There are several types of VA benefits, including those that offer housing, monetary, education or business grant assistance for those who qualify. These programs are not exclusive to veterans.
These assistance and grant programs can aid a veteran as well as a qualifying dependent or surviving spouse. Eligible applicants can obtain help receiving a higher education funding, starting a successful business adventure and avoiding the loss of safe, sanitary and decent housing opportunities.
Before you apply for grants, it is worth learning more about each program, including the eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive benefits. Furthermore, it is worth knowing that each grant or assistance program will have its own application methods and processes. By learning more about grants for veterans, you may discover opportunities that you had not previously known of as well as find yourself better prepared to submit an application and begin receiving assistance.
Education Grants for Veterans
Education based grants for veterans can assist qualifying service members, veterans, surviving spouses and surviving dependents receive a higher education. In addition to government programs, applicants may also find financial assistance and grants through the university or college that they intend to attend, as many offer additional programs for qualifying individuals.
The Montgomery GI Bill
One of the most well-known educational grants is the Montgomery GI Bill. Program benefits are available to qualifying military personnel that have agreed to have at least $100 withheld from their paychecks in exchange for a greater amount of financial assistance towards education following separation from service.
The amount of education assistance provided is based on several factors, including the amount of time serviced and the amount of money withheld from pay allowances. Benefits can be used for tuition, housing, books and other college-related costs. These benefits can be used up to ten years following separation from military services.
The Post 911 GI Bill
Additional VA benefits are available to qualifying servicemen and women who enrolled in active duty following the events of September 11th, 2001. In order to qualify for benefits, you must have enlisted within 90 days of 9/11 and meet other eligibility requirements. This program offers 36 months of assistance towards the cost of educational expenses with additional benefits available to service members who were discharged due to a service-connected disability.
National Scholarships for Veterans
Additional VA benefits can be gained through scholarship programs. Each program has its own eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive financial assistance towards furthering education. These scholarship programs include but are not limited to:
- AMVET National Scholarship Program.
- Military Order of the Purple Heart Scholarship.
- American Legion Scholarship.
- Pat Tillman Foundation.
- Troops to Teachers Program.
Veteran Grants Offered through Colleges and Universities
If you are seeking additional VA benefits towards higher education, it is worth knowing that there are several colleges and universities that offer their own grant and scholarship programs that you may qualify for. Therefore, it is worth inquiring as to whether or not the college you will be attending has any of these programs, their eligibility requirements and how you can apply for assistance.
Veteran Business Grants
Veteran business grants can assist qualifying veterans and service members in jump-starting their own business. Primarily offered through non-profit organizations, each grant program has its own set of eligibility requirements and application methods.
- Boots to Business is a free, two-step training and education program that is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This program is available to service members who wish to begin their own business and includes a two-day introduction to entrepreneurship course.
- Offered at the Syracuse University, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) provides training and education for veterans who are interested in becoming an entrepreneur.
- The Patriot Boot Camp program is offered to veterans, active duty service personnel and their spouses. The program provides educational training as well as additional resources.
- The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) works to connect veterans with federal, state and local business financing programs, opportunities and resources.
- Warrior Rising is a nonprofit organization that assists qualifying veterans with business startups by providing startup grants, education and other potential funding sources.
Financial Assistance for Veterans
If you are a veteran in need of financial assistance, you may qualify for a one-time grant through one of the following programs:
- The US Cares Emergency Assistance Program assists veterans with a one-time monetary grant amount that can be used towards rent, utilities or any other monthly bill. The average amount awarded to qualifying applicants is $650.
- The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance Program offers cash grants to qualifying veterans to assist in paying for the cost of housing, utilities, food and medical expenses.
- If you are a veteran who is severely disabled while serving in Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, then you may qualify for monetary grants that would go towards the cost of housing, medical procedures, transportation or vehicle repair if necessary. This will be funded through the Operation Family Fund.
- Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes offers financial aid to certain veterans who may have been extremely injured or rendered disabled while in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Veteran Housing Grants
Veteran housing grants assist veterans in the purchase of a home or assist with monthly household expenses in order to ensure that veterans do not lose access to safe, sanitary and decent housing. Therefore, it is worth reviewing these VA benefits:
- VA home loans, which can assist qualifying veterans and active duty personnel with obtaining a mortgage for the purchase, construction or refinancing of a home. Most loans do not require a down payment, private mortgage insurance is never required and eligibility requirements for a mortgage are often lower than that of traditional mortgages.
- Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance, which offers monetary grants to qualifying veterans that can be used to build an adapted home or modify an existing home to accommodate service-connected or aging-related disabilities.
In addition to these programs, veterans are encouraged to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline if currently or about to become homeless. The hotline can be reached at 877-424-3838 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Additionally, you can explore additional resources that may be available in your area, including safe housing, health care and mental health services, through the Department of Veterans Affairs.