Vets can benefit from little-known perks

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Two hundred thousand service people separate from the military annually, and many might be entitled to a few largely unknown benefits. After all, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t even publish its phone number on its home page. But we dug around and found five opportunities to get jobs for discharged veterans.

Vets can get free business coaching, networking and other help to start or expand a business at vet
biz.gov. VA also helps promote these businesses for special federal government contracts. Likewise, the private sector, through International Franchise Association member-companies, offers discounts on more than 250 franchises at vetfran.com to vets who want to own their own business without going it alone. Further, a free program—Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities—offers training in entrepreneurship and small-business management to veterans with disabilities through Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and Florida State University College of Business. For information, visit whitman.syr.edu/EEE/bootcamp.

Qualified disabled vets who want to find a job can get vocational rehabilitation services through VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment service.

Vets who served during a war and who are ready to retire might qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit to help pay for long-term care at home or in a facility. Unlike Medicaid, there’s no look-back period to force vets to spend down their savings to qualify. Unfortunately, “[w]hen calling the VA office, people are often misinformed by the person answering the phone and led to believe they don’t qualify,” says attorney Yale Hauptman of the law firm Hauptman & Hauptman.