June 9, 2000

New Benefits Handbook Updates Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­ A new edition of the Department of Veterans Affairs' popular handbook Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents updates the rates for certain federal payments and outlines a variety of programs and benefits for American veterans.

The 2000 edition of the 100-page booklet provides an overview of the VA benefits currently being used by more than 5 million veterans or their survivors. Most of the nation's 24.7 million veterans qualify for some VA benefits, which range from health-care program enrollment to burial in a national cemetery.

Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents includes resources to help veterans access their benefits including a listing of various toll-free phone numbers as well as a 30-page directory of the location of VA facilities throughout the country.

The entire text of the handbook ­ in English and in Spanish — is available free on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/opa/feature/ .

The handbook is one of the top consumer sales publications of the U.S. Government Printing Office, which takes credit card orders at 202-512-1800 at a cost of $5 each to U.S. addresses. It can be ordered by mail from the Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954 (stock #051-000-00220-2).

In addition to health-care and burial benefits, veterans may be eligible for programs providing compensation for service-connected illnesses or disabilities, home loans, income assistance pensions, educational assistance, life insurance and training and vocational rehabilitation. In some cases, survivors of veterans who received benefits may also be entitled to continuing benefits.

The handbook describes programs for veterans with specific service experiences, such as prisoners of war or those concerned about environmental exposures in Vietnam or in the Gulf War, as well as special benefits for veterans with severe disabilities.

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