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National Guard and Reserve

Your Benefits: Active Guard Reserve

National Guard and Reserve members with active service may qualify for a variety of VA benefits. Active service includes:

  • Active duty (Title 10) - full-time duty, such as, but not limited to, a unit deployment during war, including travel to and from such duty, OR
  • Full-time National Guard duty (Title 32) - full-time duty, such as responding to a national emergency or duties as an Active Guard Reserve, where you receive pay from the Federal government

Home Loans

VA Home Loan benefits help Servicemembers and Veterans purchase, retain, or adapt a home. National Guard and Reserve members may qualify for a VA-guaranteed home loan by meeting one of the following conditions:

  • Six years of service in the Selected Reserve, AND
    • Were discharged honorably, OR
    • Were placed on the retired list, OR
    • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR
  • Continues to serve in the Selected Reserve longer than six years, OR
  • Served for 90 days or more on active duty (Title 10) during a wartime period, OR
  • Served at least 90 days of active duty service including at least 30 consecutive days (your DD214 must show 32 USC sections 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 activation), OR
  • Were discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability

Our Loan Guaranty Service administers this program. Learn more about general rules for eligibility and how to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility.

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VA Education benefits provide financial support for undergraduate and graduate degrees, vocational and technical training, licensing and certification tests, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. National Guard and Reserve members may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill - at least 90 aggregate days of active service after September 10, 2001, or were discharged with a service-connected disability after serving at least 30 consecutive days after that date.
  • Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty - There is various eligibility criteria for this program and a minimum service obligation.
  • Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) - must have 6-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve, completed Initial Active Duty for Training (IADT), served in a drill unit and remain in good standing, and have a high school diploma or equivalency.
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) - served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 for at least 90 consecutive days.

Learn about how to apply on our Apply for Benefits page.

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Life Insurance

VA Life Insurance programs consider the extra risks involved in military service to provide you and your family with added financial security at competitive rates. Each of the following insurance programs has different eligibility requirements; however, coverage enrollment is automatic for SGLI, FSGLI, and TSGLI.

Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

  • National Guard or Reserve member scheduled to perform at least 12 periods of inactive duty training per year, OR
  • Individual Ready Reserve member who volunteers for a mobilization category

Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI):

  • Servicemember separating, retiring, or being released from Reserve or National Guard assignment and already covered by SGL,I OR
  • National Guard or Reserve member covered by part-time SGLI who incurred a disability or aggravated a pre-existing disability while performing inactive duty training or traveling to/from duty, OR
  • Member of the Individual Ready Reserve or Inactive National Guard

You must apply within one year and 120 days from discharge.  However, Servicemembers who submit their application within 240 days of discharge do not need to submit evidence of good health.  Service members who apply after the 240 day period must submit evidence of good health.  You can convert your SGLI to VGLI through eBenefits.

Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

  • Spouse or dependent child of an active duty Servicemember covered by full-time SGLI, OR
  • Spouse or dependent child of a member of the National Guard or Reserve of a uniformed service covered by full-time SGLI

SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI)

  • Member of the uniformed services and have SGLI, OR
  • Suffered an injury that resulted in a qualifying loss between October 7, 2001 and November 30, 2005

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Disability Compensation

Disability compensation is a monthly tax-free benefit paid to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that occurred or were aggravated during active duty or active duty for training. VA also pays Disability Compensation for disabilities from injury, heart attack, or stroke that occurred during inactive duty training. The disability must not be a result of your own willful misconduct, or alcohol or drug abuse.

Veterans with a service-connected disability may also quality for other benefits, including: Automobile Allowance, Clothing Allowance, and Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant.

You can apply for this benefit through eBenefits.

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VA Pension provides tax-free monthly benefit to wartime Veterans with limited or no income. Additionally, for establishing eligibility based on Title 32 service, a disability must be shown to have been incurred or aggravated during that service.

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Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)

VA provides vocational counseling, job-search assistance, and other education and training services to certain Veterans with a service-connected illnesses or injuries. Learn more about VA's employment services for Veterans with service-connected disabilities.

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Health Care 

VA health care benefits include all the necessary inpatient hospital care and outpatient services to promote, preserve, or restore your health. Medical, dental, pharmacy, and prosthetic services. For establishing eligibility based on Title 32 service, a disability must be shown to have been incurred or aggravated during that service.

Returning Service Members (OEF/OIF/OND): If you served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, you are eligible for an extended period of free VA health care benefits, with enrollment allowed up to 5 years from the date of discharge or release.

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VA provides memorial services and allowances to help reimburse burial costs for a Veteran and/or his or her dependents. Burial benefits include burial at a national cemetery, an inscribed headstone, marker, or medallion, an allowance to partially reimburse the burial and funeral costs of a Veteran, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and an American flag to drape over a Veteran's casket.

Eligibility requires that the Veteran was serving on active duty, or his/her death was due to an injury or disease that developed during, or was aggravated during, active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

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