Federal and state benefits programs help veterans living across the U.S. to access affordable housing, healthcare, education and more. Families who are having trouble applying for veterans benefits can turn to a number of local Columbus agencies for assistance.
Military service members who have been separated under honorable conditions, along with members of the Reserves and National Guard who have completed the full period for which they were called to active duty, may qualify for VA healthcare benefits. Only a certain number of veterans are enrolled in the VA health care program each year, so priority is given to those with service-related wounds and disabilities.
Columbus veterans who qualify for assistance can visit the Chalmers P. Wylie Ambulatory Care Center to access a variety of specialized health services. The geriatric care department helps veterans remain active and healthy as they age, while the hospice and palliative care ward provides comfort for patients in their final days. The center also offers mental health services for veterans coping with memory problems, PTSD, substance abuse and more.
With the help of federal VA home loan programs, veterans can buy, build or modify their new dream home without breaking the bank. Purchase loans help families to buy houses at competitive rates, while interest rate reduction refinance loans allow homeowners to lower the interest on their current VA loan. The Ohio Heroes Program also helps Columbus veterans to save on home loans by offering an interest rate that is a quarter lower than the going value in a given area.
Veterans with a service-related disability may be eligible for a federal Adapted Housing Grant, which helps finance home modification projects that improve accessibility for handicapped individuals. Disabled veterans may also be eligible for the Homestead Tax Exemption, which allows them to exempt up to $50,000 of the assessed value of their home from property taxes.
Not all veterans are able to live independently at home, and some require skilled 24 hour nursing care. Ohio is home to two Veterans Homes in Georgetown and Sandusky, both about 2 hours away from the city of Columbus. Both facilities offer a spectrum of nursing care services, while the Sandusky campus also includes independent living options at the Domiciliary. For more information about state and federal housing programs for veterans, contact the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.
There are four Military Resource Veterans Centers scattered throughout the state of Ohio, with the headquarters conveniently located in Columbus. Trained Veterans Services Specialists help Ohio veterans maintain their independence by connecting them with local housing and health services, legal agencies, and more. On-site career services such as interview coaching, job training and placement services help veterans of all ages to find gainful employment in their field so that they can bring home a paycheck each week. Veterans who cannot afford the cost of travel to and from their place of employment may be able to request a bus pass or gas voucher from the Military Resource Veterans Center.
The Franklin County Veterans Service Commission also helps Columbus veterans to navigate state and federal benefits processes, offering advice and guidance that helps families claim the benefits to which they are entitled. Veterans who are at risk of homelessness, hunger or unemployment can also turn to their local Veterans Service Commission for emergency financial and social support.
For more information on the Aid & Attendance Benefit and to learn how it can help pay for assisted living, please visit VeteranAid.org.
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