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Lake County, Ohio - Veterans

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Benefits

    Benefits

    Veterans Service Office

    An Office of the Lake County Government

    Veterans Serving Veterans

    Providing Assistance to the Men and Women who have Honorably Served Their Country

    BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE
     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA):

    GENERAL ELIGIBILITY for federal benefits

    Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.  Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.  Certain VA benefits   require service during wartime.  Some benefits, such as health care and education, require specific minimum days of active service for eligibility.  For more information, call our office @ (440) 350-2904/2567.

    Disability Compensation

    Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.  These disabilities are considered to be service-connected.  Disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of veteran’s dependents, and is paid monthly.  Veterans with certain severe disabilities may be  eligible for additional special monthly compensation.  The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.   Related benefits:  health care, vocational rehab, medical care for dependents/survivors, life insurance, clothing allowance, automobile grants, specially adapted housing grants, dependents educational assistance program, burial benefits.

    Disability Pension

    Veterans with low incomes who are permanently and totally disabled, or are age 65 and older, may be eligible for monthly monetary benefits.  Active military service must be 90 days or more, with at least one day of which was during a period of war.  (Veterans who entered active duty on/after September 8, 1980, or officers who entered active duty on/after October 16,1981, may have to meet a longer minimum period of active duty).  The disability must be for reasons other than the veteran’s own willful misconduct.  Payments are made to bring the veteran’s total income, including other retirement or Social Security income, to a level set by Congress.  Unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income for VA purposes.  For more information, download our Pension Information Packet. Related benefits:  aid and attendance, health care, burial benefits.

    Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits

    Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound benefits are monetary benefits paid in addition to disability pension.  These benefits may not be paid without eligibility to pension.  A veteran may be eligible for A&A when they require the aid of another person to attend to their personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, etc, OR blind, OR a patient in a nursing home or an assisted living facility due to mental or physical incapacity.  A veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when their disabilities are such that are permanently and substantially confined to their immediate premises.  A veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.  These benefits can be used to help pay for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health aides when a medical professional deems such services are medically necessary. 

    For more information, download our Pension Information Packet.  Related benefits:  health care, burial benefits.

    Burial Benefits

    VA burial benefits available to veterans discharged under honorable conditions include a gravesite in a national cemetery; a Government headstone or marker; a burial flag; and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family.

    Some veterans may also be eligible for VA burial allowances.  To be eligible, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

    • the veteran died because of a service connected disability OR
    • the veteran was receiving or was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation at the time of death OR
    • the veteran died in a VA hospital, in a nursing home under VA contract, or while in an approved state nursing home.

    VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths which are considered related to service.  If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.  VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and a $300 plot allowance for deaths not considered related to service.  If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or approved facility, some or all of the transportation costs may be reimbursed.

    No special forms are required when requesting burial in a VA National Cemetery.  The person making burial arrangements should have their funeral home contact the cemetery in which burial is desired at the time of need.  Prearrangement is not available.  The nearest National Cemetery to Cleveland is located in Rittman, Ohio.  It is approximately 73 miles (1 ½ hours) from Lake County. 

    Our staff can assist with more information and applying for all VA burial benefits.  Also, most funeral directors in Lake County are well versed in veterans’ burial benefits.  Please also see burial benefits under the Local Veterans Benefits section of this website. 

    Health Care

    The VA provides a Medical Benefits Package -  a standard enhanced health benefits plan available to all enrolled veterans.  This plan emphasizes preventive and primary care, and offers a full range of outpatient and inpatient services within the VA health care system.  Veterans living in Lake and surrounding counties are fortunate to have an outstanding VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) located in Painesville and access to inpatient and treatment facilities at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Centers in Cleveland (Wade Park) and Brecksville.  A CBOC is also available in Ashtabula County.  Free and/or low cost prescriptions are also available through the VA’s pharmacy. 

    All veterans are potentially eligible for health care benefits.  Eligibility and cost of care are based on many factors including:

    • Qualifying military service
    • Minimum service requirements
    • Presence of service connected disabilities
    • Household income and assets

    Our office can provide additional information and assistance in applying for these benefits and we ENCOURAGE you to call as we may be able to determine if you are eligible for this and other VA benefits.  Information is also available at www.va.gov/heatheligibility.

    Special Health Care Benefits for Combat (OIF/OEF) Veterans

    Veterans, including activated Reservists and National Guard members, are eligible for health care for up to five years if they served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Gulf War or in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after November 11, 1998 and have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.  Please call our office for more information and assistance in applying. 

    HOW TO FILE A CLAIM FOR BENEFITS
    Call our office at (440) 350-2904/2567
    for more information and to arrange
    an appointment to speak with a
    County Veterans Service Officer