If you’ve ever considered going to the military or know people in the military, you’ve probably wondered how long one has to serve to be considered a veteran.
For technical purposes, the only requirements for being a veteran is being enlisted in the military for any length of time and being discharged with anything besides dishonorable. However, not every veteran receives benefits. Different benefits require different amounts of time served.
Five Awesome Veteran Benefits
- VA Healthcare. Any amount of service. This is the most basic of care, and it simply means anyone who has been enlisted in the military can visit the VA and receive care. However, it doesn’t mean the healthcare is free.
- VA Pension. Two years active duty required. While there are other requirements for this benefit, the minimum requirement is for the military service member to have served two years of active duty.
- Military health insurance. Twenty years or more required. If you or your spouse serves the country for twenty years, you’re eligible for health insurance. This health insurance will cover the service member, their spouse, and any young family members.
- VA disability compensation. Any amount of service. To receive disability compensation, you can be in the military for any length of time. However, it can be challenging to receive disability compensation. Receiving this benefit requires a full medical evaluation, too.
- VA Home Loan Program. Two years continuous active duty required. The VA Home Loan Program helps military members take out loans with competitive interest rates to purchase a house. Depending on when you served, the time length for this benefit can vary.
Besides serving your country, enlisting in the military has other benefits. To be considered a veterans, the only requirement is to be honorably discharged. However, there are more requirements and hoops to jump through in order to receive all the benefits the military has to offer.