U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Veterans Administration (VA) is the United States federal agency which administers a system of benefits for veterans and their dependents. The current Secretary of Veterans Affairs is Eric Shinseki.
The VA operates 153 hospitals and over 700 outpatient clinics across the country that provide healthcare to veterans. Eligibility for these services depends on the length and details of each veteran's previous military service. For example, those who served on active duty or in combat are eligible for more benefits than others, while benefits may be denied to veterans who were discharged dishonorably. Additionally, individuals who were injured or became ill while on active duty are given a "service connection rating", which determines the benefits for which they are eligible.
The VA provides assistance to former service members in obtaining education and training while on active duty and after discharge. The details vary by the terms of enrollment in the military, but in general veterans must have served at least two years on active duty to be eligible for these benefits. Depending on the length of service, the VA provides $900-1100 per month to assist veterans in obtaining further education.
One aspect of assistant from the Veterans Administration is in the area of housing loans. The VA can make loans from 1 to 4 units with as little as 0% down, but the new loan maximum is only $417,000 and could be a problem for some high priced sections of the country. The Federal Housing Administration is another government agency that can help with housing loans.