This is the summary of a longer piece that appeared in the May & June 2010 issue of the AARP Magazine.
There are 23 million veterans in the United States. About 8 million receive VA benefits. Some don’t know they are eligible for benefits. I was one of those who didn’t know until a few years ago when another veteran told my wife and a friend that I was eligible. When I retired from teaching English and journalism in the public schools at sixty, I left the classroom without medical coverage and expected to wait several years before I was eligible for Medicare. Now I have the VA for my medical.
Here are a few facts to know:
1. A service-connected disability need not be a combat injury. Any injury suffered or aggravated while in uniform can be considered—even injuries incurred while traveling to and from National Guard duty.
2. If a veteran’s net pension is below $11,830 for a single vet or $15,493 if married, the VA may provide a pension to bring the veteran’s income up to that level.
3. Eligibility to receive health care at any of the VA’s 1,400 hospitals, clinics and care centers is based on an income test and is not limited to veterans who served during wartime.
4. Limited In-Home care is available to all veterans who meet the income test.
5. Assisted Living—Vets and their spouses who reside in an assisted living facility may qualify for an aid and attendance pension/allowance to help pay for costs of additional care.
6. Prescription drugs—the VA drug plan provides drugs free or for an $8 co-pay, depending on income.
7. Nursing home care—The VA owns and runs 132 nursing homes.
8. VA-guaranteed mortgages—If a vet pays off an old VA mortgage, he or she is eligible to take advantage of this benefit again.
Note: For more information, check the original article at AARP Magazine on-line.
Learn more about PTSD
Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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