Do I Need A Veterans ID
Veterans IDs are becoming more common as we see states and businesses offer discounts and benefits to veterans. However, there are still many people who are not sure if they need a Veterans ID or not. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of having a Veterans ID. In addition, we will explain the three types of veterans IDs.
Veteran Id: The VIC (Least Valuable)
The first reason to consider getting a Veterans ID is the discounts and benefits available. Many businesses offer special discounts for veterans, such as free meals or discounted services. With a Veterans ID, you can easily take advantage of these programs and start saving money.
The Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is relatively easy to obtain. You apply on the VA’s site. In short, you need: a different government issued ID, a digital copy of your DD-214, and a social security number.
However, the VA issues the VIC digitally. You can print it out and laminate, but it is a very basic ID. As a result, this is our least favorite form of Veteran’s ID. It is not useful past proving that you are a veteran.
Veterans ID: VHIC (Valuable)
This is is the “veteran’s ID” that most veterans have seen. However, it has strict guidelines to be eligible. In short, the VA only issues a Veterans Health Identification Card to: disabled veterans (service connected), a Purple Heart Recipient, or a former Prisoner of War.
Initially, the VA intended this ID to be used as a card to prove that the owner had VA health care. However, the ID has expanded to be very useful. The Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 allows the VHIC to be used to access military bases and installations.
Veterans are eligible to use the commissary, BX/PX, class 6, Information, Tickets, and Travel (ITT), gas station, MWR (outdoor recreation, bowling, theater, etc.), etc. However, veterans are not eligible to use the one base gyms. Typically, you can use anything that requires you to pay.
In addition, you also have access to the BX/PX online website. This is very useful for veterans wanting to do tax free shopping without driving to a base.
Department of Defense ID Card (Best of the Best)
The Department of Defense (DOD) ID card is the best of all the veteran IDs. This is the upgraded version of the Common Access Card (CAC card) that was used when I was on active duty. However, it is also the most difficult card to receive.
The DOD ID is only for those that are retired (medically or traditional), 100% disabled veterans, and those with a Medal Of Honor. In addition, the law specifically allows for veterans receiving TDIU to receive a DOD ID.
Remember, the barracks lawyer was wrong. You do not need to be 100% P&T to receive a DOD ID. You only need to be 100% or TDIU.
The DOD ID is an ID used for many things. Veterans can access base like the VHIC, but a DOD ID allows for access to gyms.
You Need A Veterans ID
In short, you need a veterans ID. Ideally, we want you to have a VHIC or DOD ID. However, the basic VIC is a good place to start. Each ID has a unique purpose, but you should keep at least one on you.
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