For retired Veterans that need help with daily tasks, the VA offers a multitude of benefits in the form of pensions, loans, health care services and more. Caregivers that oversee the well being of such Veterans are also eligible to apply for these benefits on behalf of Veterans and to even compensate themselves for services rendered in helping their Veteran.
What is the VA?
The VA, known officially as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is an agency that provides benefits for military Veterans and their families. The VA is broken up into three distinct divisions that administer different aspects of the VA’s programs and services. These are as follows:
- The Veterans Benefits Administration
- The Veterans Health Administration
- The National Cemetery Administration
The Benefits Administration deals primarily with providing eligible Veterans with their full benefits amount, as determined by their income, disability status, service status, and age. The Health Administration is primarily concerned with administering to the VA hospitals and providing care for Veterans in need. The National Cemetery Administration honors the fallen Veterans of the United States with nationwide VA grave sites as well as burial services. Burial benefits available include gravesites, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no cost to the family.
Who is Eligible for Benefits?
Eligibility requirements for benefits depend on several factors. In general however, the following groups are eligible to receive some sort of veteran benefits from the VA:
- Uniformed Servicemembers
- Veteran’s Dependants
- Surviving Spouses
- Caregivers for Veterans
The baseline criteria for all benefits is that the Veteran receive a discharge other than dishonorable. Additional criteria depends on the type of benefit applied for and includes wartime service, disability status, income, net worth, and minimum duty requirements. Eligibility for dependents, spouses, and caregivers are entirely dependent on the Veteran’s eligibility.
Wartime Veterans with limited income are eligible to receive a tax-free monthly pension if they are at least 65 years old or permanently disabled. There are also increased pension benefits for the disabled and housebound Veterans of the United States. Aid & Attendance applies for Veterans and surviving spouses who need another person to assist them with ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) such as dressing, bathing, and eating. This pension applies for any Veterans in nursing homes or assisted living facilities as well. Housebound applies for any Veterans with the above-mentioned issues with ADL’s but whom are bound to their home due to a permanent disability.
Veterans who have received a disease or disability in the line of duty (or during their service time) may qualify for this monthly, tax-free benefit.
Known as the death pension, this benefit is payable to un-remarried, surviving spouses and the children of deceased Veterans. This benefit amount is determined by the recipient's financial needs.
Home Loans Services
The VA also offers some housing benefits and grants to Veterans, service members, spouses, and others. This includes guaranteed loans, wherein the VA guarantees a portion of a loan taken out by Veterans with a third party lender. These can be used for purchasing homes, condominium units, manufactured homes, and repairing or improving a household. The VA also helps Veterans refinance VA and non-VA loans at lower interest rates. In addition, the VA also helps Veterans with severe disabilities to acquire grants that help them afford accommodating living spaces.
Health Care Services
The Veterans Health Administration provides services in more than 1700 sites across the United States. Additionally, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive healthcare program that caters to eligible dependents and surviving spouses of Veterans. These services include:
- Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services
- Domiciliary, nursing home, and community-based residential care
- Specialized health care for female veterans
- Alcohol abuse and drug dependency treatment
- Homeless veteran programs
VA Burial Benefits
The VA also offers multiple benefits and services to deceased Veterans and service members. Veterans can receive an inscribed headstone and medallion, as well as a burial allowance that is based on the dependent's income qualifications. An American flag is also supplied upon request, free of charge, along with Presidential Memorial Certificates. All Veterans are also eligible to be buried in VA national cemeteries.
How to Apply for Veterans Pension Benefits
To apply, you can go online to the VA website and submit an online application. You can also download VA Form 21P-527EZ and mail the physically completed form to your local Pension Management Center. You can also visit your local regional benefits office to submit your application in person or ask any questions.
No matter where you are in life, Landmark Senior Living is here to make the process of growing older less worrisome and stressful. In the business of helping seniors for more than 30 years - our mission is to provide the best care in thriving communities that foster meaningful relationships for the rest of your life. We care about those who served our country and those who continue to do so. That’s why we’re unveiling 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.