Entering civilian life after being in the military can be a daunting process. You will have to make arrangements for things that have previously been taken care of for you, such as health insurance and other benefit coverage, and will need to acquire a job or career to supplement your income. There are many resources available, however, that can make your transition into civilian life a little easier.
Extended Health Care Benefits
You don’t have to go without health care coverage as soon as you leave the service. There are a few programs that can help you extend your benefits while you search for a new job or other coverage options.
During your military career, you have been under the TRICARE health care plan that all service members enjoy. After you leave the service, you may be eligible for their Transition Assistance Management Plan, or TAMP. This plan will provide a few months of temporary health care coverage. To find out if you’re eligible for this plan and to apply, you can visit the TRICARE website for more information.
If you are approved for TAMP coverage, you may also be able to get additional coverage after your temporary health care has expired. You can apply for these benefits through the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) in the timeframe after your TAMP coverage runs out, and if accepted, your health care benefits will be extended for up to eighteen more months.
If you are eligible for these programs, you will receive peace of mind knowing you are safely insured while you continue your transition back into civilian life.
Financial assistance is available to you if you would like to pursue an educational degree, now that you are no longer in the military. Going back to school can help you further your career goals and increase your income earning potential. Due to your military background, you may be eligible to finance your education through the G.I. Bill, which entitles you to receive funds that can be used for educational purposes. You can use this money towards college, vocational schools, and certification training.
You can also use any funds you contributed to the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) towards your education. This money is available for up to ten years after you leave the military. Even better, you should receive double the amount you put in, as the government matched your contributions to the fund. You may also find some discounts or financial assistance programs for military personnel at many state schools. These options can aid you in achieving your educational goals.
Finding Employment Opportunities
The hardest part about returning to civilian life is finding employment. Job seeking can be a harrowing experience, especially for those who haven’t been in the workforce for a while. However, being in the military has given you several skills and experiences that will benefit you at many jobs. Be sure to include these relevant skills and qualifications on your resume.
There are also many resources available to former military personnel seeking employment. There are job fairs and career databases of many companies that are looking for employees with skills from a military background. Using these resources will be sure to give you several employment opportunities to consider, and you’ll soon be fully integrated back into civilian life.