Veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their families may be eligible to receive a broad range of programs and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). Comprehensive information about all of the benefits available from the VA can be found on the VA’s website, in the “Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependants and Survivors” booklet.
An overview of the benefits available and the eligibility requirements is outlined in the following paragraphs:
Benefits Generally: VA benefits available to those qualified may include disability or unemployability compensation, pensions, home loans, vocational rehabilitation, training, education and life insurance.
Medical Care: The VA’s health care program covers a number of services, including diagnostic work, treatments, preventative initiatives and hospital care. VA benefits may also cover nursing home and other long-term care.
Long-Term Care: Certain long-term care benefits, including home care, are available to all enrolled veterans. However, nursing home care and domiciliary care have additional eligibility requirements.
Eligibility: Veterans who were dishonorably discharged from service are not eligible for these VA programs. Veterans must generally be enrolled in the VA health system in order to receive benefits. Beyond that, a number of factors impact an applicant’s eligibility, including length of service, income level, resources available to the VA and whether the applicant’s disabilities are service-related.
Costs: Certain veterans, including low-income veterans, incur no costs for VA benefits. All others are required to make co-payments to subsidize the cost of the benefits. Unlike in Medicaid, there is no penalty for transferring assets before applying for VA benefits. However, keep in mind that the transfer of assets may affect Medicaid eligibility.
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