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Financial Benefits

There are many different types of state and federal benefits that may be available to veterans. The information below gives some information about different benefits. If you have questions about benefits, you may want to contact a Veteran Service Officer (VSO). Other benefits may be available to you.

There is a statewide network of accredited VSOs who are trained to work with veterans to help them determine their eligibility for various state and federal benefits and to provide assistance with benefits applications. This assistance is provided at no cost to the veterans. Working with a VSO is not required to apply for benefits but can be helpful in the process. You can find more information about VSOs here: https://www.michiganveterans.com/find-benefits-counselor

The National Veterans Legal Service Project has created an online app to help veterans determine what, if any, benefits they may be entitled to. Current information about the app is available here: https://www.nvlsp.org/va-app/

Disability Compensation (Federal)

One of the primary financial benefits that a disabled veteran may be eligible for is “disability compensation.” A veteran may be entitled to disability compensation if he/she has an injury or ailment that was a result of, or made worse by, military service.  This benefit is often called “service-connected disability compensation.” The key to this benefit is that there must be a direct connection between the individual’s injury and his or her time in service.  This compensation is available for both physical injuries and psychological injuries.  Disability ratings are scaled from 0% to 100%.

Pension and Aid/Attendance (Federal)

Pension Eligibility

An additional financial benefit that may be available to some of veterans is called Veteran’s Affairs (VA)  Pension. The VA’s description of eligibility for the VA pension is here: https://www.va.gov/pension/eligibility/.

VA Pension is income-based; to be eligible, a veteran must have an income below a rate that is set each year by the federal government. In addition, to be eligible for a VA Pension, there are rules regarding the dates and length of service. At least one of the following must be true for the veteran:

  • at least 65 years old OR
  • have a permanent and total disability OR
  • be a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability OR
  • be getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility

If a veteran gets a VA Pension and meets at least one of the requirements listed below, he/she may be eligible for Aid and Attendance (an additional monthly payment on top of VA Pension):

  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or
  • You have to stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of illness, or
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or
  • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)

Housebound Benefits Eligibility

If you get a VA pension and you spend most of your time in your home because of a permanent disability (a disability that doesn’t go away), you may be eligible for this benefit.

Note: You can’t get Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

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