You may be eligible for VA benefits that you’re not aware of

VA regulations change periodically—so let’s determine if you qualify for additional VA benefits that can help with medical, home healthcare and assisted living costs.

Most veterans and their surviving spouses are not aware of all the VA benefits they qualify for. A vet who is over 65 and now disabled may qualify for much-needed money to pay medical bills. For example, if you are an honorably discharged veteran of WWII or Korea, you may be eligible for $1,949 per month or more, paid directly to you!

Elder Law at Ahrens DeAngeli Law Group can help you  learn:

  • how “secret benefits” are available to certain veterans over age 65.
  • how these benefits can be used to pay for home health care and assisted living.
  • how a vet can receive $1,949 or more per month in assistance.
  • why certain ways of qualifying for this benefit can become a “Medicaid Time Bomb.”
  • how to diffuse this “Medicaid Time Bomb.”
  • how to avoid having your life savings wiped out by medical expenses.

Please contact our office to learn about additional VA benefits you may qualify for.

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Benefits you may qualify for

The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) offers a broad range of services for veterans of all ages. Unfortunately, some services are underused because many older veterans and their families don’t realize these services exist or that they may qualify for benefits. They often don’t apply for VA benefits even though factors such as low income, medical care costs, disability, or war-time service may have made them eligible. They may even have been told by someone at the VA that they don’t qualify when they actually do!

Requirements for benefits change from time to time. Some benefits today do not require a service-related injury, though they may require co-payments for veterans whose family income and assets exceed the annual limit for no-cost service.

These and other benefits may be available to you:

  • Respite care to relieve family caregivers of veterans with dementia
  • Medical care for eligible veterans who served during war times, even if they served stateside or in non-combat areas
  • Disability compensation for veterans with service-related injuries
  • Non-service connected pension for low-income disabled veterans who served during war time
  • Burial benefits for eligible veterans
  • Death pension for low-income servicing spouse and dependents of veterans who served during war time

Please contact us for more information about these VA benefits and view our  VA-Nuts and Bolts Guide 2016.

U.S. veteran smiling

Obtaining Military Records

When filing a claim for veteran’s benefits, a veteran or surviving spouse must provide documentation of the veteran’s active duty service, wartime service, and discharge status. Veterans should have been given discharge or separation papers (often called a Form DD-214 after World War II). We recommend that claimants submit certified copies of their discharge papers to reduce the time it takes for the application process.

Where can I find them?
Many veterans keep their discharge papers in places such as safe deposit boxes, the family Bible, or tucked in picture frames behind family photos, particularly photos of the veteran in uniform. These are good places to begin your search.

What if I can’t I find them?
If you do not have a copy of the discharge papers, the fastest way for a veteran or the next of kin of a deceased veteran to obtain a duplicate copy is from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). You can submit the request online or fax or mail the forms. Use Form SF 180 for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine discharge papers. Use Form DD-2168 for Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Discharge Papers.

If you do not have access to the internet, but have a fax machine, you can call the Fax-On-Demand System at (301) 837-0990 from a fax machine, using the handset. Follow the voice instructions and request document number 2255. Otherwise, please call our office and we can provide copies of the forms.

If the veteran was discharged from the Army or Air Force before 1960, however, the National Archives record may have been destroyed in a large fire at a government building that occurred in 1973. The following personnel are most affected: Army personnel discharged November 1, 1912, to January 1, 1960 Air Force personnel discharged September 25, 1947, to January 1, 1964 (with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.). If the veteran’s papers were among those in the fire, the application will be delayed, as the veteran’s records will have to be reconstructed. We may assist the veteran with this process. If a veteran does not have his/her discharge papers and is thinking about applying for a pension benefit, please notify us as soon as possible to begin the reconstruction process right away.

Members of these groups may also qualify for VA benefits

In addition to active duty vets from the armed services, these groups also meet the active duty qualification for VA benefits. If you belong to any of these groups and received a discharge by the Secretary of Defense, your service meets the active duty service requirement for benefits:

  • Recipients of the Medal of Honor
  • Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs)
  • WWI Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit
  • WWI Engineer Field Clerks
  • Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)
  • Female clerical employees of the Quartermaster Corps serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI
  • Civilian employees of Pacific naval air bases who actively participated in defense of Wake Island during WWII
  • Reconstruction aides and dietitians of WWI
  • Male civilian ferry pilots
  • Wake Island defenders from Guam
  • Civilian personnel assigned to OSS secret intelligence
  • Guam Combat Patrol
  • Quartermaster Corps members of the Keswick crew on Corregidor during WWII
  • U.S. civilians who participated in the defense of Bataan
  • U.S. merchant seamen who served on block ships in support of Operation Mulberry in the WWII invasion of Normandy
  • American merchant marines in oceangoing service during WWII
  • Civilian Navy IFF radar technicians who served in combat areas of the Pacific during WWI
  • U.S. civilians of the American Field Service who served overseas under U.S. armies and U.S. army groups in WWII
  • U.S. civilian employees of American Airlines who served overseas in contract with the Air Transport Command between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • Civilian crewmen of certain U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey vessels between 12/7/41 and 8/15/45
  • Members of the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) who served between 12/7/41 and 8/14/45
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of TWA who served overseas between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. who served overseas between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • Honorably discharged members of the American Volunteer Guard, Eritrea Service Command, between 6/21/42 and 3/31/43
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of Northwest Airlines who served overseas between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • U.S. civilian female employees of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps who served in the de-fense of Bataan and Corregidor from 1/2/42 to 2/3/45
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of Braniff Airways who served overseas in the North Atlantic between 2/26/42 to 8/14/45
  • Chamorro and Carolina former native police who received military training in the Donnal area of central Saipan and were placed under command of Lt. Casino of the 6th Provisional Military Police Battalion to accompany U.S. Marines on active, com-bat patrol from 8/19/45 to 9/2/45
  • The operational Analysis Group of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Office of Emergency Management, which served overseas with the U.S. Army Air Corps from 12/7/41 through 8/15/45
  • Honorably discharged members of the Alaska Territorial Guard during WWII