Have you met your VA benefits advisor?

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — As 2015 comes to a close, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is reflecting on the impact that VA benefits advisors have made in the lives of transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members.

As part of the Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, more than 300 VA benefits advisors are stationed at more than 280 military installations around the world.

Advisors conduct the mandatory VA Benefits I and II Briefings and the Career Technical Training Track, a two-day workshop that helps service members identify civilian occupations, establish career goals, and begin applying for credentials and technical training.

In addition, advisors are available to meet with you one-on-one to answer questions about VA benefits, eligibility requirements, and application processes.

Almost all VA benefits advisors are veterans or military spouses themselves. They understand the unique needs of service members and veterans and can relate to the many challenges they may face after returning to civilian life. Through November, VA benefits advisors have helped more than 178,000 transitioning service members, veterans, and family members this year.

As one service member put it, “My advisor’s knowledge was undeniably thorough, and he kept the class entertained and engaged. He was really down to earth, and I can’t wait to schedule my appointment with him to discuss some of the topics in more depth so I can figure out which benefits are best for me.”

During one-on-one sessions this year, advisors helped service members research how to maximize their VA benefits and register on eBenefits, VA’s online application portal.

They showed compassion to veterans who experienced a death in the family and needed to quickly submit the correct paperwork during a difficult time. They worked with homeless veterans to find housing resources, and they helped transitioning service members use the Veterans Employment Center to begin the search for a civilian career.

Don’t wait to take advantage of your VA benefits advisor’s knowledge and expertise.

You can talk to your advisor in person or on the phone to discuss your specific questions and concerns.

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