A variety of benefits are available to veterans and members of their families. Here is a brief summary, plus information about benefits the state offers and a Western Slope program.
Veterans Administration benefits and services are in these major categories: compensation, pension, health care, vocational rehabilitation and employment, education and training, home loans, life insurance, dependent and survivors benefits, burial benefits and state benefits.
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a veteran; a veterans dependent; a surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran; an active duty military servicemember; or a member of the Reserve or National Guard who has been called to active duty in support of a war or conflict and discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
What are the time limits?
A variety of time limits apply to education and training benefits. There is no time limit to claim reimbursement for burial expenses for a service-related death. In other cases, claims for burial benefits must be filed within two years of the veterans burial. There is no time limit to apply for disability compensation, pensions and health-care benefits.
Colorado veterans benefits
The state of Colorado offers special benefits for its military servicemembers and veterans, including retired military tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags and license plates, and hunting and fishing license privileges. Colorado also has several state veterans nursing homes. Eligibility for some of these benefits may depend upon residency, military component and the veterans disability rating. To find out more about state benefits check with your local veterans service officer or visit www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/colorado-state-veterans-benefits.
Western Slope Honor Flight
The Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor Americas veterans for all of their sacrifices. The Honor Flight transports our heroes to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at our national memorials. Top priority is given to senior veterans, including World War II survivors, along with those veterans who may be terminally ill. With more than 1,000 World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is limited. This trip is absolutely free to all veterans. To find out more about the Western Slope Honor Flight, contact your local veterans service officer or log on to www.westernslopehonorflight.com.
Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.