The United States has over 12 million veterans above the age of 65. They fought for their country in conflicts such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars and, as a result, may be entitled to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
These benefits are designed to assist veterans with basic health and daily living needs, and, in this guide, we’ll look at the ways they can help.
Types of VA Benefits
Veterans are entitled to a huge number of benefits. The benefits they can apply for, and the sums provided, differ depending on disabilities, income, health, dependents, and more. Here is a list of some of the VA benefits available for elderly veterans and their families:
- Pension: A monthly benefit released to veterans or their families, helping them to deal with the financial challenges that they face. The VA pension is based on income and on something known as the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR), which is set by Congress.
- Disability Compensation: A monthly tax-free benefit paid to veterans who suffer from disabilities that are a direct result of their service. These benefits may also be paid to veterans suffering from injuries or issues that are indirectly related to their service.
- Education Benefits: Veterans can receive training related to professions that don’t require a college degree. This helps younger and more physically able veterans to enter a different profession.
- Death Benefits: The family of a deceased veteran can request that a flag be placed over the coffin and the VA will also provide grave markers or headstones free of charge. Other death benefits are available and increase substantially if the death occurred during active military service.
- Life Insurance: VA life insurance is there to protect the families of veterans after they are gone, providing some much-needed financial security in their time of need. These benefits payout when the veteran dies.
- Health Care: The VA Health Administration spans over 1,200 facilities and is designed to serve millions of veterans with their healthcare needs.
- Home Loans: In addition to programs that can help veterans build and renovate their homes, the VA has home loan programs with very favorable terms. These loans are provided through private lenders, with the VA guaranteeing a significant portion of the total amount.
- Long-Term Care: Elderly veterans can benefit from specific long-term care programs, with additional support provided in the home or at specialist medical centers.
VA Benefit Programs
There are two additional programs aimed at veterans, both of which are available to veterans who receive a pension and meet specific criteria:
Aid and Attendance
A & A provides a higher monetary amount and is offered to applicants who:
- Need help with the activities of daily living, including meal preparation and personal hygiene
- Have very limited eyesight
- Are a nursing home patient
- Are completely bedridden
This benefit also increases a veteran’s pension and is offered to individuals who are confined to their homes because of a severe disability.
How to Apply for VA Benefits
You can file an application with your local VA office or through an accredited rep. This page will help you locate VA buildings near you, with links to hospitals, clinics, cemeteries, loan officers, and benefits officers.
Alternatively, you can apply online using the eBenefits system.