If you have ever served under any capacity in the military (in the U.S) and you no longer serve, either because you were medically discharged, retired, or discharged under general or honorable conditions, then you qualify to be a veteran. A majority of the veterans are those that were honorable discharged after serving for a given period and completed their service commitment. Your duration of service, time of service, your discharge status, and the combat operations you undertook all factor into the veteran benefits you are entitled to and eligible for. The list given below provides different benefits that different veterans are eligible for:
1. General or Honorable Discharged Veteran
In the USAF, these are veterans that were under honorable or general conditions and are entitled to specific benefits via the VA. However, general or honorable discharged veterans cannot claim any retirement benefits. There are benefits and entitlements that are based upon the duration of service or the service type, for example, combat-related duties. Apart from honorable or general discharges, any other discharges such as bad conduct discharges are entitled to limited or no veterans’ benefits.
2. Military Retiree
In the USAF, any person whose service has exceeded a period of 20 years qualifies as a military retiree. Military retirees are eligible for a full package of the military retirement. During the Clinton era, there were services, for example, the U.S. Coast Guard, that provided early packages for military retirement as a retirement incentive so as to reduce the military overall size. Those who applied for the early retirement were also entitled to comprehensive benefit packages and military retirement pay. It includes people under medically retired status. There is a wide array of privileges, benefits, and entitlements that accrue to retirees. They can also access military bases for medical, commissary, and exchange benefits. However, the congressional regulation limits certain entitlements and benefits.
3. Disabled Veteran
In the USAF, a disabled veteran is any person that has suffered wounds, illness, serious injuries, medical conditions, or physical ailment due to his or her committed military service. Veterans who fall in this category are usually given disability ratings that have been labeled in form of percentages. The most severe disabilities have the highest percentage ratings; therefore, the veteran qualifies more. Depending on their condition severity, disabled veterans can claim a compensation package that ranges from 10 to 100 percent. The most current table that entails the compensation rate can be viewed from www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/com
However, the actual condition in regards to disabilities is not exclusive to combat related cases only, for example, medical complication as a result of improved explosive devices. That means that, on active duty, any off-duty sports injury is typically treated as service related. This is the most widely and commonly claimed veteran benefits due to the fact that it qualifies a person for both medical and financial benefits.