Military Programs and Benefits

Learn about services available for military members and their families, such as tuition assistance, the GI Bill and other Department of Veterans Affairs education aid programs, life insurance, and survivor benefit plans.

Military Assistance Programs for Servicemembers and Their Families

National Resource Directory for Service Members and Veterans

The National Resource Directory connects the military and veterans with local support. Find military assistance resources for:

  • Jobs

  • Health

  • Homelessness

  • Housing

  • Caregiver support

Financial Assistance for Service Members and Veterans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) helps military families and veterans with financial issues including:

  • Filing complaints

  • Avoiding scams targeting military and veterans

  • Improving money management skills

Military OneSource

Military OneSource offers help with all aspects of military life. Counseling for service members and families is free and confidential.

Find information and resources in areas such as:

You can also call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit their contact page to learn how to call from outside the U.S. or from your computer.

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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

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 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

You may qualify for (VA) survivor benefits if:

  • You are the survivor of a servicemember or veteran whose death is service-related.
  • You are the dependent of a servicemember or veteran whose total disability is service-related.

You may also qualify for CHAMPVA. It is 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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Educational Benefits for Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families

GI Bill and Other Veterans Education Programs

If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for veterans education benefits. If you’re a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too.

Forever GI Bill

The Forever GI Bill of 2017 makes big changes to many veterans education benefits. Most changes expand or improve upon existing benefits. Highlights include:

  • Restoring education benefits to people who lost them because their school closed

  • 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 Forever GI Bill changes.

Military Tuition Assistance

If you're in the military now, your unit may pay for your tuition if you attend college in your off-duty time.

Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC)

Frequent military transfers can be a roadblock to getting your degree. But Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) can help. These civilian colleges and universities:

  • Simplify credit transfers

  • Reduce the number of credits you must earn at their school to get a degree

  • 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.

Military Spouse Tuition Assistance

If you’re a military spouse, you can find help paying for college or vocational training too. There are a variety of scholarships, grants, and interest-free loans. Find sources of military spouse tuition assistance.

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Last Updated: December 11, 2018