When someone enlists in active military service, they put their life on the line for our country. In exchange, they gain access to programs, services, and benefits once their service is through to help to enhance their health, access housing options, and find a career outside of the military that they love. While there are many benefits for vets, it’s not always easy to navigate the process of obtaining them. These are just a few Tampa-area resources that can help veterans to make the most of their available benefits.
Chances are good that if you’re a veteran, a member of the National Guard, or a Reservist, you qualify to participate in the VA healthcare program. Vets need to have completed their service and have been discharged (not dishonorably), and soldiers in the National Guard or serving as a Reservist need to have served their complete federal period in order to apply. Vets are sorted into priority group upon application and eligibility levels are determined from there.
The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa and the community clinics located in the surrounding area serve as the health care provider for veterans in the area. Patients have access to a wide spectrum of services including primary care, geriatric care, mental health care, and a strong patient advocacy program. Homebound veterans who require in-home care can utilize the home-based primary care programs, and their caregivers can access the caregiver support services available through the social work department at the hospital.
Hayley’s Cove Community Living Center is the VA-operated nursing home and geriatric care clinic on the hospital premises. The 120-bed facility serves veterans in need of rehabilitative care and therapy and offers short-term, long-term, and hospice care options.
The Tampa Housing Authority provides excellent information on their website about veteran-specific housing options. In addition to local information, the VA supports a number of programs to help vets find affordable housing including:
Loan programs for homebuyers to purchase a new home and
Loan programs for homeowners to do improvements on their existing home
Housing programs for vets at risk of homelessness like the VASH Program
Programs for property tax deductions for injured vets
Veterans at risk of homelessness or who are without a home have options too. The Tampa VA offers several different support services for homeless vets, including housing subsidies to help find safe and affordable housing, health care programs, rehabilitation and substance abuse programs, and career counseling to help vets get back on their feet.
Sometimes, vets need both a caregiver and a housing solution. The VA Medical Foster Home program is a way to find both. Program participants are matched with a caregiver who has been approved by the VA and they are provided a private room in their home. The vet then becomes part of daily family life, and the caregiver offers assistance with things like personal grooming, preparing meals, and providing transportation around town.
Tampa vets have lots of additional options, including contacting the Veterans Resource Center and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance understanding their benefits. The agencies each provide specialized programs and services to vets, their families, and their survivors and can help with everything from healthcare to burial services, and everything in between.
For more information on the Aid & Attendance Benefit and to learn how it can help pay for assisted living, please visit VeteranAid.org.
Find assisted living in Tampa near you.