VA Benefits . . .

VA Benefits

VA Benefits

 

We, at the Muskingum County Department of Veterans Services provide a vital and convenient link between our veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  We are not a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs and do not approve or deny VA claims.  We are legislated by the State of Ohio under the Ohio Revised Code, ORC 5901 and are funded by Muskingum County property taxes.

 Our Veterans Services Officers are accredited by the State of Ohio and all are veterans.  We work closely with the VA to achieve a common goal, and to assist the veteran in obtaining his/her rightful benefits under the law.

 

For more information on VA Benefits, go to  www.vba.va.gov

 

            For VA forms, go to http://www.va.gov/vaforms/

 

Eligibility 

 

Benefits are available to veterans discharged under honorable conditions, full-time service members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.  Current and former members of the Selected Reserve and National Guard may be eligible for certain benefits if they meet the criteria.

 

VA Claims for Service Connected Disabilities 

 

Disability compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.

 

Veterans Pension

 

Pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, if under 65, who are permanently and totally disabled.   Veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits.    These are benefits that are paid in addition to the basic pension rate.

Generally, you may be eligible if:

you were discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable, AND

you served at least 90 days of active military service 1 day of which was during a war time period.   If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty (There are exceptions to this rule), AND

Your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law (The yearly limit on income is set by Congress), AND you are age 65 or older, OR, you are permanently and totally disabled, not due to your own willful misconduct.

The payment is reduced by the annual income from other sources such as Social Security.

 

Aid and Attendance or Housebound Benefits

 

Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension.   This benefit may not be paid without eligibility to pension.   A veteran may be eligible for A&A when:

The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, OR,

The veteran is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, OR,

The veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,

The veteran is 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.

Housebound is paid in addition to monthly pension.    Like A&A, Housebound benefits may not be paid   without eligibility to pension.   A veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:

The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, due to such disability, he/she is permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises, OR,

The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

 

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of a military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training,

OR veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease,

OR veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediately before death,

OR since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death,

OR for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

 

Education

 

The VA pays monthly benefits to eligible veterans, dependents, reservists, and service members.  You can use your education benefits for:

-Undergraduate work at a college or university

-Technical or Vocation Training

-On-the-Job/Apprentice Training

-Correspondence and Flight Training

To begin the process, you must establish eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990, Application for VA Education Benefits.  The toll free number for more information is 1-888-GI-Bill1 or 1-888-442-4551.

 

Vocational Rehabilitation

 

Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living. 

The program offers a number of services to help each eligible disabled veteran reach his or her rehabilitation goal.  These services include vocational and personal counseling, education and training, financial aid, job assistance, and, if needed, medical and dental treatment.  Services generally last up to 48 months, but they can be extended in certain instances.

 

Life Insurance

 

VA insurance programs were developed to provide insurance benefits for veterans and service members who may not be able to get insurance from private companies because of the extra risks involved in military service, or a service connected disability.  The toll free number for more information is 1-800-69-8477.

 

Burial and Memorial Benefits

 

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs when the eligible criteria are met.  When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments:  (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot or interment allowance.

A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces.  It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country.  VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged.

Veterans, active duty service members, and eligible Reservists and National Guard service members, are eligible for an inscribed headstone or marker for their grave at any cemetery. VA will deliver a headstone or marker at no cost.

Burial in a VA national cemetery is available for eligible Veterans, their spouses and dependents, at no cost to the family.

 

Military Medals and Records

 

We can help you obtain your military discharge documents, DD 214, military service records, military medical records or to get military medals.  These documents are filed at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, or more recently, are being held at the appropriate military service facility.  You can file your own request for these documents on-line by accessing  http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ .  You will need to print out the signature page, sign and date, and fax or mail the page to NPRC.

 

Death Pension

 

Death Pension is a needs based benefit paid to an unremarried surviving spouse, or an unmarried child of a deceased wartime veteran.  The death pension provides a monthly payment to bring an eligible person’s income to a level established by law.  The payment is reduced by the annual income from other sources such as Social Security.

 

Home Loan Guaranty

 

VA home loan guaranties are issued to help eligible servicemembers, veterans, reservists, and unmarried surviving spouses obtain homes, condominiums, residential cooperative housing units, and manufactured homes and to refinance loans.

In addition to buying homes, a VA guaranty can also be used to obtain a loan to repair, alter, or improve a residence owned by the veteran and occupied as a home and to install a solar heating or cooling system or other energy-efficient improvements.

The first step in acquiring a VA loan guaranty is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. You then present this certificate to a lender of your choice.  The VA does not make loans.

 

VA Medical / Prescriptions

 

If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits.  Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order (Title 10) and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health care as well.

 

We are fortunate to have access to a Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Muskingum County.  It is located at 2800 Maple  Avenue,  Zanesville, OH 43701 and its telephone number is 740-453-7725.  We encourage all veterans to apply to determine their enrollment eligibility.

 

Medical and prescription co-pays are based on financial criteria and VA disability ratings. 

 

 

Mental Health Counseling

 

VA Medical provides mental health counseling at local clinics such as the one in Zanesville, at their medical centers such as the Columbus VA Outpatient Clinic and through Vet Centers.  Vet Centers provide individual, group, family, military sexual trauma and bereavement counseling.  Services include treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or help with any other military-related issue that affects functioning within the family, work, school or other areas of everyday life.

VA Zanesville clinic: 740-453-7725

VA Outpatient Clinic Columbus: 1-888-615-9448

VetCenter: 1-866-360-4471

Suicide prevention:  1-800-273-TALK, press 1 for veterans