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When enrolling in the VA health care system, each veteran is assigned to a priority group. The VA uses priority groups to balance demand for VA health care enrollment with resources. 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 dependents are not eligible under TRICARE)
Foreign medical care
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 Adaption
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 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.
Taxes and Fees
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 disabled 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 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.
A 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.
Employment, Education and Training
There are numerous services available to Wounded Warriors as they transition to civilian life. These programs provide a variety of services including vocational rehabilitation, case management and more.
Veteran Readiness 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.
Service members or veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability may be eligible for a variety of compensation packages, including insurance and pension benefits.
Disability compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
The VA can pay an added compensation known as Special Monthly Compensation in addition to the regular Disability Compensation under certain circumstances.
If a veteran has a service-connected disability at the 100% rate and is "housebound, bedridden or is so helpless to need the aid and attendance of another person," then payment of additional SMC can be considered. This additional monthly payment is referred to as Aid and Attendance and Housebound Allowance.
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection
TSGLI helps severely injured service members who have suffered physical losses with a one-time payment. TSGLI helps with unforeseen expenses or provides a financial head start on life after recovery. After Dec. 1, 2005, all service members who are covered by Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) are automatically covered by TSGLI.
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
Veterans who are totally disabled may apply for a waiver of premiums and additional supplemental insurance coverage of up to $30,000. However, premiums cannot be waived on the additional supplemental insurance.
Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance
VMLI is mortgage protection insurance available to severely disabled veterans who have been approved by the VA for a SAH. Maximum coverage is the smaller of the existing mortgage balance or $200,000, and is payable only to the mortgage company.
Improved Disability Pension
Veterans with low incomes who are permanently and totally disabled, or are age 65 and older, may be eligible for a type of monetary support known as Disability Pension. To qualify for this benefit, veterans must have 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war.
Free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for U.S. National Parks.
Eligibility for military identification card.
Free Michigan hunting and fishing licenses. Visit the Department of Natural Resources website for more information.
Benefits for Dependents
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. The grant is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. Call 888-447-2687 for more information.