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Your military benefits after criminal accusations

Military benefits can ease the financial burden of housing, education and disability. To retain eligibility to receive these benefits, you must meet specific requirements.

Repeat foreclosure, lying about medical conditions and criminal conduct are all behaviors that may jeopardize your eligibility. Criminal charges, in particular, may temporarily affect your benefits. Knowing what to expect after criminal charges can help you plan your next steps.

Incarceration and benefits

You may not have the option of receiving VA benefits while incarcerated. However, if you have dependents that rely on your benefits, you may have the option of transferring your benefits to them. If you receive benefits for education assistance or disability, your payments may drop substantially or all together depending on your charges. Felonies impact your benefits much more significantly than other, more minor crimes.

Following your release from prison, you will need to promptly notify the Department of Veterans Affairs if you want your benefits reinstated. This process may take time to complete meaning you will not be able to begin collecting your benefits right away. If you foresee these causing problems, you will want to notify them one year prior to your release and again 30 days before you get out. If you follow instructions carefully, your benefits may begin again on the date of your release.

Appealing a decision

Getting the discouraging news of an unexpected sentence may leave you feeling hopeless about the future. According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, you have the right to file an appeal. Including new evidence may strengthen your case and improve your chances of a successful outcome. If the courts grant your appeal, you can request to have your veteran’s benefits reinstated at the earliest possible time.

Hiring an attorney to guide you through the processes of military court can help you feel peace of mind that you have not missed any crucial steps along the way.

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