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									  An Overview of VA Benefits
  Transition Assistance Advisors
Professional Development Seminar

   BAS Mission and Vision

        BAS Mission
        The Mission of the Benefits Assistance Service is to serve as advocates for
        Veterans, Servicemembers, eligible beneficiaries and other stakeholders,
        to ensure they are knowledgeable and informed about accessing and
        receiving VA benefits and services.

        BAS Vision
        Our Vision for the Benefits Assistance Service is to be the premier
        organization for our clients; to proactively provide information and
        knowledge about VA benefits and services, in a positive 21st century
        experience that is consistent, concise, and relevant.

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                      1

   •    In-Service VA Benefits
         – Home Loan Guaranty
         – Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
         – Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
         – Education Services
         – Automobile Allowance
         – Special Adaptive Housing Grant
   •    Services available 180 days prior to separation
         – Pre-Discharge Services
         – Vocational and Educational Counseling

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                            2
   Regional Offices
                                                                                                                    White River Jct.
                                           Ft. Harrison       Fargo
                                 Boise                      Sioux Falls                 Milwaukee                              Buffalo               Providence
                                                                                                          Detroit                                      Hartford
                                                Cheyenne                   Des Moines                                     Pittsburgh                      New York
                                                              Lincoln                                         Cleveland                                   Newark
                                                                                               Chicago                                             Philadelphia
                                    Salt Lake                                                     Indianapolis                                    Wilmington
             Oakland                 City          Denver                          St. Louis                             Huntington
                                                                                                    Louisville                                Roanoke
                Los Angeles
                                                                                                   Nashville                                  Winston Salem

                                            Albuquerque               Muskogee       Little
                                 Phoenix                                                                        Atlanta                Columbia
              San Diego                                                                                  Montgomery

                                                                        WACO                   Jackson                                      nEastern Area
                                                                                                                                            nSouthern Area
                                                                                New Orleans                                                 nCentral Area
                                                                                                                                            nWestern Area
                                                                                                            St. Petersburg

                                                                                                                                              San Juan

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                                                                                              3
   Disability Compensation
   •    Compensation is paid for a disability resulting from disease or injury
        incurred or aggravated while on active service. The disability does not
        have to be combat or wartime related.
   •    Examples:
         –   Torn knee ligament
         –   Hearing loss
         –   Back condition
         –   Post traumatic stress (including the result of sexual trauma)
         –   Traumatic brain injury
         –   Skin condition (psoriasis, eczema, scars)
   •    Special Monthly Compensation may be paid for specific circumstances
        such as aid & attendance, loss of limb, loss of eyesight

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                  4
   Pre-Discharge Claims

   •    Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES)
         – Service Department determines fitness
         – VA determines rating percentage
         – Not an “optional” process
   •    Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD)
         – Have 60-180 days remaining in service
         – Submit a copy of service treatment records (STRs) or health treatment records
         – Be available at point of separation to undergo VA examination(s)
   •    Quick Start
         – The Quick Start Program serves Servicemembers who do not qualify for BDD
           because they:
               • Have less than 60 days before separation/retirement
               • Are not available for VA examinations at the point of separation

                               »More information available at
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                            5
   Rating Process

   •    VA life cycle of a claim
   •    Disabilities are rated from 0% to 100%
         – Combined overall rating
   •    Compensation is tax-free
         – Compensation paid for disability rating from 10% to 100%
         – Additional allowance for dependents with 30% or higher rating
         – The Department of Treasury requires new federal beneficiaries receive
            their recurring/monthly benefits electronically

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                   6
   Compensation – Current Rates
         Rating          Vet Only         Vet+S       Vet+S+1C    Vet+S+2C    Vet+S+3C
                10%                $127       N/A          N/A         N/A         N/A
                20%                 251       N/A          N/A         N/A         N/A
                30%                 389         435        469         492         515

                40%                 560         622        667         697         727
                50%                 797         874        931         969        1,007
                60%            1,009        1,102         1,169       1,215       1,261
                70%            1,272        1,380         1,459       1,512       1,565
                80%            1,478        1,602         1,692       1,753       1,814
                90%            1,661        1,800         1,902       1,971       2,040
              100%             2,769        2,924         3,037       3,114       3,191

          S = Spouse           C = Child(ren)           Rates effective Dec. 1, 2011

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                          7
   Related Benefits

   •    Free VA health care for all rated service-connected conditions
   •    Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment services may be available if a
        Servicemember is 20% with a memorandum rating or proposed IDES rating OR
        Veteran with a VA disability rating of at least 10%
   •    VA life insurance
   •    Veteran’s preference in federal hiring
   •    VA home loan guaranty funding fee waived
   •    Possible state and local benefits

   •    Severance and/or Separation pay may be recouped (after-tax amount)
   •    Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP)
   •    Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)
         – DD Form 2860

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                   8
   Deployment Tips

   •    Stop disability payments prior to deployment to avoid overpayment
         – Call or write VA
         – Submit orders
         – Place someone in charge of making sure payments stop

   •    Upon Release from Active Duty, reinstate disability payments
         – Call or write VA
         – Submit orders
         – Submit DD214/NGB22/discharge document

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                            9
   Debt Management

   •    38 USC § 5304, (C) “Pension, compensation, or retirement pay on account of any
        person’s own service shall not be paid to such person for any period for which
        such person receives active service pay.“
   •    Overpayments of VA benefits are addressed through VA Debt Management
   •    Information on VA’s Debt Management Center can be found on their website:
   •    Contact:
         – 1-800-827-0648

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                         10
   Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E)
   •    VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program (VR&E) helps
        active duty Servicemembers and Veterans who have service-connected
        disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve
        independence in daily living
   •    Achieve and maintain suitable employment
         – Evaluation of the Veteran’s abilities, skills, interests, and needs
         – Vocational counseling and planning
         – On-the-job and non-paid work experience education or training such as certificate, two,
           or four-year programs
   •    Independent Living
         – Training in activities of daily living
         – Technological assistance
         – Personal adjustment counseling
   •    Vocational Educational Counseling
         – Assistance in establishing employment and educational goals when transitioning from
           military service
         – Vocational testing and vocational counseling services are provided

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                                 11
   Benefits and Services Available

   •    Veterans enrolled in an approved training program have the following
        expenses covered:
         – Tuition and fees
         – Books
         – Equipment
         – Supplies
   •    Veterans receive a monthly subsistence allowance, which is based on rate
        of pursuit and number of dependents

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                   12
   Eligibility and Entitlement

   Eligibility to Apply
   • Servicemembers may apply for the VR&E program with a 20%
       memorandum rating or proposed IDES rating
   • Veterans are eligible to apply with a VA disability rating of at least 10%
   • Veterans must receive an Honorable or Other Than Dishonorable

   Entitlement to Services
   • Combined service-connected disability rating of 20% or more and an
      employment handicap resulting primarily from such disability
   • Veterans rated as 10% disabled with a serious employment handicap may
      be entitled to VR&E services

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                  13
   VR&E Cont’d.
   •    A counseling appointment will be set for eligible Servicemembers and Veterans to
        accomplish the following:
         – Evaluate the applicant’s interests, aptitudes, and abilities based upon testing and
         – Explore the applicant’s vocational goals and objectives

   Eligibility Period
   •    The law provides a 12-year basic period of eligibility. The 12-year period begins on
        the latter of these dates:
         – Date of separation from active military duty
         – Date VA first informed the Veteran of a qualifying service-connected disability rating

   •    The period of eligibility can be extended for Veterans found to have a serious
        employment handicap

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                                    14
   How to apply

   •    Servicemembers, including IDES enrollees, should complete the following:
         – VA Form 28-0588, Memo Rating
         – VA Form 21-526c, Pre-Discharge Compensation Claim, or VA Form 21-
            526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension, or other
            applicable form
         – VA Form 28-1900, Application for Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

   •    Veterans should complete:
         – VA Form 21-526 (If not already rated by VA for a service- connected
         – VA Form 28-1900, Application for Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                                 15

        The eBenefits portal
        ( is a “one-
        stop shop” for access to military
        documents and benefits
        information (e.g., DD-214,
        checking the status of disability
        claims, payment history, &
        obtaining a home loan Certificate
        of Eligibility, etc.).


                VA on the Internet                        VA by Phone

   •    eBenefits                          •   Benefits information                   (800) 827-1000
   •    VA Home Page                       •   Education Benefits                             (888) 442-4551
   •    Returning Servicemembers           •   Health Care Eligibility                      (877) 222-8387
   •    VA on Facebook                     •   SGLI/VGLI       (800) 419-1473
   •    VA on Twitter                      •   VA Life Insurance         (800) 669-8477

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                         17

                                            Megan Warren
                                   Program Analyst, Military Outreach

                                    Benefits Assistance Service (27)
                                    Department of Veterans Affairs
                                      810 Vermont Avenue, NW
                                        Washington DC 20420



VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION                                        18

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