7 Veterans Benefits For Seniors You May Not Know About
Updated on Nov 09 2018
Many senior Americans and Veterans are unsure about their qualifications for benefits, and they are unable to access them. Learn about your VA benefits to help fund your retirement, long-term health care and housing costs.
More than one-third of Americans over 65 are either wartime veterans or are married to one, which means they may qualify for VA benefits and programs that can help offset retirement costs. Yet less than 10 percent of those who qualify have even applied for Veterans Aid & Attendance, which can be used to help pay for in-home care, board and care and senior living and skilled nursing communities.
There are Millions in Unclaimed VA Benefit Funds
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there is approximately $33 million of unclaimed funds in which many veterans’ families have no idea the money is there. Don’t miss out on your VA benefits. Here are seven veteran’s benefits that you may not know about, that could save your family a lot of money:
1. Long-Term Care and Housing
Long-term care can be expensive, which is why the Aid and Attendance benefit is so helpful to pay for the cost of senior care. The primary requirements for Aid and Attendance are as follows:
- The veteran served during wartime
- The veteran meets asset and income limits
- The veteran requires care
Couples have the ability to receive up to $25,020 a year, and the Aid and Attendance benefit will help with a large portion of additional long-term care and housing costs. Assistance is also available for the spouses of veterans. You can access more Aid and Attendance benefit information directly from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to find out whether you qualify.
2. Veteran Homes
The VA operates many nursing homes for qualifying veterans. While there can be significant waitlists, elderly veterans who do qualify for care at a VA home receive excellent, low-cost long-term care. You can access a directory of VA nursing homes on the National Association of State Veterans Homes website.
3. Tax Preparation
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices on military bases offers veterans and their family free tax preparation services. The tax preparers who work in the military base offices have expertise working with the complicated nature of military-related tax issues. These services are not only helpful, but also save veterans time and money in their tax preparation.
4. Life Insurance
The VA provides veterans, servicemembers, and their families with $1.3 trillion in life insurance coverage each year. The VA also offers a variety of life insurance options, including:
Veterans can receive up to $400,000 in life insurance benefits as well as premium rates. Visit the VA site to apply for life insurance and determine your eligibility.
5. Mortgage and Loan Assistance
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers mortgage repayment assistance to veterans having trouble making their mortgage payments. The assistance includes the following:
- Help for those who have VA loans and are having trouble paying them back
- Loan forbearance and loan modification programs
- Special repayment plans at good rates
Learn more on the VA Home Loan’s website.
6. Caregiver Support
Caregivers play an important role in the health and well-being of veterans. The Caregiver Support Program offers training, educational resources and multiple tools to help you succeed. Learn more on the VA Caregiver Support guide.
7. Burial and Memorial Benefits
Funeral and burial costs are quite expensive and take many people by surprise. The VA will cover burial or cremation expenses for qualifying veterans. Qualifying veterans may also be buried in a national cemetery and may be eligible for a special memorial headstone. Learn more about the VA death and burial benefit.
Take Advantage of VA Benefits
Many veterans and their family are unaware of the assistance they can receive through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is why so many benefits go unclaimed each year. Now that you know more about the myriad of benefits, take advantage of the saving and support opportunities offered.
If you are approaching retirement, take advantage of VA benefits to help you fund your lifestyle and medical needs in your golden years. An expert financial advisor can also help you get your affairs in order so you’re ready for your future.
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