Military Programs and Benefits
Learn about services available for military members and their families, such as tuition assistance, the GI Bill and other VA education aid programs, life insurance, and survivor benefit plans.
Military Assistance Programs for Servicemembers and Their Families Military OneSource
You can find free, confidential help with any aspect of military life at
Military OneSource. This Department of Defense-funded program offers counseling and information for servicemembers and their families in areas such as:
Call Military OneSource 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at
1-800-342-9647. Visit the Contact Us page for international dialing instructions or for help calling from your computer. Consumer Protection for Servicemembers and Veterans
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps military families and veterans with financial issues that affect them. Visit its site to: National Resource Directory
National Resource Directory to find help with employment, health, homelessness, housing, caregiver support, and other issues. The directory connects wounded warriors, servicemembers, veterans, families, and caregivers with local support resources.
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Commissaries and Exchanges for Military Families
If you are a military member, military retiree or family member of either, you can shop for less at the
commissaries and exchanges on posts and bases. Commissaries are grocery stores. They sell food and household items at cost plus 5 percent—about 30 percent less than most supermarkets.
Exchanges are like department stores. They sell clothing, electronics, home furnishings, etc.
They don’t charge sales tax. Most have dry cleaners, barbershops, food courts, and more nearby.
Find an exchange in the U.S. or abroad:
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Educational Benefits for Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families Military Tuition Assistance
Current servicemembers can attend college in their off-duty time and have their military branch pay the tuition.
GI Bill and Other VA Education Programs
If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
education benefits. If you are a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too. Forever GI Bill Makes Big Changes to Education Benefits
Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the Forever GI Bill, significantly changes many veterans education benefits. Most changes expand or improve upon existing benefits. Highlights include: Restoring education benefits to many who lost them due to recent school closures or disapprovals
Eliminating the 15-year time limit for those who left active duty on or after January 1, 2013
Many other changes are in effect or coming.
See a detailed list of changes. Learn About Education Benefits
Learn about the GI Bill and other education benefits programs.
Explore options for classroom and virtual training.
Get career counseling.
Find the right school or training program for you.
Apply for Education Benefits
apply for education benefits online, in person or by phone. Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) can help you get your degree despite frequent military transfers. These civilian colleges and universities:
Simplify credit transfers and reduce residency requirements (the credits required to earn a degree at a given school)
Give classes on or near military installations in the U.S., overseas, and on military ships
Offer distance learning programs
Offer degrees that match your military job
Are open to servicemembers and their families
For more information, talk to your unit's education officer.
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Life Insurance and Survivor Benefits for Servicemembers and Veterans Life Insurance
If you are in the military, you are automatically signed up for
servicemembers life insurance. You can purchase veterans life insurance for a limited time after you are discharged. Survivor Benefits Plan for Military Retirees
As a military retiree, your pension ends when you die unless you sign up for the Survivor Benefit Plan when you retire.
If you are the survivor of a Department of Defense military retiree, promptly
report the military retiree’s death to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). If you are the survivor of a Coast Guard retiree, contact the Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center. Benefits for Survivors of Veterans
If you are the dependent or survivor of a servicemember or veteran whose death or total disability is service-related, you may be eligible for a variety of
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) survivor benefits and services.
You may also be eligible for
CHAMPVA, a health care program in which the VA shares the costs of services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries.
If you are a Survivor Benefit Plan beneficiary, you may also be eligible for VA benefits.
For more information,
contact the VA.
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Last Updated: March 14, 2018