Veterans Benefits

There are many VA benefits available to older veterans of the U.S. military. From mental health to home health, we want you and your family to enjoy all the benefits you’ve earned. Find out if you or your loved ones are eligible and how to apply.

Aid & Attendance (A&A)

Aid and Attendance is a financial assistance benefit for veterans and their spouses that is added to a monthly VA pension. Veterans who need physical assistance with daily living may qualify for this benefit. 

Eligibility: 

  • You require help to perform daily functions, which may include bathing, eating or dressing.

  • You are bedridden or have to stay in bed most of the day because of an illness.

  • You are a patient in a nursing home because of a mental or physical disability.

  • Your eyesight is limited.

How to Apply:

  • Contact your local pension management center (PMC) to request the correct forms and information. 

  • Visit your regional VA office and apply in person.

Some veterans and their spouses may qualify for housebound benefits if you need help because of permanent disability and cannot leave your home. The Housebound benefit is added to a monthly VA pension. However, veterans or their spouses cannot receive A&A benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time. 


Burial & Memorial Services

VA burial benefits can help ease the financial burden of burial and memorial costs for service members, veterans and their family members. Even if your loved one died years ago, you may still be eligible. There is no time limit to file a claim for a service-connected burial. For non-service-connected burials, a claim must be filed within two years. 

Burial

A national cemetery burial includes an allowance for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses

  • Transportation of the veteran’s remains to the burial site

  • A plot or internment 

You will be reimbursed according to an allotment and not for the actual cost of the funeral. Funeral director services are not covered.

Eligibility:

To apply for burial benefits you must be one of the following: 

  • The veteran’s surviving spouse

  • The partner from a legal union 

  • A child of the veteran 

  • A parent of the veteran 

  • The executor or administrator of the veteran’s estate or a legal representative of the veteran

How to Apply:

Apply online, by mail or in person at your nearest regional VA office. 


Counseling/Mental Health

Veterans of all ages can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and grief. If you are experiencing symptoms like disrupted sleep and uncontrolled anger, there are resources and VA staff who can help. With VA mental health benefits you can:

  • Schedule an in-person appointment with a VA mental health provider

  • Meet with a telemental health care provider through a mobile device

  • Talk privately to a fellow veteran with similar experiences as you

  • Get group counseling or individual counseling (for combat veterans)

How to Apply:

For the confidential peer support BeThere program, call 1-800-342-9647.

For combat veteran counseling contact your nearest Vet Center or call 877-927-8387


Disability Compensation

Veterans who became sick or injured before, during or after military service may receive disability benefits. VA disability compensation is a monthly payment to veterans who suffer from physical or mental health conditions caused or aggravated by their service. Dependents of veterans may also qualify.

Eligibility:

If you served on active duty and have a disability rating, you can file one of these claims:

  • Inservice disability claim: You were injured during your military service.

  • Preservice disability claim: Military service made an illness or injury you already had worse.

  • Postservice disability claim: Your active-duty related disability manifested after your military service.

How to Apply:

You can file a claim for disability compensation and related benefits online. Start the application here. You may need documentation of your disability from medical records and supporting statements from friends and family.


Education and Training 

It’s never too late to learn something new. Veterans and qualified family members can get help with choosing a school, paying tuition, and career counseling. 

Eligibility:

To get VA education benefits, you must qualify through one of the Montgomery GI Bills.

Requirements of Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

  • You served two years active duty

  • You were honorably discharged

  • You have a high school diploma, GED or 12 hours of college credit

  • You meet other requirements

Requirements of Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

  • You are a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard

  • You are an officer in the Selected Reserve who agreed to serve 6 years in addition to your initial service obligation

  • You meet other requirements

How to Apply:

Fill out an online form through the VA and they will direct you to the right application.


Health Care & Health Insurance

VA health care has you covered. Veterans and qualifying family members can get access to primary care doctors, specialists, prescription medications and medical equipment. Geriatric care and home health services are also available.

Eligibility:

You may qualify for VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, naval or air service and received an honorable discharge. You may be more likely to receive benefits if you already receive a VA pension.

How to Apply:

Apply for VA health care online, by phone, by mail or in person. You can also visit your nearest VA medical center. 


Housebound

Housebound benefits are similar to Aid & Attendance and are added to a monthly VA pension. However, veterans or their spouses cannot receive A&A benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Eligibility:

You or your spouse may qualify for housebound benefits if you:

  • Need help because of permanent disability and cannot leave your home 

  • Are already receiving a VA pension

How to Apply:

  • Contact your local pension management center (PMC) to request the correct forms and information. 

  • Visit your regional VA office and apply in person. 


Assisted Living & Nursing Homes

Assisted living can help veterans who need long-term care like physical therapy and help with everyday tasks. Caregivers can also get support from skilled helpers and home health aides. VA-approved nursing homes and assisted living centers provide more permanent care for qualifying veterans.

Eligibility:

To get assisted living benefits you must:

  • Be enrolled in VA health care

  • Need a specific service to help with your ongoing treatment and personal care

  • Live in an area where that service is available

How to Apply:

Contact your VA social worker for more information. If you’re not currently in the VA health care program, you will need to enroll before you can apply for assisted living benefits.


Job Training

On-the-job training programs can help you pay for supplies and housing while you learn a trade. Get an apprenticeship and hands-on experience for jobs like firefighting, plumbing and welding. 

Eligibility:

Most veterans are eligible to receive job training benefits through the GI Bill. Spouses and children may qualify in some cases.

How to Apply:

The VA has to approve your training program before they can offer benefits. Visit your regional VA office and apply in person. 


Home Loans

Everybody needs a place to call home. VA home loan programs can help you buy, build, make improvements to or refinance your home. Loan and grant programs include:

  • Purchase Loans

  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL)

  • Native American Direct Loans (NADL)

  • Cash-out Refinance Loans

  • Adapted Housing Grants

Eligibility:

Your duty status, length of service or commitment are all factors in determining your eligibility. Every loan applicant must get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can apply for a COE through VA housing assistance. You will also have to meet the criteria of your lender.

How to Apply:

Bring your COE to your lender and they can take it from there. Contact your local VA office to apply for an Adapted Housing Grant. 


Pension Benefits

Some wartime veterans and their survivors can receive pension benefits. A pension benefit is financial assistance for wartime veterans who are age 65 or older and who have limited income, or have a permanent non-service-connected disability. 

Eligibility:

Eligibility for a pension depends on a number of factors which include:

  • Your net worth

  • The dates that you served in active duty

  • Your age

  • Your disability rating

How to Apply:

  • Contact your local pension management center (PMC) to request the correct forms and information. 

  • Visit your regional VA office and apply in person.