Learn How To Apply For Family Veterans Benefits
The GI Bill application process requires the applicant to follow a set procedure, provide requested documentation and adhere to certain regulations. To apply for GI Bill benefits, petitioners must meet all pertinent eligibility requirements. GI Bill eligibility for dependents and spouses depends on the particular program to which the applicant is applying. To apply for VA home loans or utilize the military spouse employment services, veterans and spouses of veterans must submit specific applications. Each designated category of benefits requires a submitted application as well as accompanying evidence and documentation. To learn more about the application requirements to get veterans benefits for spouses or dependents, refer to the following topics:
- GI Bill application
- VA home loan application
- Veterans burial benefits application
- Military spouse employment services
GI Bill Application
In order to apply for GI Bill benefits, the applicant must download or obtain the required application. The GI Bill application is an often-utilized application, as the GI Bill is a popular benefit that offers educational funding to active military personnel and their family members. The GI Bill application will require all dates of active military service as well as the personnel member's military ID. Applicants may not be able to apply for GI Bill assistance if they are enrolled in other VA educational programs. Applicants should be aware that if they elect to obtain Post-9/11 GI Bill funding, then the decision is final, and they will not be eligible for reversal to any previously elected educational benefit. Some veterans will qualify for more than one educational funding program. Currently, the GI Bill application is the most popular, but other educational programs include the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), Montgomery GI Bill and Post Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance (VEAP).
Paperwork required to complete the GI Bill application includes a DD 214 Form, personal identification, service dates and status for current or former military duty. When they apply for GI Bill benefits, applicants should be prepared to answer questions about other educational programs and financials. Petitioners will need to fill out and submit a certificate of attendance on a regular basis. The VA form 22-1990 allows petitioners to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, VEAP and REAP. This form does not apply to Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits.
VA Home Loan Application
To apply for VA home loans, the veteran, surviving spouse or dependent must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. The GI Bill application for home loans requires a VA home loan COE so the borrower can prove that he or she has the backing of the VA for the loan. Applicants who apply for VA home loans will have lower finance charges than civilians. The VA home loan backing assures and guarantees the bank a portion of the loan. As a direct result, interest rates are often lower, banks do not require a down payment and the seller or lender pays for closing costs.
To apply for VA home loans with a COE, petitioners must learn about the specific application steps for receiving a home loan. Documentation needed for the VA home loan application includes financials, schedule of debts and assets, military papers and ID cards, personal identification and Social Security Numbers. Completing the form VA 26-1880 is a requirement for the VA home loan process, and the form is accessible online or in person from the local VA. Many lending institutions also have them in-house.
Veterans Burial Benefits Application
Completing a veterans burial benefits application provides spouses or dependents of servicemembers with burial rights in national cemeteries if they they predecease the related veteran (There is a provision made for private burial in a privately maintained cemetery if the family so wishes). The veterans burial benefits application is available for eligible spouses and dependents or their children. This application process does not take very long, but it does require the certificate of death and the DD 214 form.
The veterans burial benefits application is available online and the entire process, if documentation is available digitally for upload, will take an average of 10 minutes to complete. After submitting the veterans burial benefits application, the VA will verify the documentation and notify the family that they can call the National Cemetery and funeral home and make arrangements with one of the 134 nationally maintained cemeteries that are available for career veterans and their family members. Many veterans burial benefits, depending on the length of service of the veteran, can cover most of the burial expenses. Burial benefits provide a headstone and the engraving as well as a certificate issued from the U.S. President. The VA renders these services regardless of the beneficiary's desire for interment in a national cemetery or a privately maintained cemetery.
Military Spouse Employment Services
Military spouse employment services increase skills, further education and assist military spouses in finding suitable employment. Many of the military spouse employment services include job-seeking services that help with building resumes, honing interview skills and even setting up appointments for interviews. Military spouse employment services are available to spouses and family members of eligible service personnel. Those service members or family members who have disabilities can also receive assistance locating industries and businesses willing to accommodate those with limitations.
In order to qualify to use the military spouse employment services, the veteran must have been honorably discharged from service less than 12 years ago and have received an IDES rating of twenty percent (disability). Forms 28-0588, 28-1900, and 28-8832 are used for military spouse employment services, and all of these forms can be located online.
The initial step in applying to any VA programs, especially for spouses, dependents and survivors, is to learn about the forms and applications for VA benefits (such as the GI Bill application). Then, after selecting the correct form, the petitioner can begin collecting the necessary documentation. After obtaining required paperwork, the petition can submit the application to the appropriate department (usually listed on the application). The GI Bill application and burial benefits application are available for submission online, in person or through regular mail.