In exchange for service in the military, veterans gain access to many different benefits, but accessing them can be complicated. Vets in the Houston area can contact several different agencies locally who can provide resources to help access their healthcare, employment, and housing benefits. Substance abuse and mental health services are included in benefit options.
Not all veterans realize that they qualify for health care benefits through the VA. Veterans who have served and been discharged honorably from service, and National Guard and Reservist vets who successfully completed their federal service period, could be eligible for enrollment in the VA healthcare program. Applications are sorted and based on the priority group the vet falls into at the time of application.
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston offers a variety of healthcare services to vets in the community, including specialized diagnostic care and treatment, home-based care, post-traumatic stress care and treatment, as well as support services for veteran caregivers. The center also has staff specialized in substance abuse and mental illness and is one of six VA facilities equipped to conduct Parkinson’s research on-site.
The City of Houston Veterans Affairs Office provides a comprehensive Online Resource Directory for vets and their caregivers and families that includes over 80 pages of federal, state, and non-profit resources that can assist with veteran needs including housing. Programs available include:
Federal VA home loans- applications required for eligible vets
Texas VLB Veterans Housing Assistance Loan Program- Search for approved lenders
Home-improvement loans at a discounted rate for qualified vets, and
Texas State Veterans Homes- two near to Houston
The city also offers homelessness help for vets and their families, as well as helps spouses and widows of vets with determining their benefit eligibility.
An alternative housing program for veterans who need daily care is the Medical Foster Home program administered by the VA. Through the program, participants live in local homes with caregivers who include the vet in day-to-day family life and provide meals, assistance with activities of daily living, and transportation when needed. Caregivers have been vetted through the VA.
The Veterans Land Board of the Texas General Land Office is known for surpassing the standards of national programs for vets. Annually, the VLB hosts benefits fairs throughout Texas where veterans, their spouses, and their family are educated on what’s available in the area. The Houston Benefits Fair happened in February, and you can visit the VLB Events page to see an updated schedule of additional fairs in the area.
Additional help with accessing your benefits can be found through the Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission. The Veterans Resource Center has helped vets throughout the Houston-area secure healthcare, housing, education, and employment since 2012. Texas Veterans Commission has claims counselors who work at the Veterans Resource Center and at the Dallas VA Medical Center and can help with claims issues or questions.
Texas Workforce Commission offers priority services to older vets and, if they’re eligible, their spouses. Houston has 5 Workforce Solutions offices in the area who can provide job search assistance.
For more information on the Aid & Attendance Benefit and to learn how it can help pay for assisted living, please visit VeteranAid.org.
Find assisted living in Houston near you.