Benefits and Services

Federal Benefits (US Department of Veterans Affairs)

Service Connected Disability Compensation is a monthly payment made to a veteran who has incurred a service-connected disability rated at 10% or more disabling.  To receive service connection for a disability the disability must have either begun while serving on active duty in the military or, while serving on active duty in the military the veteran aggravated a pre-existing condition.  To be eligible, the veteran must have an other than dishonorable discharge.

The Federal Veterans Administration may assist in adapting homes and/or automobiles for certain veterans who are entitled to compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability.

Non-service Connected Disability Pension is a monthly payment to a veteran for a non-service connected disability or payment to a spouse after the death of a veteran (Death Pension).  To be eligible the veteran must have served 90 days or more active military service, one day of which was served during a period of war and was discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.  Unreimbursed medical expenses may be used to reduce an applicant's income to meet the income guidelines.  Veterans or their spouses may be eligible for Pension with Aid and Attendance, or at the Housebound rate, upon entering a nursing home, in need of the regular aid and attendance of another person, or permanently housebound.

Dependent and/or Survivor Benefits

  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly payment made to surviving spouses (who have not remarried), unmarried minor children (under 18), helpless children, children between the ages 18 and 23 if attending a VA-approved school and also to low-income parents of deceased service-members or veterans.  To be eligible, the deceased veteran must have died from a service-connected disability
  • CHAMPVA - Dependent health care for survivors and/or dependents of veterans rated 100% disabling and permanent (not subject to reduction).
  • DEA - Dependents Educational Assistance is education assistance for survivors and/or dependents of veterans rated 100% disabling and permanent (not subject to reduction).
  • Education benefits
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Life Insurance
  • VA Home Loans - Loan guarantees made to service members, veterans, reservists, and unremarried surviving spouses for the purchase of homes, condominiums, and manufactured homes and for refinancing loans.
  • Burial benefits - Veterans are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery if they were in the military for the required period of time and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Benefits include a gravesite, a headstone or marker, and opening and closing of the grave.
  • Medical Care at VA Medical Centers - Financial disclosure allows VA to accurately determine whether certain veterans will be charged copayments for care and medications, their eligibility for other services and enrollment priority.  Veterans are not required to disclose their financial information; however, VA is not currently enrolling new applicants who decline to provide their financial information unless they have a special eligibility factor.  Certain veterans are not required to provide their financial information when applying for health care benefits when he/she falls into one of the following groups:
    • Service connected disability rated 10% or greater
    • Former Prisoner of War
    • Purple Heart recipient
    • Requesting care for a disability caused by exposure to Agent Orange, Ionizing Radiation, or the Gulf War
    • Recently discharged combat veteran (e.g., OEF/OIF) who are being seen for a condition which could be related to their combat service are eligible for 5 years of free healthcare.
    • If you are not in one of these categories, check to see if you qualify for enrollment.
  • Presumptive Disability Benefits - The VA will presume that a veteran's disability was incurred while they served on active duty in the military when the veteran meets certain requirements. The VA will concede exposure to, and presume a disability was the result of that exposure for the following categories of veterans: veterans who served in-country Vietnam; former Prisoners of War; veterans exposed to ionizing radiation; and veterans who served in the first Gulf war.  This list may be expanded in the future to include other exposure and/or disability resulting from such exposure.

State Benefits (Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs)

  • Temporary financial assistance (short term disability) and Dental and optical assistance - Temporary financial assistance to veterans and their dependents during a period when veterans are disabled and not able to work at their normal occupations.  Veterans must have served 181 consecutive days active duty, unless discharged due to disability incurred while on active duty, and discharged under honorable conditions.  Benefits under this program are income based and the maximum length of assistance is six months.  This program also provides payment of monthly utilities (excluding telephone service), monthly rent or mortgage, basic dental and optical care and clothing allowance to eligible veterans and their dependents.
  • State veteran's homes (nursing home and domiciliary care) - Five state veterans homes have been established by the Minnesota Legislature to provide nursing and domiciliary care to eligible Minnesota veterans and their dependents.  These homes are located at Minneapolis, Hastings, Silver Bay, Luverne and Fergus Falls.  More information is available at:
  • Veterans and war orphans education benefits
  • Veterans preference advocacy
  • State veterans' cemetery (Little Falls, MN) - This cemetery is located near Camp Ripley, north of Little Falls, and is open to all members of the armed forces and veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, a spouse, unremarried widow or widower, minor children, and unmarried adult children (under certain circumstances).

For other State and Federal benefits, or for assistance in applying for the benefits listed here, please contact your local County Veterans Service Officer.