A wide variety of benefits and services are offered to military veterans in return for their active duty service. In Pittsburgh, most vets are entitled to health care benefits, housing programs and loan services, as well as services through employment agencies to help with finding a job. While there are lots of benefits to be had, sometimes getting access to them can be complex. That’s why there are several local agencies on hand, like these, who assist with the military benefits process.
The majority of veterans, Reservists, and members of the National Guard who completed their active duty service period are entitled to health benefits through the VA. Generally, as long as the discharge papers are in order, and are not classified as dishonorable, vets can enroll in the program. Apply through the VA to access health and wellness service, including mental health, addiction, and substance abuse programs. Benefits are administered based on the vets priority group at the time of the application.
The VA Pittsburgh Health Care System features three different campuses in the city that collectively provide a complete spectrum of health care to veterans in the area. Included in the care offered are primary and emergency care services, specialized care for women and minorities, as well as specialized services like mental health care, critical care, and dental care. Vets who have issues with substance abuse or addiction have programs available to them through the VA, as do veterans battling PTSD. Caregivers of veterans can reach out to the VA to access home-based services and caregiver support, like home health aides, in-home primary care, and hospice care.
The Allegheny County Bar Association maintains a listing of housing resources for veterans on their website with lots of great contact information in the area. Coupled with the programs offered to vets through the VA, there are a variety of options that match veterans with housing options that fit their needs and budget. Programs available include:
Loan programs to assist home buyers with financing a new home and
Loan programs to assist homeowners with paying for improvements and repairs to their current home
Government subsidized housing for vets who are at risk of homelessness (VASH Program)
Tax deductions available to vets who sustained injuries while serving their country
Homelessness is a real problem for many veterans, and there are resources in Pittsburgh that can help. The VA has programs designed to help homeless vets and their families secure permanent, affordable housing and find work to help them get back on their feet. The Allegheny County Bar Association also has a listing of shelters in the area that can offer emergency help to vets and their families who are faced with the prospect of homelessness.
Vets who need caregiver assistance, as well as a place to live, can consider applying for the VA Medical Foster Home program. The concept is simple. The VA approves caregivers in private home-based settings to offer a room to veterans and assist with their daily care. Assistance can come in the form of meal preparation, transportation, or help with daily tasks and activities.
Vets can ask for help with their benefits through other agencies like Veterans Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Staff with each of these organizations can help veterans, their family members, and their survivors to understand, apply for, and utilize their available benefits.
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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