Veterans are entitled to many different benefits when they complete their military service, but it’s not always a simple process accessing the programs. Orlando vets are fortunate to have several resources in the area that can help them understand the eligibility and application process for the healthcare, housing, and career counseling benefits available.
The VA healthcare program is one that nearly every veteran qualifies for, even if they don’t realize it. Vets who served active duty in any branch of the military, as well as National Guard and Reservist soldiers who served during their mandatory service period, may be eligible to receive health care benefits. To access benefits, vets need to apply and be sorted into priority group to determine their eligibility status.
The Orlando VA Medical Center and the community clinics in the greater Orlando area provide health services to veterans and their families in the community. Included in the spectrum of care are specialized geriatric care, primary care, a mental health clinic that offers programs for vets with PTSD or addiction issues, as well as physical and occupational therapy. Vets who are homebound and have a caregiver can also access the in-home services provided by the VA like home-based primary care, and social work provided services like homemaker care, palliative care, and hospice.
The VA also operates the Orlando VA Community Living Center, a residential care center for senior veterans located in Lake Nona. The center provides skilled nursing, respite, and dementia care for seniors and offers hospice services for those with life-ending illnesses who need care and support.
The City of Orlando Office of the Mayor website maintains a listing of valuable resources for veterans in the area who can provide assistance with employment, legal matters, financial questions, as well as housing and shelter. The VA also offers many programs that help vets with housing needs including:
Home loan program
Property tax deduction program for vets injured while on active duty
Home improvement loans program
Veterans who are homeless or who fear they may become homeless also have several area resources that provide help. The Orlando VA offers support and services to help vets secure affordable housing and get back on their feet through job training and career services. The Transition House can offer free emergency shelter for vets and their families, and also can assist with finding financial aid and treatment options.
The VA Medical Foster Home program is an additional opportunity for vets searching for housing who also require help from a caregiver. The program approves caregivers to provide a room within their home for a vet, and the veteran then becomes part of the everyday family life. The caregiver provides things like meals, needed daily assistance, and transportation for the vet.
Orlando residents can also reach out to the Veterans Resource Center and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs for help accessing their benefits. Each of the agencies offers specialized services to vets, including counseling on how to apply for benefits and working with vets, their family, and survivors, to help them get the most out of what’s available to them.
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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