Military members and veterans have access to valuable benefits. Some are for families too.
- Health Care – The Military Health System provides care for members, retirees, and dependents.
- Housing – As a member or veteran, you can apply for home loans and grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- Education – You may qualify for education benefits through military and veterans programs. You might even be able to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to your spouse or children.
- Life Insurance – All members are enrolled in service members’ life insurance. Retirees can enroll in the Survivor Benefit Plan.
- Job Training and Help – Service members leaving the military can get help finding a civilian job.
- Retirement – Members who retire with at least 20 years of service get a monthly annuity for life.
Military Assistance Programs for Veterans, Service Members, and Families
If you’re a service member, veteran, or spouse, you’re not alone. The military and federal agencies have resources to help you manage life. Use these tools to get help with finances, health care, jobs, moving, and other challenges.
Manage Your Benefits and Records with milConnect
If you’re a military member or a veteran, you can manage many of your benefits and records in one place. MilConnect, a self-service portal, lets you:
- Get copies of your Official Military Personnel File
- Update your family members in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
- Transfer your GI Bill education benefits to family members
- View your health care coverage
- Update your work and personal contact information
- Find all the latest information and resources to manage your benefits
National Resource Directory for Service Members and Veterans
The National Resource Directory connects the military and veterans with local support. Find military assistance resources for:
- Caregiver support
Financial Assistance for Service Members and Veterans
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) helps military families and veterans with financial issues including:
- Filing complaints
- Avoiding scams targeting military and veterans
- Improving money management skills
Free Credit Monitoring for Active Duty and National Guard
If you’re active duty or in the National Guard, you can get free credit monitoring under a new Federal Trade Commission rule. To enroll in the program, visit the military monitoring web page for each of the three nationwide credit monitoring agencies:
Credit monitoring services alert you to changes to your credit file like a new credit card or loan in your name. These might signal fraudulent charges and/or identity theft. Now that you’re aware, you can dispute the charges or take corrective action.
Find information and resources in areas such as:
- Military financial and legal assistance
- Job and education help for military spouses
- Parenting and military child care assistance
- Deployment help for military families
- Moving assistance for military families
- Military health and wellness, including:
- Preventing training injuries
- Dealing with family violence
- Managing stress and suicidal thoughts
You can also call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit their contact page to learn how to call from outside the U.S. or from your computer.
Military Tax Guidance and Tax Preparation Help
Service members, veterans, and their families may be able to use MilTax, a free tax preparation program, to get help filing taxes. The IRS also offers tax benefits for military members and their families.
Tax Preparation Help
- Military OneSource offers MilTax, a free tax preparation and filing software program. It’s available mid-January through mid-October. MilTax also provides free personalized help from tax consultants.
- The IRS offers an interactive tax assistant and other tax tools to help with general tax preparation.
- Learn more about the tax law changes that may affect service members (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) and their families. Changes include:
- An increased child tax credit
- New rules for deducting moving expenses
Tax Benefits for Military, Dependents, Veterans
The IRS offers tax information for military, retirees, and veterans. It covers tax benefits and tax handling for various situations and groups. These include:
- A combat pay exclusion for active military
- Disability pay benefits for veterans
- Death benefits for survivors of military members
State and Federal Benefits for Military Families
If you receive military or veterans benefits, you may also qualify for other state and federal benefits. This includes Social Security, unemployment benefits, health insurance coverage, welfare, and food assistance.
There are many nutrition programs that can help military and veteran families with food costs. This includes Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefits, or “food stamps.” Learn how to apply for SNAP benefits.
Welfare Benefits (TANF)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the program commonly known as welfare. TANF includes help with housing, utilities, child care, job training, and more. If you are in the military, you may be eligible to receive TANF.
Members of the military and their families receive a wide range of health coverage through TRICARE health plans. If you have a low income, you may also qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Once you turn 65, or meet other requirements, you can sign up for Medicare. Get information on how to use Medicare and TRICARE together.
Social Security Benefits
You may qualify for both Social Security benefits and military retirement (PDF, Download Adobe Reader). You’ll receive your full Social Security benefits based on your earnings. To get your benefits, you must earn credits by working and paying Social Security taxes. Learn more about Social Security and how it works.
If you recently left the military, you may be eligible for two types of unemployment benefits:
- Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers (UCX)
- Your state’s unemployment insurance program
You should apply for UCX as soon as possible after you’re discharged. Find out how to apply for unemployment benefits.
- Info courtesy of USA.gov