State and federal benefits programs help to improve the quality of life for veterans and their families living throughout Rochester. A number of local resources are available to help veterans claim the benefits that they have earned.
If you are a veteran who served in the military, the naval or the air forces and were honorably separated, you may be eligible to receive health care through the VA medical system. Reserves and National Guard members may also apply for VA health care provided that they have completed their federally mandated serving period. Once your application has been processed, you will be placed into one of eight priority groups that will determine your eligibility for enrollment in the VA health system.
Rochester veterans who qualify to receive government health care can visit the Canandaigua VA Medical Center to access a spectrum of mental health and medical services. On top of specialized and primary care services, the hospital offers fitness, nutritional and preventative health programs that are aimed at keeping veterans in shape as they age. Family members and friends who care for a veteran at home can look into home health services offered by the Canandaigua VA, including home telehealth services, adult day programs, respite care options and more.
The state of New York helps veterans to afford quality housing through the Homes for Veterans Program, which offers down payment assistance and fixed-rate mortgages that are a full 0.375% lower than standard rates. This State of New York Mortgage Agency program is open to members of the military who have been discharged under honorable conditions.
Housing loans through the federal government also help Rochester veterans to save money on mortgage costs. Purchase loans, Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan and the Native American Direct Loan Program help U.S. veterans and their families to keep under budget as they build or buy a new house. Adapted Housing Grants are available for certain veterans with service-related injuries, allowing disabled individuals to modify their home in order to account for their physical limitations.
New York veterans who served in the armed forces may be eligible for property tax exemptions that will lower their annual housing expenses significantly. The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption is available to veterans who have served their country during a time of war or who have received an expeditionary medal, while the Cold War Veterans’ Exemption is available only to those who served during the Cold War period. The Eligible Funds Exemption is a partial tax exemption that reduces the assessed value of a qualifying veteran’s property.
Navigating the VA claims process isn’t always easy. Luckily, Rochester veterans who are applying for benefits can turn to the local Veteran’s Outreach Center for advice and assistance. You can speak with a benefits counselor to learn more about your options when it comes to housing and financial assistance, employment and vocational training, educational programs and legal services.
The Monroe County Veteran’s Service Agency is another invaluable resource for Rochester area veterans who are having trouble applying for benefits and services. Accredited Veterans Service Officers support local families as they file and track claims through the VA benefits system. If your claim has been denied, an officer can also help you to file an appeal.
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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