Survey: Veterans confused about benefits

Nov. 21, 2012 at 7:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Many U.S. military veterans are confused about, or ignorant of, benefits they are entitled to, a Government Accountability Office survey found.

About 40 percent of recent veterans -- those who served after the terrorist attacks of 2001 -- said they do not understand what they are eligible for, McClatchy Newspapers reported. About two-thirds of older veterans were unaware.

Under a new law, the Department of Veterans Affairs must provide counseling sessions on benefits for everyone leaving military service. That part of the law took effect Wednesday.

The number of veterans getting information on benefits is expected to double from about 150,000 a year to 307,000, the department said.

The Government Accountability Office survey found many veterans complained of difficulty getting information, including getting busy signals on hotlines. Some said when they did get through too much of the information they got was in a form that was impossible to understand.

Veterans are eligible for a wide range of assistance, including lifelong care for service-related injuries and education benefits.

The survey found veterans were least aware of life insurance benefits.

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