Elderly veterans and their spouses, children and dependents can receive a number of benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Having provided an invaluable service to their country, veterans should not hesitate to take advantage of these benefits. The Senior Veterans Service Alliance (SVSA) exists to help veterans determine which benefits apply to them, so vets should contact this organization for assistance.
Many elderly veterans who have become disabled during their military service are eligible for a pension if they demonstrate financial need, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. As of 2011, a veteran can receive up to $1,644 per month from this benefit, or a couple can receive $1,949. In case of death, the veteran’s spouse or children may be eligible for the pension. Conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may entitle a veteran to additional compensation.
Having a service-related disability, a special service recognition or a low income can qualify veterans for health-care benefits. These benefits cover such care as medical exams, testing, medications, hospitalization, and alcohol and drug treatment.
Veterans' benefits will also help to cover the costs of receiving care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or the home setting. This benefit applies to vets who need assistance with daily living tasks like bathing, preparing food, dressing and taking medication. Veterans sometimes opt to live in state veterans' nursing homes, which are specifically for veterans and are jointly managed by the VA and state departments. Veterans must typically sign up on a waiting list to get in.
As some veterans age, they need to modify their homes to fit their needs. Others wish to move into a smaller apartment or condominium. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides loans to veterans for these purposes. Veterans can also receive money for adaptive equipment or vehicles if they have been severely disabled.
The VA also helps to pay burial costs for some veterans. For this benefit, veterans must be receiving the pension or care in a veterans' nursing home, or have received a disability during service.
Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.