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Burial Benefits
VA Benefits

This article was written by Lyle Boss, Ogden, UT, and it was published in the Standard Examiner on May 15, 2024. 

Veterans over the age of 65 are eligible for a range of benefits and services designed to support their health, well-being and financial security. These benefits acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices made by veterans during their service and provide essential assistance as they age. Understanding and accessing these benefits can significantly enhance the quality of life for older veterans and their families.

One key benefit available to veterans over 65 is access to comprehensive health care services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Eligible veterans can enroll in VA health care, which includes primary care, specialty care, mental health services and prescription medications. The VA also offers geriatric and extended care services, such as nursing home care, home-based care and adult day health care programs tailored to the unique needs of elderly veterans.

In addition to health care, veterans over 65 may qualify for disability compensation or pension benefits through the VA. Disability compensation provides tax-free monthly payments to veterans with service-connected disabilities that impact their ability to work or perform daily activities. Pension benefits, on the other hand, are available to wartime veterans with limited income and assets, including those over 65, who meet specific eligibility criteria.

Another important benefit for older veterans is the Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit, which provides additional financial assistance for veterans and surviving spouses who require help with daily activities due to a disabling condition or injury. The A&A benefit can be used to offset the costs of in-home care, assisted living facilities or nursing home care, providing crucial support for veterans needing long-term care services.

Veterans over 65 may also be eligible for VA burial and memorial benefits. These benefits include burial in a VA national cemetery, a burial allowance to help cover funeral expenses, a headstone or marker, and memorial services honoring the veteran’s service to the nation. Surviving spouses and dependents of eligible veterans may also qualify for certain burial benefits.

Furthermore, veterans over 65 may be eligible for education and training benefits through the VA. The VA offers programs such as the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program and the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), which provide financial support for eligible dependents and veterans pursuing higher education or vocational training.

It’s important for older veterans to explore and take advantage of these benefits by contacting their local VA office or visiting the VA website to learn more about eligibility requirements and application procedures. Additionally, veterans service organizations (VSOs) and other community-based organizations can provide assistance with navigating the VA system and accessing available benefits.

In summary, veterans over 65 are entitled to a range of benefits and services designed to support their health, financial security and overall well-being. These benefits include comprehensive health care, disability compensation, pension benefits, Aid and Attendance assistance, burial and memorial benefits, and education and training programs. By taking advantage of these resources, older veterans can access essential support and care tailored to their needs, ensuring they receive the recognition and assistance they deserve for their service to the nation.

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