Memorial Day is a federal holiday to honor and remember the troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedom and ideals. Every year, this holiday is celebrated on the last Monday in May. This holiday dates back to 1868, after the Civil War, when it was known as Decoration Day because it was a day to decorate the graves of the soldiers who had died in battle. Although Memorial Day is intended to honor those who have lost their lives in war, many institutions take this day to recognize and celebrate all veterans. With Memorial Day coming up, it is time to give back to those who gave everything to our country and make veterans aware of some of the many benefits available to them.
Here are some benefits that are available to veterans that you may not be aware of:
Home Loan Benefits. Once veterans obtain the Certificate of Eligibility and apply for the VA Loan, the VA Purchase Loan will allow veterans to buy a house at a competitive interest rate to similar loans, without a down payment if the sales price of the house is not above the appraised value. Even though they will be purchasing their house without a down payment, they will not need private mortgage insurance. Some other advantages of the VA Home Loan: you cannot be charged a penalty by the lender if you pay the loan off early, there is a limit to the amount that veterans can be charged for closing costs, the seller may pay the closing costs, the VA may be able to help with payments in certain situations, and you can reuse this loan benefit as many times as you need to.
Tax Prep Benefits. For help with veterans’ taxes, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices located on military bases allow veterans and their families to utilize free tax preparation services with experienced individuals. If military members wish to do their taxes on their own, they can use H&R Block At Home® for free to file their taxes.
Long Term Care and Life Insurance Benefits. Through the Aid and Attendance Program, veterans can receive money to help cover the costs of long-term care, such as assisted living and nursing homes. Married veterans are eligible to receive up to $25,020 a year, while surviving spouses of veterans can receive up to $13,560 a year. For life insurance, the Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program offers veterans up to $400,000 in life insurance. USAA offers three different kinds of life insurance for veterans, such as term life, whole life, and universal life.
Education Benefits. Through the GI Bill, veterans are eligible to receive up to $2,000 to help pay for certification courses or vocational training programs. Also, veterans who meet the service limits required can transfer their unused GI Bill credits to their spouses and children.
Memorial Day will be on Monday, May 30th this year. In addition to federal government programs that can help our veterans, private entities are stepping up to do their part, as well. Companies ranging from Home Depot to JC Penney, to Red Robin as well, are offering discounts on products to active service members and veterans during this holiday. For more information on specific deals, you can check out participating companies’ websites or call your favorite location to see if anything is offered.
All-in-all, there are many benefits, services, and deals available to veterans that they may not know about. Furthermore, many municipalities across our nation will hold some kind of tribute or parade honoring our fallen heroes, marking another way that you can show your gratitude and respect. So, this Memorial Day, remind a hero about the services and products available as a way to directly thank them for their bravery and efforts to protect our country.
Everyone here at Condor Capital would like to thank our veterans and their families, as well as remember those men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice. We hope everyone has a safe holiday weekend.
Photo Credit: By BrokenSphere (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons