What Are the Veteran Living Benefits That Seniors Should Know About?
After retiring from military service, some United States veterans can be eligible for VA benefits. These benefits are meant to show gratitude to veterans for their service. You must meet requirements that include:
- They should be considered as completely disabled by a physician. Wartime veterans aged 65 or more are automatically considered to be totally disabled.
- Veterans should have served for at least a day in the military during wartime.
- The annual income of veterans should not exceed $27,180 (certain deductions apply). Their net worth cannot be above $127,061.
- Veterans need to apply through their local VA office to qualify.
Many seniors may not be aware of these valuable benefits that can help them.
Veteran Homes Benefits
Seniors can get assistance from Veteran Homes if they need a nursing home’s support to get the housing they require. To provide affordable and long-term care for veterans, the VA has several nursing homes in the country. Some facilities even provide veterans with additional amenities like social activities, healthcare and wellness programs to in-room amenities, etc. Seniors who want a facility nearby can visit the National Association of State Veterans Homes to check the list of suitable nursing homes.
Long Term Care- Aid and Attendance (A&A) Benefit
Aid and Attendance benefit given by the Department of Veteran Affairs enables veterans to pay for assisted living and other long-term care options. This gives the seniors the choice to partially cover their care costs even if they cannot get into a VA nursing home. This makes the price of long-term care more reasonable for veterans and their families. Assistance is also available for the spouses of veterans if they only require long-term care.
Veterans must have served during wartime and be eligible for various assets and income limits to qualify for the A&A benefit. This can provide a maximum monthly pension of $1,632 to veterans, $1,055 for surviving spouses, or $1,949 for couples. It is better to do the paperwork early since the process may be slow.
Caregiver Support Benefits
The VA also has a support program, including a free support line and access to the VA's caregiver support coordinator. These resources help inform families about various military benefits and provide resources to relieve caregiving stress. The program also covers a free online workshop and compensation for caregivers.
Caregivers enrolled in VA health services of veterans who were injured severely, either physically or mentally, and have served since September 11, 2001, can qualify for this program. To qualify as a VA caregiver, one must take an online course. Caregivers receive a monthly stipend, travel expense coverage related to the veteran's care, mental health services, and much more. These stipends are designed for familial and friend caregivers. They are used for veterans needing assistance for living securely in their homes.
Burial and Memorial Benefits
There are benefits for qualifying veterans to cover the burial or cremation costs in case of their tragic demise. They can be buried in a national cemetery and receive a memorial headstone if they prefer.
Medicaid and Medicare
Veterans should check with Medicaid and Medicare to see what coverage they can get, even if they don't essentially qualify for all the required VA benefits. VA offices also have experts to help seniors through the process.