Purple Heart Benefits

Purple Hearts
The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The Purple Heart is America's oldest military decoration. The original Purple Heart, was known as the Badge of Military Merit, which was in the design of a purple heart and created by then General George Washington in 1782. It was redesignated as the Purple Heart in 1927, and has been known as such ever since.

The Purple Heart is awarded for being wounded or killed in any military action against an enemy.

Recipients of the Purple Heart receive many special federal and state benefits.

Federal Benefits

Automatic Upgrade of Medical Priority Group

The VA has eight different priority groups for veterans seeking medical treatment. Those in group 1 have a disability of 50% or greater and get all their medical care free from the VA. Those in priority group 8 aren't usually eligible for medical care because their disabilities aren't service-connected or their income is too high.

Purple Heart recipients are automatically upgraded to priority group 3 regardless of the severity of their injuries or their income. This gives them higher priority access to medical care and relieves them from paying any copays for VA medical treatment or hospitalization.

If their injuries that earned them the Purple Heart aren't severe enough to give the at least a 30% disability (which would place them in priority group 2), they may have to pay a copay for medicine received from the VA.

Home Loan Benefits

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, active duty members who have been awarded the Purple Heart are exempt from the VA Home Loan funding fee.

GI Bill Benefits

Purple Heart recipients are automatically granted full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits regardless of the amount of time they spent on active duty. Normally to get the full Post-9/11 GI Bill, a veteran needs to serve at least 36 months of active duty.

Hiring Preference

Purple Heart recipients with an honorable discharge are granted a 10 point preference for federal hiring.

State Benefits

Most states offer several benefits to Purple Heart recipients, these can range from free college for them and their family members to special license plates. Check out our state benefits page for details.

Stay on Top of Your Veteran Benefits

Military benefits are always changing. Keep up with everything from pay to health care by subscribing to Military.com, and get access to up-to-date pay charts and more with all latest benefits delivered straight to your inbox.

Story Continues