For 100% disabled veterans, VA's embrace is wonderful. Ophthalmology, audiology, counseling, rehab, dental, prosthetics, pharmacy, specialty clinics, general medicine...a wide range of vital services to help a disabled veteran recover, or improve as much as possible seeking the greatest quality of life possible.
And, of course, there is compensation. It is called that because of the philosophy of replacing, with some financial adjustment, the veteran's lost earning capacity. It is not a pension, it is not charity, it is not taking something more properly due another deserving veteran...it is earned by each veteran with a recognized service-connected illness or injury. There is no means test, of course: that's something required for a pension, but not service-connected compensation.
But there is more that veterans should be aware of (but I'm no expert...check with the VA for details!)
• State benefits, typically property tax relief, veterans bonuses, automobile licenses and waived auto fees, state veterans' homes, cemetaries, college tuition waiver, children's college tuition waiver
• Veterans Cemetery Administration. Burial in a national cemetery, state veterans cemetery. Burial allowances for service-connected deaths
• Priority One for VA medical care, with no co--pays
• Educational benefits for children; continued medical care for children disabled before age 18
• Transportation costs for medical care beyond a certain distance from a veteran's home
• Contract medical care in the community
• Long-term health care (this gets tricky...VA needs to explain if you're interested) in VA facilities or contracted local facilities; VA assistance with state nursing homes which charge fees
• One year of fee-waived VGLI (must be applied for)• Clothing allowance for clothing damaged by medicines, prosthetics, wheelchairs, etc.• Independent living assistance, sometimes including home modifications, quality of life issues
• Access to VA's War Injury and Illness Treatment Centers
• Combat Related Special Compensation. Adjusts taxes on military retirement, in some cases to zero, because Agent Orange is a "weapon of war"• Some commercial firms, like Lowes and Home Depot, offer discounts• Survivor's benefits, including CHAMP-VA