According to U.S. Census Data, there are over 9 million senior veterans in the United States. Despite the number, not all veterans take advantage of the multiple organizations that are out there to help senior veterans and their families as their age continues to rise. According to Aging.com, only a combined 6.3 percent of veterans over the age of 65 are receiving their possible benefits. This means that over 8 million veterans are not being provided the services that they are eligible to receive.
These are benefits that veterans have earned through their years of service to our country during a time of need. Listed below are a few of the veteran organizations that you can reach out to to help fight for the benefits that you or a loved one deserves. Many of the organizations listed are maintain a veterans for veterans approach. This type of care is essential because of the bond that veterans have for one another. No matter the age gap, the veteran for veteran approach fosters a great amount of respect and trust among veterans.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States VA is obviously one of the largest veteran advocacy organizations in the country. While veterans receive a lot of benefits early in their life, senior vets are still guaranteed many perks from their time served.
One example of this is the Aid and Attendance Fund that they are eligible to receive if they meet one of the following requirements:
- You require help performing daily functions, which may include bathing, eating or dressing.
- You are bedridden.
- You are a patient in a nursing home.
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
The VA also offers elderly veterans a list of health care options, including a Geriatrics program to those with complex health needs. Other options include long term care, home-based care and nursing home or residential care.
Other miscellaneous benefits included to all military veterans include disability compensation, pension, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial services.
“Serving our Veterans is a noble calling. We have a solemn responsibility to our Veterans – not just today, but in the months and years to come, to set the standard for the millions coming into our VA, and for the millions who will join the ranks down the years,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said in an address to the organization.
Senior Veterans Service Alliance
One of the biggest proponents in providing aid for senior veterans is the Senior Veterans Service Alliance. The Alliance is dedicated to helping senior veterans through a two-pronged approach by helping veterans receive cash benefits that they deserve from the VA and getting them in contact with other organizations for a more personalized approach. They help senior veterans get in touch with care professionals in their area that can help them with any medical, financial, or other type of assistance that they need. This type of two-pronged approach will help to support those veterans who served the country in a time of need and will improve the dignity, financial situation and the overall well-being of these seniors.
Some specific eldercare services that the SVSA lists are assisted living, estate planning and end of life advice, home care, and medicaid planning.
The SVSA allows veterans, spouses of veterans and adult children of veterans to apply to become members of their organization.
National Care Planning Council
The veterans benefits arm of the National Care Planning Council is available for seniors, veterans and their families in helping to establish a long-term care service. This type of care can be anything from medical, to personal and social services for those who are aging or unable to provide support for themselves.
Veterans benefits can also provide extra income for senior to pay for long-term care services such as assisted living or nursing care.
"This passion in particular, spills over to my helping veterans deal with long term care because I am a veteran providing help to other veterans and because I am disabled myself and most importantly, thanks to the VA healthcare system sustaining my life, I am able to help other veterans become aware of their benefits,” Thomas Day, director of the NCPC said.
State and County Veteran Service Officers
County Service Officers work under their respective state and can help eligible veterans in a number of ways. The officers can assist you or a loved one in helping with application for medical care, military records and veteran home loans. The officers will also help with compensation and pension issues that can arise. There are also certain counties that have dedicated funds to assist with temporary shelter and utilities as well as food and health supplies, medical or dental issues, job placement, counseling and transportation.
Many states will only hire former veterans to serve as the county service officers in order to maintain the veterans for veterans approach that has worked well with other organizations. The idea is that this type of relationship will foster a higher level of dedication from their service officers.
These types of nationwide organizations and state and county-run programs can help you or your loved ones receive the benefits that they deserve after their years of dedication to the country. Veteran benefits should not be seen as only career and end-of-life issues. They are benefits that all veterans can receive and should be taken advantage of in exchange for the service they have provided for the country.
At Landmark Senior Living, we try to give back to those who served our country and those who continue to do so. We are beginning a new campaign to help senior veterans and their spouses unlock the benefits available to them through the Aid and Attendance Program offered by the VA. If you’re looking for assisted living benefits for Veterans, visit Landmark Senior Living in Fall River.