Of the residents in Wisconsin, over 425,000 are military veterans and over 27,000 of them live in Dane County. The support programs in the community, the state, and at a national level for veterans in the area are extensive for Madison seniors. Vets have access to assistance programs that help with housing, health care, counseling, and taxes, as well as community organizations that connect like-minded veterans for social activities, educational opportunities, and fitness programs. Here we’ll discuss a few of the numerous resources that veterans, surviving spouses, families of vets have access to in Madison.
The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital delivers healthcare services to the over 130,000 veterans living in their 20-county service area, including vets in Madison. The facility offers a full range of outpatient services as well as medical, neurological, surgical and psychological care. Located at 2500 Overlook Terrace, the hospital offers valet parking at no charge to patients and visitors and can also help those in need coordinate transportation to and from appointments.
The area Regional Benefits Center that serves Madison residents is located in Milwaukee. The Center staff are knowledgeable about benefits available to vets and their surviving family members. Veterans may be eligible for a variety of assistance including temporary or permanent housing solutions, qualifying for home loans at great rates, or utilizing an emergency assistance program in a crisis situation, like a vet in danger of becoming homeless. The Center can assist with completing and filing necessary paperwork, checking the status of a claim, or helping you dispute a claim if needed.
The Dane County Veterans Services office is an excellent, local contact in Madison who can offer similar assistance to the Regional Benefits Center. The goal of the office is to assist veterans with obtaining any benefit they qualify for, and they also have a strong referral network to help match a vet in need with a service provider in the area.
The State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is the state entity responsible for administering the programs to veterans through the regional benefits centers and veterans services offices throughout the local communities. Their website is full of great information on available benefits for seniors, including events, information on advocacy, mental health, and more.
Veterans of Foreign Wars has a strong presence in the Madison community. With 3 area posts throughout the city, veterans have easy access to on-site Service Officers who can assist with obtaining benefits. Service Officers can advocate on a veteran or surviving family members behalf to file, research, and resolve claims free of charge.
The VFW is also a popular way to get to meet other veterans in the area and socialize through fun weekly and monthly events. Check with your local post for upcoming events in your area.
It’s not always easy being a military veteran, and some may develop symptoms of PTSD or depression. Especially common in men who have served, support groups in the area through the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill can help work through these feelings. Alternately, the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline is available to help 24 hours a day by dialing 1-800-273-8255.
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum, located in Madison at 30 W Mifflin Street in the Capital Square downtown, is open year-round to the public. The Museum hosts a variety of exhibits and features special events weekly and monthly to honor and educate the community on the stories of veterans in the community and around the world.
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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