Our nation provides veterans with a wide array of benefits as a show of gratitude for their service. However, accessing these benefits can be difficult as you try to wade through the bureaucratic red tape. Luckily, in Charleston, there are a number of local resources to assist vets in finding health care benefits (including mental health and substance abuse programs), job-search services, and housing programs.
You might qualify for health care benefits through Veterans Affairs (VA) if you have served on active military duty. As long as you were not discharged dishonorably, you are eligible for VA health care enrollment. This includes Reservist and National Guard vets who have completed a federally-ordered tour. Go to the VA website to find applications sorted by priority group.
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (VAMC) provides a variety of medical services to meet the needs of Charleston’s vets, such as inpatient palliative care, extended care and geriatrics, patient and family centered care, hospice services for veterans, and more. Family caregivers of vets can also get support services from the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC.
You can find a broad range of long-term care, home, and land programs for veterans offered by the state and federal governments when you visit the site for the South Carolina Division of Veterans’ Affairs, such as:
Easy to follow instructions on how to apply for home loans through the federal VA
Down payment and home loan assistance
South Carolina Veterans Nursing Homes – The closest one to Charleston is in Walterboro
Discounted loans for vets who want to make home improvements
Property tax exemptions for vets with service-related injuries
The state can also help with emergency assistance when you or a veteran loved one are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Also, the State of South Carolina provides help for military widows and spouses looking to apply for benefits.
An excellent housing option for veterans with daily care needs is the Medical Foster Home program administered by the VA. Before vets are taken into a caregivers’ private local homes, the caregiver is carefully vetted. They then incorporate the vet into family life, provide them with transportation, prepare meals, and assist with activities of daily living.
The South Carolina Association of County Veterans Affair Officers has officers in every county of the state. These officers are available to help vets and their dependents with questions about facilities, benefits, support, programs, and medical services. Charleston County’s officer is Donald O. Morillo, Sr., who is located on Bridgeview Drive in North Charleston.
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce gives special priority to vets in all of their SC Works centers. They have local Veteran Outreach Specialists and Disabled Veteran Outreach Specialists who are trained to help veterans with job training programs, resume preparation help, career coaching, referrals to training services, job search workshops and career fairs, and job referrals.
Learn more about the Aid & Attendance Benefit along with how to get financial help for assisted living by going to VeteranAid.org.
Find assisted living in Charleston near you.