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June 8, 2020

Michigan Veterans Benefits – The Insider’s Guide

Last updated on December 21, 2022

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Hi Veterans, Brian Reese here from VA Claims Insider, and today, I’ll be covering the Michigan Veterans Benefits veterans can expect in their home state of Michigan.  The Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA) – Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) administers a wide range of Michigan veterans benefits programs, such as free benefits and disability claims counseling, Michigan state veteran homes, VA health care, education grants, home loans, property tax incentives, insurance and recreational discounts, employment assistance, legal advice, and other valuable benefits. You can visit the MVAA website to learn more about the activities, services, and benefits they can assist with if you are an in-state Veteran or family member of Michigan disabled veterans. But first, let’s jump into all the Michigan veterans benefits and Michigan VA benefits the Wolverine State has in store for you!

Map of USA MI
Map of USA MI

Overview of Michigan Military Life

Michigan’s veteran population ranks 11th in the states according to the most recent available data from the U.S. Census Bureau (released in July 2019):

  • Adult Population: 7.8 million (10th)
  • Veteran Population: 552,362 (11th)

Michigan ranks in the top half of states for highest unemployment for veterans for veterans below poverty level.

  • Veteran Unemployment: 4.4% (23rd overall)
  • Veteran Poverty Rate: 7.2% (21st)

Michigan also is in the 15 states with disabled veterans. 

  • Veterans with a Disability: 31.9% (13th)

Michigan does happen to be one of the cheapest states to live in, with a low cost of living (ranking 5th) and some of the best housing affordability in the nation (housing affordability ranking: 9th). However, overall Michigan is ranked 33rd when it comes to an economic environment for veterans. Part of this is because the median income of veterans in Michigan is $36,132, which is one of the lower medians in the states.Unfortunately, Michigan ranks low for overall veteran quality of life (44th overall). Although there are many things going right for Michigan, the opportunities for veterans are not as great as other states, and the weather can be hard to live in during the winters. Interestingly, Michigan also ranks in the top 10 states for veteran health care (9th). The state has a high number of VA locations with 28 as well as 4 military bases. With all that said, let’s take a closer look at the benefits for Michigan disabled veterans. 

welcome to michigan

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Housing & Healthcare 

There are 2 Michigan State Veteran Homes, they are located in Marquette and Grand Rapids. Veterans eligible for VA health care or financial assistance for long-term care may be admitted. The veteran must have been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible.Michigan residency is not required, and spouses or surviving spouses may be admitted if space is available. Fees are income based. D.J. Jacobetti Home for VeteransLocated in Marquette near the shores of Lake Superior, The Jacobetti Home provides top-notch medical and nursing care activities programs, as well as domiciliary care services.The Jacobetti Home has an extensive professional staff of physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians and recreational therapy aides, all working to make veterans’ stays pleasant. An in-house pharmacy, rehabilitation therapy, pastoral care and specialty clinics, such as dental and vision care, are also available. In addition, members have countless opportunities to participate in spiritual, social, recreational and educational activities, both on-site and in the surrounding communities, on a daily basis.The Jacobetti Home offers physician coverage as well as the following services: pharmacy, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation (in-patient), mental health, social work, routine dental examination, speech therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory services, recreation therapy, EKG and specialty clinics. Additional services such as podiatry, dental services and vision services are available on a fee-for-service basis. The amount of the monthly payment is based on income, expenses, marital status and assets. Staff will assist members in applying for pensions, Social Security, VA, and long-term care insurance payments.

Michigan state veteran homes

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is a long-term care state veterans home located on 90 acre land near the mighty Grand River. It was originally constructed on this property in 1885 and is one of 152 state veterans’ homes throughout the nation. Initially founded in response to the needs of veterans in the aftermath of the Civil War, GRHV continues the tradition of serving the needs of Michigan’s veterans today, changing and adapting to the needs of the current and future veteran populations.GRHV has capacity for 450 nursing care beds and more than 100 domiciliary beds. The nursing care beds include 115 special needs beds, with two 35-bed nursing units for the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and one 45-bed nursing unit for dual diagnosis patients. To care for its members, GRHV employs an extensive professional staff of physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians and recreational therapy aides. All work together to ensure pleasant and fulfilled lives for the members, while providing them the medical care they need. GRHV also provides a broad and advanced psychiatric program to meet the varied and unique mental health needs of veterans.  Other services include an in-house pharmacy, rehabilitation therapy, pastoral care and specialty clinics, such as dental and vision care. In addition, residents have numerous opportunities to participate in spiritual, social, recreational and educational activities, both on-site and in the surrounding communities, on a daily basis. Monthly dietary menus and activities schedule are available.

Michigan disabled veterans benefits

Housing Benefits for Michigan 100% Disabled Veterans

Service members or veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability may be entitled to a grant from the VA to help build a new specially adapted house, adapt a home they already own or buy a house and modify it to meet their disability-related requirements. Eligible veterans or service members may now receive up to three grants, with the total dollar amount not to exceed the maximum allowable. Previous grant recipients who received assistance of less than the current maximum allowable may be eligible for an additional grant. Specially Adapted Housing Grant The VA may approve a grant of not more than 50 percent of the cost of building, buying or adapting existing homes or paying to reduce indebtedness on a currently owned home that is being adapted, up to $64,960. In certain instances, the full grant amount may be applied toward remodeling cost. Special Home Adaption Grant The VA may approve a benefit amount up to $12,992 for necessary adaptations to a service member’s or veteran’s residence or to help him or her acquire a residence already adapted with special features for his or her disability. This grant may also be used to purchase and adapt a home or to make adaptations to a family member’s home in which they will reside. Temporary Residence Adaptation Eligible veterans and service members who are temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member may also receive a TRA grant to help the them adapt the family member’s home to meet his or her needs. Those eligible for a $64,960 grant would be permitted to use up to $28,515 and those eligible for a $12,992 grant would be permitted to use up to $5,092. Grant amounts are adjusted October 1 each year based on a cost-of-construction index. These adjustments will increase the grant amounts or leave them unchanged; grant amounts will not decrease. Under the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, TRA grant amounts will not count against SAH grant maximum amounts as of Aug. 6, 2013. Veterans and service members with available loan guaranty entitlement may also obtain a guaranteed loan or a direct loan from the VA to supplement the grant to acquire a specially adapted home.

michigan department of veterans affairs

Medical Benefits for Michigan 100% Disabled Veterans

Veterans with a 100 percent disability rating are eligible to enroll in Health Care Priority Group 1, with no co-payments required. Medical benefits package includes:

  • Preventative care
  • Primary care
  • Specialty care
  • Mental health
  • Home health care
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Geriatrics and extended care
  • Medical equipment/prosthetic items and aids
  • Nursing home placement
  • Medically related travel benefits
  • Hearing aids
  • Dependent’s health care (if dependants are not eligible under TRICARE)
  • Foreign medical care

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Employment 

State Employment Veterans Preference Veterans’ preference will be given to veterans and certain veteran spouses for initial employment with the state. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM The VR&E Program assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find and keep suitable jobs. For veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, this program offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. The VR&E Program includes the following services:

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills and interests for employment.
  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services.
  • Employment services such as job-training, job-seeking skills, resume development and other work readiness assistance.
  • Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations.
  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school.
  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling and medical referrals.
  • Independent living services for veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities.

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Education 

Benefits for Dependants The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant provides undergraduate tuition assistance to the child of a veteran who died while on active federal duty or who has been awarded a total and permanent disability rating from the VA. Children must be between 16 and 26. The grant is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. Call 888-447-2687 for more information.

michigan vets

Michigan Disabled Veteran Benefits: Recreational Discounts, Licenses & Passes

Disabled Veteran Hunting & Fishing Licenses Permanently & totally disabled veterans can get any resident hunting or fishing license for which a lottery is not required, free of charge. State Parks The following Michigan veterans benefits are available at Michigan state parks:

  • 100% permanently and totally disabled veterans get free entry into Michigan state parks.
  • Free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for U.S. National Parks. Click here to learn more.
  • Eligibility for military identification card.
  • Free Michigan hunting and fishing licenses.

Visit the Department of Natural Resources website for more information.

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Vehicle Licenses, Plates & Privileges

A Michigan veteran determined by the VA to have a service-connected total or permanent total disability rating for compensation qualifies to register one passenger vehicle with a disabled veteran plate at no fee. There is a one-time $5 administrative fee when the plate is first issued. Contact a Secretary of State office for additional information. Note: Ex-prisoners of war, regardless of disability rating, also are eligible for this reduced cost license plate.

state of Michigan benefits

Michigan State VA Facilities

Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
10N11VISN 11: Veterans In Partnership24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, 
  Lobby L, 
  (Now VISN 10)Ann Arbor, MI 48113-4002 
655Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center1500 Weiss Street   Saginaw, MI 48602989-497-2500 800-406-5143
515Battle Creek VA Medical Center5500 Armstrong Road   Battle Creek, MI 49037269-966-5600
553John D. Dingell VA Medical Center4646 John R   Detroit, MI 48201313-576-1000
506VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System2215 Fuller Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48105734-769-7100
506QBVA Ann Arbor –2500 Green Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48105734-769-7100
  Green Road Outpatient Clinic  
506QAVA Ann Arbor – 3800 Packard Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48108734-222-7600 / 734-845-3414
 Packard Road Outpatient Clinic  
655GFBad Axe Community 1142 S. Van Dyke RD, Suite 100 Bad Axe, MI 48413989-269-7445
 Based Outpatient Clinic  
515GCBenton Harbor VA 115 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022269-934-9123
 Outpatient Clinic  
655GGCadillac Community 1909 North Mitchell St 231-775-4401
 Based Outpatient ClinicCadillac, MI 49601 
655GHCheboygan County 14540 Mackinaw Hwy231-436-5176
 Community Based Outpatient ClinicMackinaw City, MI 49701 
655GEClare Community11775 N Isabella Rd989-386-8113
  Outpatient ClinicClare, MI 48617 
655GDClement C. Van Wagoner 180 North State Avenue989-356-8720
 Outpatient Clinic Alpena, MI 49707 
655QBClosed–Grand Traverse VA Clinic880 Munson Avenue231-932-9720 800-406-5143
  Traverse City, MI 49686X 11412
655GAGaylord VA Outpatient Clinic806 South Otsego   Gaylord, MI 49735989-732-7525
655GIGrayling Community 1680 Hartwick Pines Road989-344-2002
 Based Outpatient ClinicGrayling, MI 49738 
515GBLansing VA Outpatient Clinic2025 South Washington Ave   Lansing, MI 48910517-267-3925
515GAMuskegon VA Outpatient Clinic5000 Hakes Dr.   Muskegon, MI 49441231-798-4445
655GCOscoda VA Outpatient Clinic5671 Skeel Avenue, Suite 4989-747-0026
553Pontiac VA Outpatient Clinic44200 Woodward Ave, St 208   Pontiac, MI 48341248-332-4540
655AASaginaw VA Healthcare Annex4241 Barnard Road   Saginaw, MI 48603800-406-5143 X 11230
655GBTraverse City VA Outpatient Clinic701 U.S. 31 South   Traverse City, MI 49685231-932-9720 800-406-5143 X 11412
506GBVA Ann Arbor – Flint 2360 South Linden Road810-720-2913
 Community Based Outpatient ClinicFlint, MI 48532 
506GCVA Ann Arbor – Jackson 4328 Page Avenue  517-764-3609
 Community Based Outpatient ClinicMichigan Center, MI 49254 
515BYWyoming Health Care Center5838 Metro Way   Wyoming, MI 49519616-249-5300
553GAYale VA Outpatient Clinic7470 Brockway Road   Yale, MI 48097810-387-3211
0401VDearborn Vet Center19855 Outer Drive, Suite 105 W.313-277-1428
  Dearborn, MI 48124 
0402Detroit Vet Center11214 East Jefferson Avenue313-822-1141
  Detroit, MI 48214 
0403Grand Rapids Vet Center2050 Breton Rd SE   Grand Rapids, MI 49546616-285-5795
0437VMacomb County Vet Center42621 Garfield Rd. St.105586-412-0107
  Clinton Township, MI 48038-5031 
0438VPontiac Vet Center44200 Woodward Avenue, St. 108 Pontiac, MI 48341248-874-1015
0433Saginaw Vet Center5360 Hampton Place989-321-4650
  Saginaw, MI 48604 
0445Traverse City Vet Center3766 N US 31 South Traverse City, MI 49684231-935-0051
506VA Ann Arbor – North Campus Research Complex2800 Plymouth Road734-769-7100
  Ann Arbor, MI 48105 
506VA Ann Arbor – Offsite Warehouse844 Highland Drive   Ann Arbor, MI 48105734-769-7100
506VA Ann Arbor Finance & Payroll Office3001 Earhart Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48105734-769-7100
Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
585Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center325 East H Street   Iron Mountain, MI 49801906-774-3300
585GAHancock Clinic787 Market Street   Hancock, MI 49930-1495906-482-7762
585GDIronwood Clinic629 W. Cloverland Dr. Suite 1906-932-0032
    Ironwood, MI 49938 
585Manistique Outreach Clinic813 East Lakeshore Drive906-341-3420
  Manistique, MI 49854 
585HAMarquette Clinic1414 W. Fair Ave Suite 285906-226-4618
  Marquette, MI 49855 
585GCMenominee Clinic1110 10th Avenue, Suite 101906-863-1286
  Menominee, MI 49858 
585HBSault Ste. Marie Clinic509 Osborn Blvd. St. 306906-253-9383
  Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 
0434VEscanaba Vet Center3500 Ludington Street, St. 110906-233-0244

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Burial

Any Michigan veteran eligible to be buried in a national cemetery is eligible for burial at one of the national cemeteries in Michigan at no cost. Burial benefits include a grave site, opening and closing of the grave, a government headstone or marker, burial flag, and Presidential Memorial Certificate.

National Cemetery Administration – Midwest District

Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
909Fort Custer National Cemetery15501 Dickman Rd.   Augusta, MI 49012269-731-4164
82Fort Mackinac Post CemeteryMackinac State Park   Mackinac Island, MI 49757248-328-0386
923Great Lakes National Cemetery4200 Belford Road   Holly, MI 48442248-328-0386 248-328-0386
62Lakeside Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot3663 10th Avenue   Port Huron, MI 48060810-987-6000
Michigan veterans benefits

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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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