Veteran Service Officer touches on a few benefits

We will have more shows on benefits coming in near future. If you have questions on any of the benefits we highlight or would like to learn more about a particular benefit, please leave a comment in the appropriate section or email us at our main website


Veterans Non-Service Connected Pension

Mike Haley is on the Advisory Board for Thuy Smith International Outreach. He is also a County Veteran Service Officer for WI.

Veterans Non-Service Connected Pension

 A VA pension is paid to wartime veterans who have limited income and are considered to be totally disabled for work purposes.  A wartime veteran age 65 is automatically considered disabled for this pension.

The general rule for eligibility is active duty service with an honorable discharge served at least at some point during wartime.   Most veterans serving from December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946, June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955, August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975 and after August 2, 1990 are in the eligible timeframe.

The financial numbers to be used for determining this pension are income from almost all sources including social security, interest, retirement payments, dividends, and from a business. The veteran’s household income can be reduced by subtracting a portion of medical expenses incurred during the year.  After subtracting medical expenses from the income, if a single veteran’s income is below $985.00 a month or a married veteran’s household income is below $1291.00 a month, they could be eligible for pension (2011 figures).

The numbers for a married couple would include both incomes and both medical expenses.

Additional benefits are payable to veterans who are permanently Housebound or are in need of Aid and Attendance of another person to perform the daily activities of living. If a wartime veteran needs help in daily living functions (such as bathing, feeding, dressing etc), is blind or bedridden, they may be eligible for a higher amount of pension.  A veteran in a nursing home or in some cases assisted living; they may also be eligible for the higher rates.

If you have any questions contact your County Veterans Service Officer located usually at the courthouse, or other VA representative.

Summary of Veteran Benefits

Mike Haley serves on the Thuy Smith International Outreach (TSIO) Advisory Board. He is a County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) and Vietnam Era Vet.

A summary of VA benefits

 The Veterans Administration has a variety of benefits available to veterans.  There are eligibility criteria for these benefits that can be established by checking with Veteran Service Offices in each county. 

These benefits include compensation if you are disabled as a result of your military service.  There is also a non-service related disability pension for wartime veterans with limited income and assets and are disabled or at least 65 years old.  There is no time limit to apply for these benefits.

 One big benefit is health care from the VA.  The VA Health Care system can provide primary care, hospital care, medications, counseling and many other services to veterans.  There are some eligibility criteria but many veterans are able to use this program.  They have VA clinics in many areas including Chippewa Falls, Rice Lake, Hayward and Loyal, Wisconsin.  They have Medical Centers in Minneapolis, MN and Tomah, WI. 

 There are also other programs that deal with Education, Home Loans, burial benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation and employment.  Some lower-income veterans could be eligible for grants to help with dental care, vision and hearing issues.

 This is a brief summary of Veterans benefits.  If you have questions you can call a VA representative including County Veteran Service Officers in your county. 

 See link below for more information on the VA Health Care system-

VA Health Care Information

Mike Haley serves on the Thuy Smith International Outreach (TSIO) Advisory Board. He is a County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) and Vietnam Era Vet.

Read more about him & other authors on Author Bio page-

VA Health Care

 The VA Heath Care system provides a full range of medical care for veterans. This care includes preventative outpatient and inpatient services within the VA system of over 1,400 medical centers and clinics across the nation.  In this area there are VA clinics in Chippewa Falls, Rice Lake, Hayward and Loyal, Wisconsin.  There are also medical centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Tomah, WI. 

The way to use VA Health Care is to enroll in the system.  The VA applies a variety of factors in determining veteran’s eligibility for care. The best way to determine if you are eligible is to contact your County Veterans Service Officer or VA medical center. 

The first factor in determining eligibility is:   Were you in the active military and discharged/released under honorable conditions or in the reserves/national guard and called to active duty by federal order and completed your call up period.  If you meet this criteria, then you are probably eligible if:

  • You were discharged for medical reasons, hardship or early out
  • You served in a combat theater and have been discharged less than 5 years
  • You were discharged because of a disability incurred in the military
  • You are a former POW
  • You received a purple heart
  • You receive a veterans pension or compensation
  • You receive state Medicaid benefits
  • You served in Vietnam

These are other ways of being eligible for VA Health Care that include having an income below the threshold that is set according to each county.  This figure is based on income and then subtracting medical expenses. An eligible veteran will receive comprehensive health care.

 There are other misconceptions about VA Health Care that are not true including:

1.      I can’t use the VA if I have private medical insurance — you can use the VA or you can have dual care – both your private doctor and the VA if you want.

2.      I make too much money to qualify for VA health care —  That depends on a number of  factors and the best way is to fill out the application(no cost) and the VA will make that determination. The income figure has been going up and more veterans are qualified now.

 3.      I was not in during a war so I am not eligible  —  War period service is not a requirement.

4.      I was not injured in the service so I am not eligible.  Most veterans using the VA medical system are not service connected.

The best way to find out if you are eligible is to fill out the application for medical care.  You can pick one up at your County Veterans Service Office, a VA clinic or hospital or get an application on-line.