People who served in America’s Armed Forces may be eligible for a variety of veteran’s benefits and services provided by federal, state and local governments. Entitlement is determined by the period of military service, service-connected disabilities and financial need. Your local state veteran counselor or veterans’ service agency can advise you of eligibility and help you prepare and present claims for entitled benefits. For more information call the number above, or your local veterans office.
NY State Division of Veterans Affairs Aide and Attendance Program
1)The veteran must have at least 90 days of service;of which one day must be within recognized wartime to be eligible. The qualifying periods of war for this benefit are the World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War.
2) For a spouse to receive benefits she/he needs to have been married to the veteran for a year and still be married to the veteran. Once you divorce the veteran, you are no longer able to receive benefits.
3) You can have a maximum of $80,000 in assets not including your house to be eligible for aide and attendance in an assisted living. There is no penalty for transfers.
4) Pension amount is determined by the amount of medical expenses that are paid out yearly. Contact a representative at the VA to determine your rate.
Criteria for Determining Need:
1) Inability of claimant to care for their Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as eating, dressing, toileting, or bathing due to loss of coordination of upper extremities or through extreme weakness.
2) Inability of claimant to care for the needs due to being physically or mentally incapacitated therefore requiring care or assistance on a regular basis to protect self from dangers in their daily environment.
Tips to getting Your Application Processed:
1) Send in a complete packet. There are different applications and forms used. Call the VA office and they will send out the forms necessary depending on your needs.
2)If you are the spouse and are looking for benefits, you need a copy of your marriage certificate, death certificate of spouse and Veterans discharge papers. Veteran just needs discharge papers.
3) When your doctor fills out the medical form have them stamp it so it is easy to read.
4) Do not leave anything blank. Provide a zero or the word “none” when necessary.
5) Make sure you ask the VA what letters you need from the nursing home, assisted living facility, home care agency or about a family care contract.
6)Get your military records. You need to have the Veterans Social Security number and date of birth. If you are a military veteran, or next of kin to the deceased former member of the military, you may request information for the discharge papers online at: www.archives.gov. Put form DD-214 in the “search” box on the website. You can complete it online or print it out to mail. If you are not a relative or next of kin you need to put form SF-180 in the “search” box on the website. It can then be faxed or mailed to the address on the form.
7) Remember to fill out interest and dividends to expedite completion.
8) If you fill out your own packet, still submit it through you VA office because they are able to track it progress for you. Applications usually take 6-12 months to be completed, but do pay retroactively from date of application receipt to the NY office.
9) If there is an increase in your rent you can write a letter stating the new amount and mail it to your VA office to get an increase as long as you are not already at the limit.
H Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Mailing address for Hauppauge:
Suffolk county Veterans Service Agency
PO Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Riverhead VA Center
300 Center Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901
2201 Hempstead Turnpike
Uniondale, NY 11554
There are many benefits for veterans and their spouses through the VA. Some include Pensions that assist with payment for assisted living, homecare, and $90.00 a month once eligible for Medicaid when in a nursing home. Receiving a VA pension also makes you eligible to receive a discount on your Verizon phone bill through the Lifeline program.
New York State offers a Blind Annuity benefit paid monthly to visually impaired wartime veteran who reside in the state. This benefit is extended to the un-remarried surviving spouse who remains a resident of the state.
Financial assistance for burial and plot expenses is available for certain eligible veterans. Headstones and grave markers also are provided for veterans with unmarked grave sites. Burial in National Cemeteries is available for eligible veterans and spouses.
Property Tax Exemption
Veterans may be eligible for a reduction in their real property tax. Your local assessor can assist in determining if you are eligible for such an exemption.
High School Diploma for WWII Veterans
Under legislation passed by New York State, World War II veterans who were not able to complete high school are eligible to receive a high school diploma from their local high school.