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Veterans' Rights

Health Care, Disability Compensation, Pensions, Education And Vocational Training, Home Loan Guarantees, Additional Benefits

Legal rights and benefits extended to those who served on active duty in and have been honorably discharged from one of the U.S. ARMED SERVICES.

According to data from the 2000 U.S. census, about 26.4 million civilians, or 12.7 percent of the civilian population, consisted of veterans of the armed forces. This number includes those who served on active duty for the duration of their military careers and those who served for only a short time on active duty, such as individuals who were called to serve in the Gulf War in 1991. Given that such a significant percentage of the population consists of veterans, the United States has extended a number of rights to and provides benefits for these servicemen.

The federal agency primarily responsible for administering the various programs for veterans is the VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT (VA). A veteran's eligibility for the benefits administered by the VA depends upon a number of factors, such as whether the veteran served during wartime. A veteran must have received an honorable or general discharge in order to qualify for benefits, as a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge ordinarily precludes extension of benefits. However, veterans who are incarcerated or on PAROLE may still be eligible for some VA benefits.

FURTHER READINGS

Armstrong, R. E., and Terry P. Rizzuti. 2001. Veteran's Benefits: A Guide to State Programs. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Department of Veterans Affairs. 2003. Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents. Washington, D.C.: Office of Public Affairs.

Stichman, Barton F., Ronald B. Abrams, and David F. Addlestone, eds. 1999. Veterans Benefits Manual. Charlottesville, Va.: Lexis Law Publishing.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Vest to Water Rights