Hi Veterans, Brian Reese here from VA Claims Insider, and today, I’ll be covering the Michigan Veterans Benefitsveterans 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 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.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. Monthlydietary menus and activities schedule are available.
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.
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:
Home health care
Geriatrics and extended care
Medical equipment/prosthetic items and aids
Nursing home placement
Medically related travel benefits
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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