Veterans Benefits For Dummies
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It can sometimes be difficult to know who qualifies for veterans benefits. ID cards are issued for other military benefits, including shopping, travel and Tricare. Here is a list of basic qualifications:

  • Military members on active duty.

  • Members of the active (drilling) National Guard or Reserves.

  • Retired active-duty members. Active-duty members can retire after performing at least 20 years of active-duty service.

  • Retired National Guard and Reserve members who are receiving retired pay.

  • Veterans who have received the Medal of Honor.

  • Honorably discharged veterans who have been rated as 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) due to a service-related injury.

  • Dependents of those listed here. Dependents include a veteran’s spouse and children.

Exceptions for former spouses

In most cases of divorce between a military member and his spouse, the nonmilitary spouse will lose her ID card and privileges, with two exceptions, known as the “20/20/20” rule and the “10/20/10” rule.

Surviving family members

Under certain conditions, surviving family members of deceased military personnel are authorized to retain their ID cards:

  • Members who died while on active duty under orders that specified a period of duty of more than 30 days or members who died while in a retired-with-pay status.

  • National Guard and Reserve members who died from an injury or illness that happened or was aggravated while on active duty for a period of 30 days or less.

  • National Guard and Reserve members who qualified for retirement and were receiving retirement pay.

  • National Guard and Reserve members who qualified for retirement, but weren’t receiving pay because they hadn’t reached age 60.

  • Honorably discharged veterans rated by the VA as 100 percent disabled because of a service-connected injury or disease.

  • Medal of Honor recipients.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Rod Powers is a recognized expert in all U.S. military matters. A military author, his articles have appeared in numerous military and civilian publications. Powers is the co-author of the successful ASVAB For Dummies, 2nd Edition, and serves as a military guide for

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