2021 to Expand Veterans Benefits
2020 was a crazy year, but the good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Veterans will see some expanded benefits in the new year.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently made some changes to laws related to veterans and is putting those amended laws through the process. Congress has already passed legislation, so hopefully President Donald Trump will sign off and turn these changes into new laws.
The new law is known as Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act of 2020, and it is making changes to veterans benefit programs already in existence.
One of the benefits includes an expansion of the Medal of Honor pension. This pension is paid on a monthly basis to those awarded the Medal of Honor. When the servicemember passes away, the surviving spouse is eligible for this pension. Currently, the monthly amount is set at $1,388.68, but it changes every year based on inflation.
Currently, only National Guard and Reserve members with 90 or more days of active service are eligible for home loans. This will change in 2021, when National Guard members without active-duty service will be eligible for a VA home loan. The only requirement is that they must have at least 90 days of service, and 30 of those days must be consecutive.
In addition, all Native Americans will be exempt from a VA copay for receiving services such as health care or medication, whether or not they have a service-connected disability. This law will not go into effect right away though; it could take within one year of the law becoming effective,
In a couple years, certain veterans can opt for life insurance. In 2023, the VA will be required to offer some disabled veterans a whole-life policy. The only two requirements are that they need to be disabled and under the age of 81. There will be no time limit to apply. Policies will be limited to $40,000.
In two years, veterans will also receive certain memorial benefits. Currently, the VA will pay to transport a veteran’s remains to a national veterans cemetery. This will change by 2023, when this service will be expanded and the VA will pay to send a veteran’s remains to state and tribal veterans cemeteries.
In two years, the families will be given the option of receiving a free headstone or burial urn, but not both. Currently, veterans can only receive a free headstone.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Veterans often face challenges when they try to receive benefits, so these new improvements will be a welcome change. Veterans will be able to receive better medical care and bigger pensions when they retire.
You risked your life to protect your country and its freedoms. Get the benefits you deserve with help White Plains veterans benefits lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. Schedule a free consultation by calling 914-294-2145 or filling out the online form.