Can a Veteran Get Money From the Government?

by Kayla Lowe ; Updated July 27, 2017

If you served in any branch of the United States armed forces, then you may be entitled to get money from the government that non-veterans cannot. Most veterans who receive money from the government are disabled, and the two agencies that give money to disabled veterans are the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration. The benefits that you receive depend upon the type of disability that you have as well as other factors.

Disability Compensation

Disability compensation is available to veterans who are disabled due to their military service. Essentially, the veteran’s disability must have been incurred during his military service or made worse by his military service if he had it prior to admission into the military. The amount of compensation that the veteran receives is based upon how severe the VA rates his disability after evaluating the claim. Compensation is not affected by any other source of income that the veteran may have and is non-taxable. To file a claim for compensation, complete VA form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation or Pension and mail it to your nearest VA office.

Disability Pension

Disability pension is available to veterans who have a disability that is not connected to their military service and who have a low household income. How much a veteran receives in disability pension is determined by how severe the VA rates the disability and well as the financial situation. If a veteran is married, his spouse’s income is considered part of his household income and could decrease the amount he receives each month in disability pension. Complete VA form 21-526 and file it with your local VA office to apply for a disability pension.

Benefits for Dependents

A veteran receiving disability compensation or pension is eligible to receive more monthly benefits if he has dependents like a spouse or children. In addition, when his children turn 18 years old, they are eligible to receive 200 dollars a month until they are 24 years old as long as they attend college. Proof of full-time enrollment must be provided each year.

Social Security Benefits

A veteran can apply for benefits through the Social Security Administration if he is disabled. He can receive benefits for himself and his family, much like he can through the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, if the veteran receives a disability pension through the VA, any social security benefits that he receives will be offset up to the income limit he is allowed to receive yearly. In addition, a veteran can still receive social security retirement benefits once he reaches the age of 65.

About the Author

Kayla Lowe has been a freelance writer since 2008. She writes for various online publications and is also the author of the book "Maiden's Blush," a Christian-fiction romance novel. Lowe is pursuing a degree in elementary education.