Most holidays should include a reminder that goodwill towards mankind should not be restricted to a single day. Take Veteran’s Day for example. It may have passed already but there are certainly numerous ways to aid and assist the veterans in your life any day of the week. For us, the opportunity to advocate for the men and women who served our country is a tremendous honor. That is why we make sure to include veteran’s benefits in our ongoing research. Here is a list of benefits that should nicely complement the ones you may already know about:
Long-term Care Options
This is subject matter we already have considerable expertise in. Our knowledge of nursing homes, assisted living programs and other long-term care options is already part of our work with the elderly and the handicapped. In the case of veterans, there is a program available to them called Aid & Attendance. Caring for aging relatives, veterans or not, can be quite costly. By applying for Aid & Attendance, veterans and their spouses stand to receive amounts that will cover a great deal of these costs. For the veteran, that amount can be as high as $25,020. Widows of veterans can receive up to $13,560 for their own long-term care costs.
Caregiver Support Program
Of course, support comes in forms other than money. If you are caring for an ailing Veteran at home, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their caregiver support program offers a free support line. Those who reach out can speak to a caregiver support coordinator who will not only help with navigating benefits but will also be sure to sympathize with the stress that comes with care giving.
Those of us who have cared for a veteran and lost them can tell you how cathartic it is to just hear “Taps” played on a bugle. After all, many of us are at least somewhat aware of the ceremonial trappings of a military funeral. The families of that veteran, however, are privy to a few unique benefits to help with the grieving process. The U.S. flag draped over the casket will be meticulously folded twelve times by a total of six honor guards, three on each side of the casket. It is then handed to the next of kin. Families may request a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Free headstones or grave markers are also offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Additional Educational Benefits
Most veterans and their families already know about the GI Bill. Continuing education is still essential when it comes to the transition into civilian life. However, there is further assistance available to the student veteran.
Like any student, a veteran may decide that a college degree is not what they seek. Should a veteran seek a certification or vocational training, those options are certainly available and the GI Bill offers up to $2000 to cover their cost.
Perhaps the most little known fact is that a veteran’s unused credits can be transferred to spouses and dependents, thanks to the GI Bill. This benefit depends on specific service limits.
Free Tax Services
Military-related tax issues can be complicated, more so than traditional taxes. Luckily, military bases have Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices. Thanks to these offices, veterans and their family have access to free tax preparation services.
Men and women willing to give their lives for their country have difficulty obtaining traditional life insurance. No one said that military service is devoid of irony. Fortunately, the Service members’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program offers veterans up to $400,000 in life insurance. Competitive premium rates are also available.
Help with Mortgages & Foreclosures
47,725, roughly 8% of the homeless population, are veterans in the year 2016. Few facts define the term “insult to injury” like that one. Needless to say, simply finding and procuring a home is a struggle for veterans. To help, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers special repayment plans, loan forbearance and loan modification programs. There is also assistance available for veterans with VA loans and for those aforementioned homeless veterans. The VA also maintains a list of homes serviced by its loans that have gone into foreclosures. Veterans can search this list and purchase homes at a discount.
To say that veterans fought for their country is one way of looking at their service. Another way is to say that they fought for each other. From that perspective, we were part of that fight. Have we fought for our veterans like they fought for us? It is our sincere hope that we can do our part as caregivers and medical advocates.