Claiming your VA benefits isn’t always easy. The application process is full of obstacles that can be difficult to overcome without assistance. Fortunately, Raleigh area veterans have a number of local resources at their disposal to help them learn about and apply for benefits programs.
Are you unsure if you qualify for VA health benefits? If you are a veteran who served in the active military, Reserves or National Guard and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, you can apply for enrollment in the VA health system. Enrollment is determined by priority groups, with top priority awarded to soldiers who were injured or disabled in the line of duty.
Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible to receive VA health benefits, you may be wondering where to go for primary care, specialty care and mental health services. The San Francisco VA Health Care System provides medical and emotional support for veterans living throughout San Francisco. The hospital also offers eye care, dental and lab services along with specialized geriatrics and palliative care units for elderly patients. Adult day programs, respite care and home health options are available for friends and family members who look after a housebound veteran.
There are a number of ways that qualifying San Francisco veterans can lower the cost of their mortgage each month. Both state and federal programs offer ways for veterans and their families to save on housing expenses.
Federal Purchase Loans allow veterans to buy a house at a competitive interest rate, sometimes without requiring a downpayment. Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans give veterans the opportunity to lower the interest rate on their existing VA loan.
Adapted Housing Grants help disabled veterans to pay for building projects that will improve their home’s safety and accessibility.
The California Disabled Veterans’ Exemption is a property tax break that is available to veterans who are rated 100% disabled or who are considered unemployable.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs, or CalVet, provides home loans that offer interest rates below market value for veterans who meet certain eligibility requirements.
CalVet Residential Enriched Neighborhood (REN) Communities provide low-cost housing for veterans living on a limited income.
California veterans who need round-the-clock care can find it at one of CalVet’s eight state nursing homes, which offer living options ranging from short-term transitional housing to long-term nursing care. The Yountville Home, located just outside of San Francisco, is one of the largest veterans’ homes in the United States. Around 1,000 veterans living at the facility receive intermediate and skilled nursing care from a compassionate and professional staff. Residents also enjoy community amenities such as a pool, a golf course and an on-site fitness center.
If you are unsure where to start when it comes to applying for VA benefits, you are not alone. The San Francisco County Veterans Service Office has helped countless local veterans to claim the benefits that they have earned. Veterans Claims Representatives are on hand to help families understand and apply for benefits, from VA health care coverage to employment and job training programs. Your representative will be there to help you along every step of the way as your VA claim is processed.
Veterans who are looking to begin or complete their higher education can take advantage of educational outreach programs offered by universities all over San Francisco. San Francisco State University, The University of California San Francisco and the City College of San Francisco all offer programs to support veterans socially, financially and academically as they earn their degree.
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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