Here's How to Access and Maximize Your National Guard Veteran Benefits (2024)

Navigating the endless number of Army National Guard Veteran benefits can be a big task. However, understanding and finding these benefits is important for Veterans to receive the support they rightfully deserve. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the question on everyone’s mind, do National Guardsmen get Veteran benefits? From educational opportunities to healthcare services and beyond, this article serves as a map for Veterans looking to discover all of their entitlements.

Accessing National Guard Veteran Benefits: Qualifying Service

The general rule of thumb is all National Guard and Reserve members who were discharged or released under conditions that are not considered dishonorable are eligible for some type of VA benefits. Additionally, factors such as length of service, service commitment, and duty status for certain benefits play a role.

Active Service

Active service includes full time duty in the Armed Forces, such as unit deployment in the war, and travel to and from such duty. It doesn’t include active duty for training or full time National Guard duty performed.

This pay includes responding to an emergency or duties as an AGR member. Secondly, state active duty is based upon each state law and does not qualify for active service for VA benefits.

Apply and access benefits at

Traditional Service

Traditional members serve one weekend per month and two weeks a year. However, they may become eligible for some VA benefits after a service commitment. Eligibility for disability pay requires the injury or disease to be a direct result from the line of duty during active duty or active duty training.

Inactive duty training requires the disability to have been from injury, heart attack, or stroke. There are other benefit programs available but they require a specified number of days of active service.

Technician Service

Technicians are civilian employees who are employed by the Department of the Army or of the Air Force. They must maintain membership in the National Guard or Reserves in order to retain employment.

Military technicians are typically work one weekend a month and two weeks a year which allows them to be eligible for some VA benefits. Additionally, others may be established based on the length of Guard, Reserve, or active service.

What VA Benefits Are Available?

Disability Compensation

This is a monthly tax free benefit paid to Vets who are at least 10% disabled because of injury or disease that occurred during active duty or active duty training.


Pension is a tax free benefit paid to Vets with a limited income and net worth, who were in the service during a wartime period. Generally you must have 90 days or 24 months of active service.

Home Loan Guaranty

The loan program connects National Guard and Reserve members with home loans that have discounted terms. Private lenders provide the loan and the VA guarantees a portion of it allowing things such as little or no down payment or mortgage insurance premiums.

Qualifications for this loan are:

  • » Served for 90 days or more on active duty during a wartime period, OR
  • » Were discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability, OR
  • » Have six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, AND

› Were discharged honorably, OR Eligibility for VA Education Benefits

  • › Are on the retired list, OR
  • › Have been transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after honorable service, OR
  • › Serving in the Selected Reserve


Benefits include financial assistance for undergraduate, graduate, vocational and technical training, licensing and certification tests, apprenticeships, and on the job training.

To view in depth eligibility tables click here.


These benefits include inpatient hospital care and outpatient services. Furthermore, eligibility for VA health care requires that you served on active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered.

If you served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, you are eligible for free VA health care benefits for up to 5 years from the date of discharge or release according to

Other factors determine if health care benefits are available for non-combat Veterans, or those with combat service prior to November 11, 1998. Visit to learn more at


The VA even offers burial and memorial services to honor deceased Veterans.

» The VA can get a headstone or marker for any cemetery, or a medallion in place of a headstone, or marker to affix to a private purchase.

» They can provide a burial and/or plot allowance to partially reimburse the burial and funeral costs of a Veteran.

» Additionally, the VA can provide a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) for the next of kin and loved ones of a deceased Veteran.

» VA can provide an American flag to drape the casket of a Veteran.

» Finally, a Veteran and his or her dependents can be buried in a VA national cemetery.


Another realm of helpful National Guard benefits lies within insurance. All of the information below can vary by state. Therefore, be sure to look into National Guard benefits by state. A few options include:

» Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

» Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance

» Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance

» SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection

» Service Disabled Veterans’ Insurance

Contact the VA for More Information About National Guard Veteran Benefits

Interested in learn more about National Guard Veteran benefits, if you qualify, and how long it will take to access them? Be sure to contact the VA for questions related to the timeline benefit access. Lastly, for smaller, more generalized questions, check out some of the resources below.

» Find links to VA benefits information and apply at

» Visit them at » Use IRIS, VA’s tool to find information and ask questions online at » Call them at 1-800-827-1000

» Lastly, visit the nearest VA regional office

Related reads:

  • Here’s How Vets Can Use Both Post- 9/11 and Montgomery GI Benefits
  • Women Veterans Should Know About These Available Resources and Benefits
Here's How to Access and Maximize Your National Guard Veteran Benefits (2024)


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