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SERVING OUR VETERANS: Special benefits for veterans

By Staff | Jun 19, 2020

In this column, I would like to share some additional special benefits that are available to veterans.

– For veterans enrolled in the VA Healthcare System, the VA will provide any medically necessary prosthetic appliances, equipment, and devices including artificial limbs, orthopaedic braces, shoes, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and other durable medical equipment and supplies.

– For veterans not enrolled in the VA Healthcare System, service-connected veterans who don’t get their care at the VA, but have a service- connected rating less than 50%, the VA will provide prosthetic items for their service-connected disability only. Veterans service-connected at 50% or more can get prosthetics for any condition.

– For service-connected conditions, clothing allowances are available for covering the cost of special alterations.

– Hearing aids and glasses, at no cost, are available for a veteran receiving compensation for any condition. This includes a former prisoner of war, with no service-connected issues.

– Automobile allowance and adaptive equipment is available for service-connected veterans. A one-time grant can be used toward the purchase of a vehicle of not more than $20,235.20. Subsequent automobile adaptive equipment grants are available to pay for adaptive equipment or for equipment repair, replacement, or reinstallation. This grant can be used more than one time.

– Housing grants: There are three basic grants:

1. Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SHA)

2. Special Housing Adaptation Grant (SHA)

3. Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant ( HISA)

The qualifying requirements for these three grants are different, and a little confusing. So, visit with me if you have an interest in applying for any of these.

– Vocational rehabilitation and employment (back to work program), is available for service-connected veterans. This is a 48-month entitlement and the veteran has 12 years to complete from his date of separation or the date of the award, whichever is later. This program pays for employment services, school costs, and provides a monthly subsistence allowance.

– North Dakota Hardship Assistance Grant: If a veteran or their spouse has an unmet need regarding dental/denture work, optical, hearing, transportation, housing, or other emergency needs, they may qualify for the state grant.

– North Dakota Veterans Aid Loan: North Dakota VA has a fund that is used for the sole purpose of providing veterans, or their widows, with loans. If eligible, veterans (or widows) can borrow up to $5,000 and the time repayment limit is anywhere from 6-48 months. While this loan cannot be used for debt consolidation, it is a great option if you need to do any home or vehicle repairs.

As always, please visit with me if you have any interest or questions regarding these special benefits. It is a privilege for me to serve all Pierce County veterans and their families.

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