veteran going home

How Do I Qualify for VA Benefits?

Veterans in Michigan have a wide range of benefits available, but many admit they are not aware of what benefits are available to them or how to qualify. An experienced veterans disability attorney can help you know what the programs are and how you qualify for VA benefits. Veterans Administration (VA) programs can help with many different aspects of life and the entitlement stems from your service in the military. A Michigan VA benefits attorney can explain the programs for which you might be eligible and help you go after benefits or appeal a denial. 

Federal VA programs can provide healthcare and disability compensation to veterans who qualify. Each program has different requirements. You must have received an honorable or other-than-dishonorable release or discharge, served the required length of service, and in some situations, did not exceed the income or assets limits.

Temporary Urgent Situations

When a veteran has a short-term financial struggle, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency can offer emergency help with medical bills, utility payments, repairs to the veteran’s home or vehicle, or other kinds of debts. Counties throughout Michigan provide resources for veterans through county Soldier & Sailor Relief Funds. Also, the National Guard Family Program and the Michigan Veteran Trust Fund can help a veteran in a time of need.

Getting a Job

When a veteran applies for a job working for the state of Michigan, the veteran has an advantage of applicants with no history of military service. Our state gives veterans (and some spouses) preference when deciding who to hire for state jobs. Additionally, there may be certain tax incentives for veterans based on service, disability rating and benefit type.

Michigan Property Tax and Vehicle Registration Benefits for Disabled Veterans 

Our state has a program that exempts some disabled veterans from having to pay property taxes on their property. In order to qualify, the veteran must be a resident of Michigan and have a discharge that was not dishonorable. Also, the veteran must be 100 percent disabled or have a 100 percent rating that is deemed by the VA to be ‘permanent and total.’ When a qualifying veteran dies, the surviving spouse gets the same tax break until remarriage.

A disabled veteran can register one vehicle at no cost. The requirements for eligibility include:

  • The veteran must be permanently and totally disabled.
  • The veteran must pay a five-dollar administrative fee when the first disabled veteran license plate gets issued, but after that, there is no charge.

These two benefits can add up to a considerable amount of savings for the veteran.

Long-Term Care

Our state maintains Michigan State Veterans Homes in certain locations throughout the state, such as Grand Rapids and Marquette. Dishonorably discharged or released veterans, however, may not be eligible. As long as the discharge or release was other than dishonorable, and the veteran qualifies for financial assistance for long-term care or for VA healthcare benefits, the veteran can get admitted to one of these long-term care homes.

Notably, in order to qualify for long-term housing care, the veteran does not have to be a resident of Michigan. If the care home has a vacancy, a spouse or surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran can get admitted to the long-term care facility. Also, the veteran must have served the full period of the call for active duty or 24 continuous months to be eligible unless the veteran enlisted before September 7, 1980, or began active duty before October 16, 1981.

Burial Costs

The County Board of Commissioners or Board of County Auditors can provide $300 for burial expenses of qualifying veterans. However, Michigan has asset limits for this benefit. The beneficiary must have been a resident of Michigan. Some spouses and surviving spouses are eligible for burial benefits.

Our state also helps qualifying children of disabled veterans or service members with military service-related death pay for college. Disabled veterans can get into Michigan state parks for free. Both active duty and disabled veterans can get deals on hunting and fishing licenses, as well, among other veterans.

You might be eligible for additional veterans’ benefits programs. You can talk to a Michigan VA Benefits Attorney to get started. Disability is all that we do, and we are here to help.  Contact us today