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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Veterans’ Benefits: Benefits Available for Disabled Veterans

Christine Scott
Specialist in Social Policy

Carol D. Davis
Information Research Specialist

Libby Perl
Specialist in Housing Policy

Benjamin Collins
Analyst in Labor Policy

Although U.S. Armed Forces are deployed around the globe, a number of servicemembers are currently serving in the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) combat zone. As a result of the risks facing these servicemembers, some of them are incurring injuries or illnesses during their active service (or having existing medical conditions worsen as a result of their service). Congress has shown an interest in the treatment of injured servicemembers, both while they are undergoing medical treatment and in their transition from military to civilian life as veterans. An injured servicemember (or veteran) may require specific types of assistance or benefits to enable him or her to have a better quality of life.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a range of benefits for veterans. However, certain benefits have specifically been created to assist disabled veterans.

Disability compensation provides a monthly cash benefit to veterans whose disabilities resulted from injury or disease contracted in or aggravated by their military service. The amount is based on the level of disability.

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program is designed to help veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. In cases where employment is not a viable goal, the veteran may participate in an independent living program through VR&E.

Automobile and special adaptive equipment grants are available to certain disabled veterans and servicemembers to purchase new or used automobiles (or other conveyances) to accommodate a disability.

Clothing allowance grants are designed for certain veterans entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability for which he or she uses a prosthetic or orthopedic device.

Housing grants are provided for constructing an adapted home or modifying an existing home to meet the adaptive needs of certain veterans and servicemembers. Three grant programs are available for permanent residences, and two of the three grant programs are also available for temporary residences.

Service Disabled Veterans’ Insurance (S-DVI) is life insurance for veterans who have received a service-connected disability rating from the VA.

This report provides information on these benefits, including eligibility, history, and the application process. Statistics regarding spending and beneficiaries can be found in the Appendix to this report.

Date of Report: January 10, 2013
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: RL34626
Price: $29.95

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