Know the benefits of being ‘100% disabled’
The VA acknowledges our military Veterans, who are 100% disabled differently than other Veterans. While no one would argue being 100% disabled is a good thing physically, having this rating provides some national and state-specific perks.
Here are some of the special benefits that Veterans who are deemed 100% disabled receive. First, they can enroll in Health Care Priority Group 1 with no co-payments. That means they may have access to:
- Primary care
- Preventative care
- Specialty care
- Home health care
- Geriatrics and extended care
- Nursing home placement
- Mental Health care
- Dental care
- Vision care
- Medical equipment, prosthetic aids, hearing aids
- Travel benefits for medical reasons
- Health care for Dependents (if not eligible for TRICARE)
- Foreign medical care
But that’s not all. If you, or someone you know, are considered to have a permanent and total service-connected disability, you may be able to have your house modified to accommodate your physical needs. In lieu of that, you may be able to receive a grant to help you build a home that meets your adaptive specifications.
In addition to these to grants, you might also qualify for a temporary residence adaptation, if you do not own your own home and are temporarily living with a family member who does.
If you are not house-bound, you may be able to travel enough to enjoy this nation’s amazingly beautiful national park system. If you do, you could be eligible for a military identification card and a free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. Many states offer free hunting and fishing licenses, and other state-specific perks.
The financial savings don’t stop with free access to national parks. Veterans who have a 100% disability rating also can receive state-specific property tax reduction or exemption. Along with employment, education, training assistance, free or reduced vehicle registration, survivor and dependent benefits, and of course, VA disability compensation.
Eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to service-connected conditions may qualify for education and training opportunities under the Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) Program. This program extends to dependent survivors as well, when Veterans die from their service-connected disabilities or die during active duty.
These benefits can be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. Even correspondence courses or remedial courses may be approved. The amount of benefits your dependents receive depends on whether they began using these benefits before August 1, 2018. Some DEA recipients can use this benefit along with their entitlements from other VA education programs.
Naturally, there are limits associated with each benefit. For example, for medical benefits, children are considered dependents only until age 18 unless they are in school full-time. Full-time students can be your dependent through age 23, which is standard tax law. The only exceptions to this are ‘special needs’ children who before age 18, become permanently incapable of supporting themselves.
Beyond the regular, tax-free VA disability compensation, Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled could be eligible for additional, special monthly compensation under certain circumstances. This is separate from an extra monthly payment called ‘Aid and Attendance and Housebound Allowance.’ The latter depends on the level of assistance needed.
Finally, you may qualify for different types of special insurances and waiver of premiums. Consider traumatic injury protection, service-disabled Veterans insurance, supplemental insurance, mortgage protection, or low-income disability pension.
If you have any questions about your entitlements, here’s a great website for you: www.military.com/benefits/disabled-veteran-benefits.html.