s benefits eligibility will depend on his or her length of service, where and when they served and their discharge circumstances. The minimum duty requirement is typically 24 months. However, this requirement may be waived for veterans who were discharged due to a disability.
Specific grants or programs for veterans may have additional eligibility requirements. Additionally, certain federally funded grants and programs have state-dependent qualifications. Eligibility criteria may also change if and when new laws are passed in congress that pertain to veterans. Local veteran’s affairs offices will be able to assist applicants in finding suitable programs.
There are numerous programs that offer help for veterans in a variety of different ways. Some of these grants are dispersed to organizations, while others are awarded directly to the veteran applicants. Major focuses of grant programs include:
Although these are the most common veteran’s benefits programs, there are many more available. Veterans should speak with a representative at a local Veteran’s Affairs office to help identify which government programs they are eligible to participate in. Local offices will also have state-specific information and updated requirements for grants and programs.
Grant programs that focus on veteran housing assistance receive some of the most funds from the federal government. Federal grants help many veterans find affordable housing to suit their needs, and there are different programs to help veterans experiencing particular housing situations. Some programs help veterans pay off their home mortgages or finance a home. Funding from the government also assists shelters across the country to house and aid homeless veterans in their communities. One of the more commonly provided housing assistance programs is the Grant and Per Diem program.
The Grant and Per Diem program funds community agencies that provide services to homeless veterans. These veteran housing programs are funded with the purpose of developing and maintaining supportive housing and/or supportive services. Through this program, veterans experiencing homelessness can find a stable residence, increase their skills and income and develop sustainable self-determination. Federal funds only help finance programs that provide supportive housing for up to 24 months or services, such as education, crisis intervention and counseling.
Veterans of America with disabilities are eligible for additional aid from grant programs. Adaptive Housing Grants are offered directly to veterans with certain service-related disabilities. While the requirements for these types of grant are more specific, eligible veterans can receive benefits to help them meet their housing needs.
Adaptive housing grants can help renovate or buy homes for veterans with disabilities so that they can meet their needs and live a more independent lifestyle. Changes such as installing ramps or widening doorways can greatly benefit veterans with disabilities, and they are made more affordable by federal grants. In addition to the Adaptive Housing Grants, disabled veterans benefits can include financial compensation and additional insurance coverage.
Since the passing of the post-9/11 GI bill in 2009, scholarships for veterans are more accessible than ever. The GI bill offers veterans education benefits if they have served on active duty for 90 or more days since September 10, 2001. Benefit amounts are tiered based on the amount of time a veteran served on active duty. Maximum veteran benefits can cover 100 percent of the tuition cost at many public universities.
In addition to these educational benefits, technical colleges and other job training institutes can also receive funding from the GI bill. These benefits are not limited to training in specific fields. GI bill recipients can fund the learning of several skills ranging from fire rescue training and aviation to acupuncture and massage therapy. Federal grants for veterans are intended to foster lifelong skills in order to ease the transition from military to civilian life.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers financial aid for burial expenses of deceased veterans. The VA will pay up to $2,000 in financial compensation for service-related deaths and up to $762 in non-service-related deaths. Additionally, many national cemeteries receive federal grants for maintaining an area for deceased veterans.
Each grant or program has specific application requirements. Some offer online applications, whereas others will only accept paper applications in-person. In some cases, benefits are offered automatically and veterans do not have to apply. There are two primary websites where veterans can submit applications: eBenefits.gov and Vets.gov. Each of these websites are government owned and operated, so any personal information provided on the applications will be protected.
You should submit applications through eBenefits.gov for:
Submit your applications on Vets.gov for:
Most other applications for veteran benefits can be submitted at a local regional benefits office. Government employees will be able to assist in identifying a veteran’s specific needs, finding federal grants and programs that they are eligible for and helping them complete their applications.