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Veterans Service Office

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.

Service Connected 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.  

Non Service Connected Disability Pension

Veterans Pension

If you are a Veteran whose disabilities prevent employment or overwhelmed with the high cost of medical care, such as paying for assisted living facilities, home care aides, adult daycare, or skilled nursing, the VA Pension benefit could be the solution to help pay for this care. A Wartime Veteran with limited income and net worth may be eligible to receive this benefit.

You may be eligible if:

  • you were discharged from military service under other than dishonorable conditions; AND
  • you served 90 days of active duty or more with at least 1 day during a war time period*; AND
  • your annual household income and net worth** meet certain limits set by law; AND
  • you are permanently and totally disabled, OR age 65 or older.

Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980 generally must have served at least 24 months of active duty OR the full period for which called or ordered to active duty.

  • Mexican Border period (May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or in adjacent waters)
  • World War I (April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918)
  • World War II (December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946)
  • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam War era (February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam.)
  • Gulf War (August 2, 1990, through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation)

Survivors Pension

If you are the surviving spouse of a deceased Veteran with low income or overwhelmed with the high cost of medical care, such as paying for assisted living facilities, home care aids, adult daycare, or skilled nursing, the VA Survivors benefit could be the solution to help pay for this care or other needs.

You may be eligible if:

  • the deceased Veteran was discharged from military service under other than
  • dishonorable conditions; AND
  • the Veteran served 90 days of active duty or more with at least 1 day during a war
  • time period*; AND
  • your annual household income and net worth** meet certain limits set by law.

While an un-remarried spouse is eligible at any age, a child of a deceased Wartime Veteran must be: under 18, OR under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school, OR permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18.

Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980 generally must have served at least 24 months of active duty OR the full period for which called or ordered to active duty.

  • Mexican Border period (May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or in adjacent waters)
  • World War I (April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918)
  • World War II (December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946)
  • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam War era (February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam.)
  • Gulf War (August 2, 1990, through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation)

There are three levels of VA Pensions:

  • Basic Pension—for Veterans who are disabled OR age 65 or older with low income
  • Housebound – for Veterans with a permanent disability that prevents them from leaving their home*
  • Aid & Attendance (A&A) – for Veterans that require assistance with their activities of daily living*

*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.

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/healtheligibility.

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

For more information and to arrange an appointment to speak with a County Veterans Service Officer, call our office at: (440) 350-2904/2567