Veterans Benefits. Chapter. In This Chapter

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1 Veterans Benefits Chapter Veterans of the United States armed services may be eligible for some or all of the benefits outlined in this chapter. For additional information or a list of benefits not covered in this chapter visit or one of the veterans' service organizations listed in the Chapter 1. In This Chapter Section -1 Veteran Health Care Benefits Section -2 Service-Connected Disability Pension Section -3 Non-Service Connected Pension Section - Additional Benefits Section -5 How to Apply 7

2 Chapter Veterans Benefits -1 Veteran Health Care Benefits To qualify for health care benefits, you must have served in the active military, naval or air service (reservists and National Guard members also qualify if called to active duty for non-training purposes and completed the order). VA Form 10-10EZ Application for Health Benefits med.va.gov If you enlisted after September 7, 1980 or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, you must have served 2 continuous months or the full period called to active duty. In addition, you must have been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. To apply for health care benefits, complete VA Form 10-10EZ Application for Health Benefits. This form may be obtained from any VA health care facility, regional benefits office, or on the Internet at or by calling Once enrolled, you are assigned to a priority group which will help determine your eligibility. The priority groups are currently set at Service-Connected Disability Compensation You are eligible for service-connected disability compensation benefits if you are disabled because of an injury or disease that began or worsened during your military service. Disabilities are rated according to severity from 10 percent to 100 percent disabling. The higher rated your disability percentage is, the more compensation you will be eligible for. If you are rated at 30 percent or more disabled, you can also receive money for eligible dependents. 8 Legal Issues for Older Adults

3 table.1. Section -3 Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Service connected compensation benefits based on Percent Disabled and Dependent Status Chapter Dependent Status 10% 20% 30% 0% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Veteran Alone $127 $251 $389 $560 $797 $1009 $1,272 $1,78 $1,661 $2,769 Veteran with Spouse Only Veteran with Child Only Veteran with Spouse & Child $35 $622 $87 $1102 $1,380 $1,602 $1,800 $2,92 $20 $601 $89 $1071 $1,3 $1,561 $1,75 $2,873 $69 $667 $931 $1169 $1,59 $1,692 $1,902 $3,037-3 Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Non-Service Connected Disability Pensions are available to veterans who meet the following requirements: 1. You were discharged from service other than dishonorably; and 2. You served 90 days or more, one day of which was during a time of war (does not apply to veterans with a service-connected disability justifying discharge from the military); and a. Anyone who enlists after September 7, 1980, generally must have served at least 2 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. 3. You are permanently and totally disabled or over age 65; and As of January Edition 9

4 Chapter Veterans Benefits. Your countable family income is within certain limits (See Table.2) a. Income includes: 1. Earnings; 2. Disability and retirement payments; 3. Interest and dividends; and. Net income from farming or business. b. Income exclusions and deductions include: 1. Public assistance; 2. A portion of unreimbursed medical expenses; and 3. Educational expenses. The VA pays the difference between your countable family income and the yearly income limit based on the number of your dependents. The annual benefit amount is then divided into 12 monthly payments. See Table.2 for maximum countable income. For example, John is a qualifying veteran for a non-service connected disability pension. His countable family income is $800 per month and he is married with no minor children. Referring to Table.2, he qualifies for an additional $ ($800 x 12= $9,600. Subtract $9,600 from his $16,051 (the maximum income for a veteran with one dependent) leaving $6,51. ) (Divide $6,51 into twelve monthly payments to determine his monthly benefit of $ ) Non-service connected pension and the service-connected pension are not simultaneously collectible. If you are awarded both pensions, the VA will pay the higher amount. 50 Legal Issues for Older Adults

5 Enhanced Pension Benefits Section -3 Non-Service Connected Disability Pension If you are homebound or living in a care facility, you may be entitled to a higher benefit through the Aid and Attendance or Housebound enhanced benefit programs. Both enhanced benefits are paid in addition to your pension benefits. Chapter To qualify for Housebound Enhanced Benefit: 1. You must qualify for the pension benefit and 2. Meet one of the following criteria: a. Have a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling and due to such disability, you are permanently and substantially confined to your immediate premises; or b. Have a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling and another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling. To qualify for the Aid and Attendance Enhanced Benefit: 1. You must qualify for the pension benefit and 2. You must meet one of the following: a. Require help with your Activities of Daily Living or protection from the hazards of your daily environment; b. Be bedridden apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment; c. Be a patient in a long term care setting due to mental or physical incapacity; or d. Be blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less Edition 51

6 Chapter Veterans Benefits Table.2 Maximum Income to Qualify for Non-Combat Related Pension Benefits Veteran s Status Maximum Annual Income Without spouse or child $12,256 With one dependent $16,051 Housebound without dependents $1,978 Housebound with one dependent $18,773 Aid & Attendance without dependents $20,7 Aid & Attendance with one dependent $2,239 Two veterans married to each other $16,051 Add for early war veteran (Mexican Border Period or WW1) to any category above $2,783 Add for each additional child to any category above $2,093 Table Maximum Benefits for Non-Combat Related Pension Benefits Veteran s Status Maximum Annual Benefit Veteran only no dependents $11,830 Veteran with one dependent $15,93 Veteran qualified for housebound no dependents $1,57 Veteran qualified for housebound with one dependent $18,120 Veteran qualified for aid and attendance no dependents $19,736 Veteran qualified for aid and attendance one dependent $23,396 Two veterans married to one another $15,93 For each additional child add $2, Legal Issues for Older Adults

7 Dependents Section -5 How to Apply If you receive monthly VA disability benefits, your spouse and dependent children may receive an additional monthly benefit. Surviving dependents also may be eligible for VA benefits. Chapter - Additional Benefits The following VA benefits are also available for qualifying veterans: 1. Free or reduced-cost inpatient and outpatient care at VA facilities; 2. Death benefits for survivors of a disabled veteran; 3. Prosthetic appliances, aids, and services for the blind;. Reimbursement for burial expenses, burial flags, burial in national cemeteries, and headstones or grave markers; 5. Loan guaranty (the VA will essentially co-sign a qualifying veteran s loan); 6. Education and training; 7. Free counseling at any of Oregon s veterans centers; and 8. Health insurance. Note: It is not a good idea to decline Medicare hospital and medical coverage, even if you have VA health insurance coverage. You may also want to consider a Medicare prescription drug plan. Speak with an Oregon Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) representative. (See Chapter 1, Resources.) See Chapter 1, Resources, for the SHIBA telephone number. -5 How to Apply To apply for VA benefits, contact the Veterans Affairs regional office nearest you. For additional help, call the State of Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (at ), a local Veteran s Service Organization, or the federal Veterans Affairs office ( ). You also can apply online (www.va.gov) Edition 53

8 Chapter Veterans Benefits Your Right to Appeal If you are denied VA benefits, you have one year from the date you were notified to request a hearing. The initial hearing is at the local VA office. If your claim is denied after the hearing, you can appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. You can have someone represent you at the hearing and on appeal. 5 Legal Issues for Older Adults

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