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Michigan Veterans Benefits – The Insider’s Guide

June 8, 2020

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!

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 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 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 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 ID Facility Address Phone
10N11 VISN 11: Veterans In Partnership 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive,  
    Lobby L,  
  (Now VISN 10) Ann Arbor, MI 48113-4002  
655 Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center 1500 Weiss Street   Saginaw, MI 48602 989-497-2500 800-406-5143
515 Battle Creek VA Medical Center 5500 Armstrong Road   Battle Creek, MI 49037 269-966-5600
553 John D. Dingell VA Medical Center 4646 John R   Detroit, MI 48201 313-576-1000
506 VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System 2215 Fuller Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48105 734-769-7100
506QB VA Ann Arbor – 2500 Green Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48105 734-769-7100
  Green Road Outpatient Clinic    
506QA VA Ann Arbor –  3800 Packard Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48108 734-222-7600 / 734-845-3414
  Packard Road Outpatient Clinic    
655GF Bad Axe Community  1142 S. Van Dyke RD, Suite 100 Bad Axe, MI 48413 989-269-7445
  Based Outpatient Clinic    
515GC Benton Harbor VA  115 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 269-934-9123
  Outpatient Clinic    
655GG Cadillac Community  1909 North Mitchell St  231-775-4401
  Based Outpatient Clinic Cadillac, MI 49601  
655GH Cheboygan County  14540 Mackinaw Hwy 231-436-5176
  Community Based Outpatient Clinic Mackinaw City, MI 49701  
655GE Clare Community 11775 N Isabella Rd 989-386-8113
  Outpatient Clinic Clare, MI 48617  
655GD Clement C. Van Wagoner  180 North State Avenue 989-356-8720
  Outpatient Clinic  Alpena, MI 49707  
655QB Closed–Grand Traverse VA Clinic 880 Munson Avenue 231-932-9720 800-406-5143
    Traverse City, MI 49686 X 11412
655GA Gaylord VA Outpatient Clinic 806 South Otsego   Gaylord, MI 49735 989-732-7525
655GI Grayling Community  1680 Hartwick Pines Road 989-344-2002
  Based Outpatient Clinic Grayling, MI 49738  
515GB Lansing VA Outpatient Clinic 2025 South Washington Ave   Lansing, MI 48910 517-267-3925
515GA Muskegon VA Outpatient Clinic 5000 Hakes Dr.   Muskegon, MI 49441 231-798-4445
655GC Oscoda VA Outpatient Clinic 5671 Skeel Avenue, Suite 4 989-747-0026
553 Pontiac VA Outpatient Clinic 44200 Woodward Ave, St 208   Pontiac, MI 48341 248-332-4540
655AA Saginaw VA Healthcare Annex 4241 Barnard Road   Saginaw, MI 48603 800-406-5143 X 11230
655GB Traverse City VA Outpatient Clinic 701 U.S. 31 South   Traverse City, MI 49685 231-932-9720 800-406-5143 X 11412
506GB VA Ann Arbor – Flint 2360 South Linden Road 810-720-2913
  Community Based Outpatient Clinic Flint, MI 48532  
506GC VA Ann Arbor – Jackson  4328 Page Avenue   517-764-3609
  Community Based Outpatient Clinic Michigan Center, MI 49254  
515BY Wyoming Health Care Center 5838 Metro Way   Wyoming, MI 49519 616-249-5300
553GA Yale VA Outpatient Clinic 7470 Brockway Road   Yale, MI 48097 810-387-3211
0401V Dearborn Vet Center 19855 Outer Drive, Suite 105 W. 313-277-1428
    Dearborn, MI 48124  
0402 Detroit Vet Center 11214 East Jefferson Avenue 313-822-1141
    Detroit, MI 48214  
0403 Grand Rapids Vet Center 2050 Breton Rd SE   Grand Rapids, MI 49546 616-285-5795
0437V Macomb County Vet Center 42621 Garfield Rd. St.105 586-412-0107
    Clinton Township, MI 48038-5031  
0438V Pontiac Vet Center 44200 Woodward Avenue, St. 108 Pontiac, MI 48341 248-874-1015
0433 Saginaw Vet Center 5360 Hampton Place 989-321-4650
    Saginaw, MI 48604  
0445 Traverse City Vet Center 3766 N US 31 South Traverse City, MI 49684 231-935-0051
506 VA Ann Arbor – North Campus Research Complex 2800 Plymouth Road 734-769-7100
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105  
506 VA Ann Arbor – Offsite Warehouse 844 Highland Drive   Ann Arbor, MI 48105 734-769-7100
506 VA Ann Arbor Finance & Payroll Office 3001 Earhart Road   Ann Arbor, MI 48105 734-769-7100
Station ID Facility Address Phone
585 Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center 325 East H Street   Iron Mountain, MI 49801 906-774-3300
585GA Hancock Clinic 787 Market Street   Hancock, MI 49930-1495 906-482-7762
585GD Ironwood Clinic 629 W. Cloverland Dr. Suite 1 906-932-0032
      Ironwood, MI 49938  
585 Manistique Outreach Clinic 813 East Lakeshore Drive 906-341-3420
    Manistique, MI 49854  
585HA Marquette Clinic 1414 W. Fair Ave Suite 285 906-226-4618
    Marquette, MI 49855  
585GC Menominee Clinic 1110 10th Avenue, Suite 101 906-863-1286
    Menominee, MI 49858  
585HB Sault Ste. Marie Clinic 509 Osborn Blvd. St. 306 906-253-9383
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783  
0434V Escanaba Vet Center 3500 Ludington Street, St. 110 906-233-0244

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 ID Facility Address Phone
909 Fort Custer National Cemetery 15501 Dickman Rd.   Augusta, MI 49012 269-731-4164
82 Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery Mackinac State Park   Mackinac Island, MI 49757 248-328-0386
923 Great Lakes National Cemetery 4200 Belford Road   Holly, MI 48442 248-328-0386 248-328-0386
62 Lakeside Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot 3663 10th Avenue   Port Huron, MI 48060 810-987-6000
Michigan veterans benefits

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