You have probably heard that your compensation is more than base pay. The United States offers their military personnel many benefits for themselves and their family.
The offerings are not just around work and living situation but also about travel, entertainment and education. However, with so many programs and benefit options out there it can be hard to make sure you are taking advantage of them.
Here are three steps to follow to ensure you are making the most of your military benefits:
1) Know your benefits
This might seem like a simple step, but knowledge really is power in this case. Did you know that a military family could go to a free 3 Doors Down concert and get a good discount on their road trip snacks from the Commissary?
There are some great resources available for both your day-to-day and special event needs.
Here are some links that will help you get to know your benefits:
Entertainment (concerts, comedy, etc.)
Sports (sporting and Olympic events)
Commissary (food discounts)
General VA and Active Duty Benefits
2) Talk with a benefits counselor
There are many people employed by the U.S. government that are that are a wealth of resources.
Instead of wasting time digging through endless websites talking about benefits, why not talk with the experts. These people have titles such as benefits specialist, facilities coordinator and military benefits coordinator.
One way to go would be to contact Military One Source which can help you with specific questions. Another local option would be to go into your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office and see what they have to say.
These individuals are happy to help you plan your next trip, get set up for your education needs or various other activities. They can also point you in the direction of other benefits agencies you can contact to find out more.
3) Take advantage
Of course your benefits won’t do you any good if you are not using them.
Now that you know what your benefits are and have talked to the experts, now is your time to go out there and take advantage of them.
These resources are there for you and your family to use and it is important that you take advantage of them.
Just this last year the federal government budgeted $16.4 billion toward veteran education benefits and it was reported that more military members and families are taking advantage of this.
However, with so many more benefit packages out there it is important that military personnel know what they are entitled to. Make sure you get your full compensation by taking advantage of your benefits.