7 Under-the-Radar Benefits That Veterans Might Not Know About

Military veteran receiving tax assistance

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Military veteran receiving tax assistance
Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Perks for Veterans

Serving in the military is a profound commitment, and there is simply not enough we're able to do for the men and women who served or are still serving our country to show our gratitude. Their sacrifices are, after all, too meaningful to ever appropriately compensate. 

Still, there are many programs and perks that exist for veterans. Some of them fly a bit more under the radar, so we've highlighted them below to make sure every veteran has a chance to explore their options.

2022 blank 1040 us tax form with calculator and keyboard on office desk

1. Free Tax Prep

Not only can veterans take advantage of property tax exemptions, but they can also reap a few other tax-related benefits. The IRS partners with the VA to offer free tax preparation services for veterans, and they take it a step further with free filing. 

Disney Shades of Green

2. Disney World's Shades of Green

Disney World has expanded its reach so much that it really does seem to be living up to its name. With so many resorts under its moniker, not everyone knows about Shades of Green — Disney's resort that's dedicated exclusively to military members and their families. Eligibility for the resort includes different tiers, but at its root, it exists as a place for veterans to enjoy a Disney vacation at a lower price point. 

If you're planning to take advantage of the resort's discount rates, you'll want to plan ahead, paying close attention to what offers are available. The resort's "Salute to Our Veterans" promotion, for instance, allows any honorably discharged veterans to vacation at Shades of Green during January and September.

soldier looking through the window at an airport

3. Free Space-A Travel

Veterans and their families can travel with Space-A flights – formally known as Military Airlift Command or MAC flights – to take advantage of cheaper flights. Military flights can be more unpredictable than standard commercial flights, but for travelers who have room for flexibility and a desire to save money, they are worth looking into.

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Salute to Veterans Rally
My Parents - happy senior couple

5. Long-Term Care

Many veterans qualify for valuable long-term care benefits through the VA. These benefits can help with daily living activities, medical care, and support, whether needed at home, in a community setting, or in a nursing home. Depending on your needs and eligibility, options may include skilled home health care, adult day health programs, homebound meal delivery, or assistance with bathing, dressing, and medication management. 

For veterans with service-connected disabilities, financial assistance may be available to cover some or all of these costs. Just remember that enrollment in VA healthcare is necessary to access most long-term care services. 

Related: 12 Travel Benefits for Veterans and Service Members

Man in business suit giving house key to man in military uniform, state support

6. Mortgage Help

There are a variety of programs to help veterans secure a mortgage, and the cornerstone of this support is the VA Home Loan program. The program offers competitive rates, no down payment requirements, and waived insurance, making it significantly more accessible than traditional loans. 

State and local programs, along with veterans service organizations, provide down payment grants, homebuyer education, and advocacy specific to veterans' needs. 

Baggage claim luggage conveyor belt at airport

7. Airline Discounts on Baggage

Many airlines salute veterans by offering baggage fee discounts. Some carriers, like JetBlue and American Airlines, extend free checked bags for active duty personnel on official or personal travel, while others like United Airlines and Southwest Airlines offer special fares that include generous baggage allowances.