The state of Virginia offers a wide range of services for veterans and active duty service members.
Eligibility for most federal and state benefits is based on discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the public health service, the Environmental Services Administration, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Current and former members of the Selected Reserve may be eligible for certain benefits, such as home loan guaranties and education, if they meet time-in-service and other criteria. Men and women veterans with similar service are entitled to the same federal and state veterans benefits.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care to its customers. Our goal is to share information about these benefits and services to make it as easy as possible for you to receive the care you need.
Disability Compensation (Service Connection)
Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service. The service of the veteran must have been terminated through separation or discharge under conditions that were other than dishonorable. Disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of dependants, and is paid monthly. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax. The payment of retirement pay, disability severance pay and separation incentive payments known as SSB and VSI (Special Separation Benefits and Voluntary Separation Incentives) also affects the amount of VA compensation paid.
Non-service Connected Pension
Veterans with low incomes who are permanently and totally disabled may be eligible for monetary support if they have 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war. The discharge from active duty must have been under conditions other than dishonorable. The permanent and total disabilities must be for reasons other than the veteran's own willful misconduct. Payments are made to qualified veterans to bring their total income, including retirement and Social Security income, to a level set by Congress. Unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income. Veterans of a period of war who are age 65 or older and meet service and income requirements are also eligible to receive a pension, regardless of current physical condition.
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
The Military Survivors and Dependents Program (MSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Virginia National Guard Reserves. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism or as the result of a terrorist act, a peace-keeping mission, or any armed conflict after December 6, 1941. This program may pay for tuition and fees at any state-supported college or university. This program waives tuition and fees in Virginia. Benefits are available for up to four years.
To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying military service members must meet the following requirements.The child must be between ages 16 and 29; There are no age restrictions for spouses. The military service member is and must have been a Virginia citizen at the time he or she entered active duty or must have been a Virginia citizen for at least five years immediately prior to the date of the application for admission.
In the case of a deceased military service member the veteran’s surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements if he or she lived in Virginia for at least five years prior to marrying the military service member or has been a citizen of Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date of application
In most cases, eligibility will be determined using documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. However, the veteran or surviving spouse may be asked to provide documentation verifying residency or the applicant’s age or relationship. State income tax records, birth certificates, and/or marriage certificates are usually sufficient.
To continue receiving MSDEP benefits, qualifying enrolled students must provide a letter to the Virginia Department of Veterans Services stating their continued enrollment, the period of time attended, and the period of time for which they are requesting benefits.