The people who have served as members of the armed forces have done great things for this country. Many civilians feel that the least that can be done to thank them is to ensure that veterans have access to sufficient benefit programs and other resources to sustain their quality of life. Congress recently approved legislation that will benefit certain Navy veterans and improve other programs for all those who have served in the military. Supporters hope that these veterans' benefits will have a positive impact nationwide, not to mention right here in Florida.
Those who serve the nation under a branch of the armed forces deserve the utmost respect and gratitude. One way that the United States does that is by ensuring that veterans have access to medical care and other benefits. In recent years, many states have approved marijuana for medical use. Though some veterans say that medical marijuana helps them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments, the fact that it is not legal nationwide raises their concerns as to how it might affect their veterans' benefits. One Florida lawmaker has submitted a bill in Congress that seeks to protect veterans from losing their benefits if they use medical marijuana.
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.
Students in Florida and nationwide who are veterans are entitled to receive payments toward their housing expenses through what is called the GI Bill. The Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed that software glitches made payments for housing allowances in August smaller than veterans' entitlements under federal law. In fact, veterans have suffered various paperwork glitches over the past 10 years that have kept their veterans' benefits inconsistent and in a state of periodic chaos.
Florida has a large population of military veterans. When Veterans' benefits become a part of the public discourse, there is usually wide interest among this state's former military members. Sometimes, however, legislation is proposed that helps the public in general but neglects addressing the special needs of veterans.