Michigan Veterans Benefits – The Insider’s Guide

Michigan veterans benefits

Hello, Veterans, this is Brian Reese from VA Claims Insider. Today’s post spotlights the wide array of Michigan Veterans Benefits you’ve been awarded if you live in the Wolverine state!

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!

Michigan disabled veterans benefits

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. 

Michigan veterans
Detroit, Michigan skyline

STATE OF MICHIGAN BENEFITS OVERVIEW

Veterans Benefits Administration- Northeast District

Detroit Regional OfficePatrick V. McNamara Federal Bldg., 477 Michigan Ave. Detroit, MI 48226  Phone: 800-827-1000

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Financial

PROPERTY TAX WAIVER

100 percent permanently and totally disabled veterans and veterans who are entitled to veterans benefits at the 100 percent rate or unremarried surviving spouses (if the veteran passes away before the tax break is granted) may request a property tax waiver. An affidavit, Form 5107 and supporting evidence must be filed annually with the local government office issuing their property tax bill (city, village, township, etc.) any time after Dec. 31 and before, or until the conclusion of, the December Board of Review.

In order to be eligible for the exemption, the disabled veteran must have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States. They must be a Michigan resident.

Additionally, they must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Has been determined by the VA to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans benefits at the 100 percent rate.
  • Has a certificate from the VA, or its successors, certifying that he or she is receiving or has received pecuniary assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing.
  • Has been rated by the VA as individually unemployable.

The unremarried surviving spouse of the disable veteran is eligible for the exemption based upon the eligibility of their spouse; therefore the spouse must also be a Michigan resident. The exemption will continue only as long as the surviving spouse remains unremarried.

When possible, the submission should be made in the first two months of the assessment year (January or February). For more information regarding the veteran’s exemption, visit the Michigan Department of Treasury’s website.

INCOME TAX

Active duty, retired pay and SBP payments are tax-free.

INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR PROPERTY TAX PAID

The state’s income tax code provides a tax credit for property tax paid by a disabled veteran or surviving spouse. This benefit varies depending on disability rating and the family’s income. Use the MI-1040CR-2 to apply for the tax credit. Even if no income tax is due, an eligible veteran may still submit a MI-1040CR-2 to receive the income tax credit as a tax refund. Visit the Michigan Department of Treasury website for a copy of the form and the instructions.

Emergency Assistance

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency offers emergency assistance to those having temporary financial issues who require assistance with utility bills, vehicle or home repairs, medical bills or other debts. 

There are many resources available including county Soldier & Sailor Relief Funds, the Michigan Veteran Trust Fund, and the National Guard Family Program.

Michigan veterans benefits

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 Veterans

Located 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

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

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
Michigan National Guard | Image credit: Joint Force Headquarters, Michigan

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.

state of michigan benefits

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
Image courtesy of Michigan Air National Guard

Michigan State VA Facilities

Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
10N11VISN 11: Veterans In Partnership (Now VISN 10)24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, Lobby L, Ann Arbor, MI 48113-4002 
655Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center1500 Weiss Street  
Saginaw, MI 48602
989-497-2500 /
800-406-5143
515Battle Creek VA Medical Center5500 Armstrong Road  
Battle Creek, MI 49037
269-966-5600
553John D. Dingell VA Medical Center4646 John R  
Detroit, MI 48201
313-576-1000
506VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System2215 Fuller Road  
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-769-7100
506QBVA Ann Arbor – Green Road Outpatient Clinic2500 Green Road  
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-769-7100
506QAVA Ann Arbor – Packard Road Outpatient Clinic3800 Packard Road  
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
734-222-7600 /
734-845-3414
655GFBad Axe Community Based Outpatient Clinic1142 S. Van Dyke RD, Suite 100
Bad Axe, MI 48413
989-269-7445
515GCBenton Harbor VA Outpatient Clinic115 West Main Street,
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
269-934-9123
655GGCadillac Community Based Outpatient Clinic1909 North Mitchell St   Cadillac, MI 49601231-775-4401
655GHCheboygan County Community Based Outpatient Clinic14540 Mackinaw Hwy   Mackinaw City, MI 49701231-436-5176
655GEClare Community Outpatient Clinic11775 N Isabella Rd  
Clare, MI 48617
989-386-8113
655GDClement C. Van Wagoner Outpatient Clinic180 North State Avenue   Alpena, MI 49707989-356-8720
655QBClosed–Grand Traverse VA Clinic880 Munson Avenue   Traverse City, MI 49686231-932-9720
800-406-5143
X 11412
655GAGaylord VA Outpatient Clinic806 South Otsego  
Gaylord, MI 49735
989-732-7525
655GIGrayling Community Based Outpatient Clinic1680 Hartwick Pines Road   Grayling, MI 49738989-344-2002
515GBLansing VA Outpatient Clinic2025 South Washington Ave  
Lansing, MI 48910
517-267-3925
515GAMuskegon VA Outpatient Clinic5000 Hakes Dr.  
Muskegon, MI 49441
231-798-4445
655GCOscoda VA Outpatient Clinic5671 Skeel Avenue, Suite 4   Oscoda, MI 48750989-747-0026
553Pontiac VA Outpatient Clinic44200 Woodward Ave, St 208  
Pontiac, MI 48341
248-332-4540
655AASaginaw VA Healthcare Annex4241 Barnard Road  
Saginaw, MI 48603
800-406-5143
X 11230
655GBTraverse City VA Outpatient Clinic701 U.S. 31 South  
Traverse City, MI 49685
231-932-9720
800-406-5143
X 11412
506GBVA Ann Arbor – Flint Community Based Outpatient Clinic2360 South Linden Road   Flint, MI 48532810-720-2913
506GCVA Ann Arbor – Jackson Community Based Outpatient Clinic4328 Page Avenue  
Michigan Center, MI 49254
517-764-3609
515BYWyoming Health Care Center5838 Metro Way  
Wyoming, MI 49519
616-249-5300
553GAYale VA Outpatient Clinic7470 Brockway Road  
Yale, MI 48097
810-387-3211
0401VDearborn Vet Center19855 Outer Drive, Suite 105 W., Dearborn, MI 48124313-277-1428
0402Detroit Vet Center11214 East Jefferson Avenue   Detroit, MI 48214313-822-1141
0403Grand Rapids Vet Center2050 Breton Rd SE  
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
616-285-5795
0437VMacomb County Vet Center42621 Garfield Rd. St.105   Clinton Township, MI
48038-5031
586-412-0107
0438VPontiac Vet Center44200 Woodward Avenue,
St. 108 Pontiac, MI 48341
248-874-1015
0433Saginaw Vet Center5360 Hampton Place   Saginaw, MI 48604989-321-4650
0445Traverse City Vet Center3766 N US 31 South
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-935-0051
506VA Ann Arbor – North Campus Research Complex2800 Plymouth Road  
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-769-7100
506VA Ann Arbor – Offsite Warehouse844 Highland Drive  
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-769-7100
506VA Ann Arbor Finance & Payroll Office3001 Earhart Road  
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-769-7100
   
Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
585Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center325 East H Street  
Iron Mountain, MI 49801
906-774-3300
585GAHancock Clinic787 Market Street  
Hancock, MI 49930-1495
906-482-7762
585GDIronwood Clinic629 W. Cloverland Dr. Suite 1   Ironwood, MI 49938906-932-0032
585Manistique Outreach Clinic813 East Lakeshore Drive   Manistique, MI 49854906-341-3420
585HAMarquette Clinic1414 W. Fair Ave Suite 285   Marquette, MI 49855906-226-4618
585GCMenominee Clinic1110 10th Avenue, Suite 101   Menominee, MI 49858906-863-1286
585HBSault Ste. Marie Clinic509 Osborn Blvd. St. 306   Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783906-253-9383
0434VEscanaba Vet Center3500 Ludington Street, St. 110 Escanaba, MI 49829906-233-0244

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 49012
269-731-4164 
82Fort Mackinac Post CemeteryMackinac State Park   Mackinac Island, MI 49757248-328-0386 
923Great Lakes National Cemetery4200 Belford Road  
Holly, MI 48442
248-328-0386 / 248-328-0386 
62Lakeside Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot3663 10th Avenue  
Port Huron, MI 48060
810-987-6000 
Michigan veterans benefits
Lighthouse on Lake Michigan

Michigan Veterans Benefits: Conclusion

Michigan is a beautiful state, full of outdoor activities and with a proud history of industry. Unfortunately it is still recovering from changes in the modern economy, hurting the economic opportunities for its veterans. They take seriously the care of their vets, but the reality is also that Michigan has limited resources when compared to other states as it doesn’t have the wealth it once did.

Compared to other states as large, Michigan lacks in its amount of benefits for its veterans. It also does not have the strongest quality of life for veterans, despite being one of the cheapest states to live in.

Thankfully Michigan partly makes up for that with one of the best veteran health care systems in the country. 

If you are already in Michigan and are looking to make the most of your Michigan veteran benefits, you will want to visit the state portal for veterans at https://www.michigan.gov/dmva.

There you will find access to many of Michigan’s benefit programs, as well as more information regarding each benefit available. 

For a complete list of VA hospitals, treatment centers, and other resources in Michigan, you can also go to the Michigan VA directory here.

About the Author

Brian Reese is a VA expert, author, and founder of VA Claims Insider“The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

More than 300,000 military members and veterans come to the VA Claims Insider and Military Disability Made Easy websites each month to get educated on the VA and DoD disability process.

Learn more >> About VA Claims Insider HERE. <<

Brian’s frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims 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 in less time.

Brian Reese VA
Brian Reese VA

Brian Reese VA Claims Insider

He is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability, and has served more than 6,000,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

Veterans can download one of his #1 most downloaded FREE eBooks right here right now: “The Secret Guide to 833 Ratable VA Disabilities” by clicking HERE now.

Brian 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 southern Afghanistan in 2011 in support of 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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