According to 2016 Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, there were over 20 million veterans in the United States which represents less than ten percent of the U.S. adult population or around six percent of the total population. The U.S. active duty military population in September of 2019 according to the Defense Department personnel data was 1.3 million members which is less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. These service members as they are transitioning out of the military into civilian life need to know the resources and benefits that are available to them for securing their future outside of the military. A common issue is veterans might not know the available resources and benefits as well due to the lack of promotion by the government. Veterans and Active-Duty service members need to know the resources and benefits that are available for them to use as well as how to get these benefits and resources to be used such as education benefits, health care and home loans.
For those who are transitioning from the military or those who have already, there are education benefits for veterans and their families to pay for school or provide assistance through the GI Bill, and Virginia provides a benefit for spouses and dependents of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who have been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled as a result of military service. To apply for any form of the GI Bill, the veteran, spouse or dependent has to go to va.gov and apply for the correct education benefit. For veterans that have not transitioned over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill or Chapter 33, the Montgomery GI Bill or Chapter 30 does not pay for tuition directly, but it pays the veteran directly for about $2,050.00 and the veteran will have to verify attendance monthly through the W.A.V.E. application in order for the funds to hit the direct deposit. Virginia provides a state benefit that can be used in conjunction with Chapter 35 for dependents and spouse called the Virginia Military Survivors & Dependents Education Program and the Department of Veteran Services describes the requirements and application process to use the benefit on their website at: https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/education-employment/virginia-military-survivors-and-dependents-education-program-2-2-2. These are the general educational benefits that can be used by veterans and their families to help pay for college and help transition from the military to civilian life by securing their future with this type of assistance. The VA and the state of Virginia provides other resources and benefits for other reasons that can assist active duty members who are transitioning out and veterans who need help for any reason.
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides health care to veterans and their families through their health care service from transitioning Tricare to VA which will provide coverage for the services you need to help you get and stay healthy. This is a way to get veterans as well as their dependents to have health insurance as well as vision and dental care can be part of the coverage. Veterans will have to apply through va.gov with the required paperwork that is listed on the application. Also, the VA provides disability benefits which at the time of transitioning out of the military or current veterans can apply for through the VA or the local DVS office, DAV office, American Legion or VFW office that can help process any service-connected injury claims to be sent for their VA disability rating. The VA disability rating can provide additional funds to the veteran as compensation for their injuries from serving in the military which can range from physical injuries to mental health conditions. The VA also provides housing assistance with grants and loans to help Veterans, service members, and their surviving spouses to buy a home or refinance a loan. The VA also offers benefits and services to help build, improve, or keep their current home. The veteran, service member or surviving spouse can apply through va.gov for their certificate of eligibility. If anyone needs help with any of these processes, they can go to a local DVS, DAV, American Legion or VFW office within their county or city as well as locating other resources and benefits that the state can help obtain from the VA or provide themselves. Virginia provides a program to assist the transition period from active duty to civilian life by trying to help veterans or their spouse get employed by companies within Virginia.
Virginia created the Virginia Transition Assistance Program which has helped transitioned active duty members or their spouses to employment within the state of Virginia by providing resources and events such as networking events, job fairs, hiring events, and electronic communications promoting jobs and events. Praescient Analytics is currently certified through the Virginia Values Veterans or V3 program to help employ veterans within our company. Currently, Praescient Analytics has 85 percent of its employees are veterans while being a woman-owned veteran-led small business, and Praescient has been to events within the DC metro area that are either looking for veterans for employment or advancing veteran causes. Praescient Analytics has a presence through the Hiring Our Heroes program for recruiting and employing veterans at the fairs that were sponsored by the program in the DC metro area. In 2019, our CEO, Katie Crotty, and Praescient Analytics was awarded V3 influencer award as well as an award from the Washington Business Journal that awarded the top veteran-owned businesses in the D.C. Metro area. Also, Shayne Sullivan, Director of Business Development and Capture, is a board member of his local DAV and American Legion, and an important advocate on veteran issues. Praescient Analytics has been an advocate of veteran issues as well as playing an important role in the hiring of veterans, and making sure that we can guide veterans to the right place for any issue that they need addressed.
These benefits and resources described previously are just a few of them that veterans and their families need to know, but there are other benefits that depend on the veteran’s situation that can be of assistance. If you go through the Virginia Department of Veteran Services website, there is a list of benefits that veterans and their families can go through to see if they qualify for such as real estate tax exemption and veteran care centers as well as the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Community Resource and Referral Centers. Also, certain universities may have VSOC available for student veterans who use Vocational Rehabilitation or Chapter 31 GI Bill. There are a lot of resources that are for helping veterans, and there are groups who are willing to advocate for veterans such as Department of Veteran Services, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foriegn Wars, etc. It is imperative that veterans and their families are taken care of by our government and by providing this starting point, hopefully, it shows different resources that are not widely known for a variety of veteran issues.