Elaina Thomakos – Care Communication Liaison
Benefits Available to Veterans and Survivors
Veterans are eligible for a multitude of benefits through various organizations, namely the Veterans Health Administration (VA), but veterans are not always aware of these benefits that they are entitled to or how to obtain them. Many different types of benefits are available that can assist with all aspects of life, including medical, financial, educational, and more. Not all veterans are eligible for every service and benefit; eligibility depends on factors such as length of service, discharge status, and income.
Health Care Benefits
Eligible veterans can receive health care through a VA facility of their choosing. Care is almost always provided through a VA facility, except in cases where specialized care is needed, and the VA is unable to provide this care. Some veterans can receive care without any copays. This is determined through a financial assessment taking factors such as income, disability rating, and military service history into consideration. Examples of services VA health care may cover include:
- Preventative health services, including health screenings and immunizations
- Inpatient hospital services, such as surgeries
- Urgent and emergency care services
- Long term care, such as in assisted living facilities
- Prescriptions written by a VA doctor
- Mental health care
- Women’s health
- Assisted living and home health care
- Therapy and rehabilitation services
- Vision and some dental care
In addition to these services, the VA will also cover non-medical services related to medical treatment, such as transportation related to medical care and providing caregiver support for the people assisting with the care of the veteran.
Veterans with disabilities may be eligible for disability compensation and additional health care services to manage their conditions. Eligibility for these financial and medical benefits is based on factors such as service in active duty, disability rating, and the relation of the disability or condition to the veteran’s service in the military.
Eligible veterans can receive monthly payments through a pension. This benefit is primarily determined through the veteran and their spouse’s income and net worth. It is also dependent on the veteran’s time and active duty in service, the veteran’s age, and disability status. In addition to receiving a pension, some veterans are also eligible for additional financial compensation through a program called Aid and Attendance or Housebound. Aid and Attendance is available to veterans that need constant help with activities of daily living, are in a nursing home, are confined to a bed, or have limited vision. Housebound is for veterans that must spend most of their time in their homes due to permanent disability. Aid and Attendance and Housebound are separate benefits, and a veteran cannot receive both at the same time.
Community Resources for Veterans
Resources are often available for veterans in the communities they live in through organizations like churches and community centers. These types of resources can supplement the benefits provided by the VA or be the main source of support for a veteran if they are ineligible for VA benefits. These resources can assist veterans that may be homeless, dealing with physical or mental health issues, or struggling financially. Resources across the country available to help veterans include:
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans: www.nchv.org/
- National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: 1-877-424-3838
- Peer Support Groups: www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/peer-support
- Military and Veteran Caregiver Network: www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/services-for-veterans/military-veteran-caregiver-network.html
- Hiring Our Heroes: www.hiringourheroes.org/
- Veterans Crisis Line: www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/hotline
- Fisher House: fisherhouse.org/
Care Management for Veterans
At The Option Group, care managers are available to help veterans navigate the overwhelming process of understanding and obtaining benefits. The benefits available to veterans have to be applied for and often require extensive applications and documents, all of which can be stressful and confusing. Care managers can help to determine if veterans or family members of veterans are eligible for benefits and guide them on how to begin applying or obtaining these resources.
If you or someone you care about needs additional support to help cope, The Option Group is here to help. Please contact our professional care management team for assistance.
About The Option Group: Founded in 2010, The Option Group’s compassionate team of experienced Certified Life Care Managers serves families, their loved ones, medical professionals, and professional family advisors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The firm understands the challenges of caring for an individual who needs assistance due to aging, dementia, disability, or serious illness. Their skilled providers possess over 100 years of combined experience navigating the healthcare maze and accessing hundreds of quality resources. The Option Group helps families spend quality time with their loved ones, providing clear choices that lead to better care. For more information, visit www.theoptiongroup.net or call 410-667-0266 (MD) or 717-287-9900 / 610-885-8899 (PA) / or 302-858-6449 (DE).