Sarasota is home to almost 40,000 U.S. military veterans, many of which are 65 years of age or older. A wide range of federal and state government programs as well as local community resources is available to assist area vets. Benefits include lifelong learning and tuition assistance, job training, rehabilitation programs, and healthcare. Here’s a brief overview of available services for veterans that live in Sarasota.
The Sarasota Community Based Outpatient Clinic, which is part of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, provides area veterans with a wide range of services. Healthcare programs include primary care, mental health care, outpatient surgical services, social work, women’s health care, and more. The clinic, which is located at 5682 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 100, provides free onsite parking for veterans and visitors and is fully handicapped accessible for the disabled.
The Sarasota Vet Center helps area vets by administering programs and benefits managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The office, which is located at 4801 Swift Rd., Suite A, assists Sarasota vets by helping them file applications and obtain VA benefits. Programs include disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation and employment, home loans, and life insurance.
The government office of Sarasota County Veterans Services assists local vets by helping them complete applications to process claims to receive VA benefits. Services include medical benefits, disability compensation, pensions, survivor benefits, and death benefits. Other services include home loan programs for vets and prescription care.
The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs provides advocacy and case management services to help vets obtain VA benefits and services. Staff members administer a variety of programs that include employment assistance, healthcare, property tax exemption, federal education programs, and the G.I. Home Loan Guarantee program.
The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is always open to provide immediate assistance to vets that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The call center provides nationwide services across the country to all 50 states including Florida. Supportive services include housing programs, healthcare, and employment training.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has a chapter post location in Sarasota that provides area vets with a variety of services. Benefits of joining include membership discounts on travel packages, hotel and car rentals, financial services, insurance, prescriptions and vision care, and retail discounts on merchandise purchases.
The American Legion provides Sarasota veterans with a variety of supportive programs and activities. The national veterans’ service organization honors those that served with membership benefits that include discounted rates on home services, auto rentals, travel and lodging, and more. Additional services include homeless outreach assistance that provides temporary housing and training programs.
The Sarasota area of Florida honors veterans that served by sponsoring a Veterans Day Parade each year. Several participants march in the annual parade including representatives from local community organizations, fire departments, veterans service organizations, and marching bands. The event includes a closing ceremony that takes place after the parade. Interested parties that want to donate their time or participate can contact the City of Sarasota for more information.
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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