Only about 40% of Nevada’s 226,000 military veterans actually use their government benefits, so AARP has just revamped its online tool to help people connect to the right programs.
The Veteran and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator is open to veterans and their families, who do not need to be an AARP member to use it.
Justin Chavez, community outreach director for AARP Nevada and a veteran, explained what the Benefits Navigator site can do.
“It assists them in learning more about how to qualify, apply and enroll in VA health care, understanding how health care benefits may be combined with Medicare and Medicaid to expand options,” Chavez outlined. “And finally, identify how to get help from representatives who have experience and knowledge of the VA’s process for awarding benefits.”
He pointed out the tool can help people access new benefits from the PACT Act, which covers services for more than five million veterans who were exposed to toxins during the Vietnam or Gulf Wars and in the post-9/11 era.
Chavez added some of the benefits are targeted to caregivers.
“The VA Aid and Attendance benefit provides a monthly payment added to the amount of their monthly VA pension for qualified veterans and survivors,” Chavez explained. “It’s meant to assist if they need help with daily activities, if they’re homebound.”
The site also helps people sign up for a new life insurance program from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, known as VALife. Millions of veterans will be eligible for the new program, which starts processing applications on Jan. 1.
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Veteran and Military Families Health Benefits Navigator AARP Sep. 2021
PACT Act information U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs 11/08/2022
Life insurance information U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs 2022
Veteran statistics Census Bureau 2015
This story was written by Suzanne Potter, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.