Since its inception in 1930, the VA has expanded with an annual budget of approximately $86 billion and employees 230,000 people, operating 1,357 facilities such as regional offices, vet centers, medical centers, and outpatient clinics across the country.
Some benefit claims administered by the VA include:
The VA healthcare program touts around 5.3 million registered veterans while more than 3.7 million veterans get disability compensation and pensions. Every year the VA handle a norm of 805,000 new claims for disability compensation or pensions.
Counselors are accessible at VA veteran’s centers and able to assist those with questions or in need of help. Service members must generally contact the VA regional offices closest in proximity to where they live, excluding those applying to medical care.
Apply through a VE medical center in order to receive VA medical care.
The Department of Defense and military services
With 20 years or more of military service, individuals can retire from the military and apply for benefits with the Department of Defense (DOD) or their individual military service branch. There are five military branches under the DOD:
- Air Force
- Marine Corps
- Coast Guard
The branches listed each have an active-duty section (full-time service) and a reserve section (part-time service). There is also the National Guard with the Army and Air Force. The National Guard is categorized with the parent branch and under the individual state.
What the DOD covers
Those applicable—including family members—can obtain this card at the Pass & ID section of any military base. To receive an ID card, or renew one, retirees can visit a military base other than their parent service base and have their request taken care of, making this process simpler.
The DOD covers benefits such as:
- Military retirement pay
- Shopping and travel benefits
- Military healthcare, or TRICARE
- Combat-related special compensation
Getting help from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service
In order to conclude retiree payment concerns, veterans can’t visit a military base. Instead, they are responsible to contact the relevant branch of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
For any questions you have about military retired pay, the DFAS is available at 800-321-1080. Or you could visit their website at www.dfas.mil. At the DFAS website, you can use myPay, a program that allows access to retiree pay accounts where you can make changes if needed.