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Veterans' benefits: Things to know

Florida residents who served in any of the branches of the armed services and were discharged honorably have the right to collect certain benefits. There are various types of veterans' benefits, some that most veterans know about, some that aren't too widely advertised or are more difficult to utilize than others, and some that are meant for the family members of deceased veterans. This week's column will name some of the different types of veterans' benefits out there. 

When it comes to major benefit programs, there are four. These are disability compensation, pension, medical care and education programs. These benefits are pretty straightforward and do not require a lot of explanation. Most veterans know that these benefits are available to them. 

Benefit programs that many people may not be aware of include housing programs, job training, counseling, small business loans and burial/memorial programs. Whether trying to gain access to one of these lesser known benefits or one of the major benefit programs, there are certain steps one must take to do so and there are no guarantees that one's request will be granted. Full-time service members may be able to access all available benefits, while part-time or reserve military members may only be able to access a select few benefit programs.

Military and veterans' benefits are frequently changing, and this can make it difficult for former service members to know what benefits they may be entitled to. Florida residents who need more information on available veterans' benefits or who are struggling to gain access to them can turn to legal counsel for assistance. Not only can an attorney with experience in this particular field answer any questions one might have about available benefits and assist veterans in filing for them, but legal counsel will also have the ability to help those whose benefit applications have been denied with the appeals process.

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