When you first return from your service and get discharged back into civilian life, it can be challenging to adjust. Your loved ones have been going about their ordinary, everyday lives while you were gone, while your experience was radically different. You might be uncomfortable how your family or those outside your family treats you, either by ignoring you or awkwardly thanking you for your service.
Now you’re expected to pick things back up and start building a life on your own just like everyone else. After years of discipline and structure and continually being surrounded by your peers in the military, it might be hard to know where to start.
The good news is you’re not alone. Countless other military veterans have returned from the service feeling the same sorts of things that you’re feeling. You don’t have to build a life on your own without any help, either.
After working hard in the service and sacrificing your time and much, much more, you’ve earned some help as you transition into the next phase. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest provider of services to help you with this, and here are three of the most significant tools they offer to veterans like you.
The VA is the largest healthcare provider in the United States, with over 1,200 different centers for care and treatment. You continue to qualify for care from the VA once you’re off active duty. You can go to the VA for primary care, specialists, and more. If you don’t have a lot of money, you may not have to pay anything at all.
They also offer extensive therapy and counseling resources to help with readjustment. They offer this care because many hard-working, courageous veterans need it and use it. Being proactive as you adjust means finding resources that work for you and using them. Don’t throw away opportunities simply because you don’t want to look weak or you know others who may need them more than you.
There are enough opportunities here for everyone. Start your account with the VA today and find the nearest location so you can learn more and get the care you need.
The GI Bill
The VA offers numerous different programs to help veterans fund their education through the GI Bill. The biggest program available now includes financial support for anyone who has served on active duty since September 10, 2001.
It doesn’t matter where or when you served, you are likely to be eligible for some assistance. The VA helps with tuition and other education-related costs for college, technical schools, and graduate schools, and they even offer career counseling. If you’ve recently been discharged, look into your options and let a counselor guide you in considering possible paths forward.
Disability Benefits Administration
Many veterans don’t just give their time in their service, but their physical and mental health as well. If you’re a disabled veteran coming back home with a long-term physical or mental illness that was caused or made more severe by your military service, you may qualify for disability benefits through the VA.
You don’t have to be entirely unable to work or move to qualify for disability benefits. When you file with the VA through your veterans lawyer and turn in evidence of your condition, the review board will assess your disability and assign you a percentage that represents the degree of disability from which you suffer. You might still be able to work, but the benefits are meant to make up for some of the limitations that are now holding you back.