Chapter 114 Livonia, Michigan
Benefits for 100% Disabled Veterans
Veterans who qualify for a 100 percent disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are entitled to additional benefits not afforded to other veterans. Below is a list of benefits for 100 percent disabled veterans and their dependents.
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:
• 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 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 (SAH) 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 (SHA) 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 (TRA)
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 tham 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 & Fees
Property Tax Waiver
100 percent disabled veterans or surviving spouses may request a property tax waiver. As of 2013, the property tax exemption has been extended to include a veteran’s spouse if the veteran passes away before the tax break is granted. Eligible veterans and surviving spouses may apply for the waiver from the local government office issuing their property tax bill (city, village, township, etc.).
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.
The Secretary of State will license and register vehicle owned by 100 percent disabled veterans for an annual administrative fee of $5. The remainder of the annual registration and license fee is waived. Contact a Secretary of State branch office for additional information. Note: Ex-prisoners of war, regardless of disability rating, are also 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.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) 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. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.
The VA can pay an added compensation known as Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) in addition to the regular Disability Compensation under certain circumstances. For example, SMC may be paid to a veteran who, as a result of military service, incurred the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities.
If a veteran has a service-connected disability at the 100 percent 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.” The amount of this extra monthly payment will vary depending on the level of aid and attendance needed. The VA also considers unusual medical expenses when determining some needs-based pension and compensation payments.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI)
TSGLI helps severely injured service members who have suffered physical losses with a one-time payment. The amount varies depending on the loss, but it could make a difference in the lives of service members by allowing their families to be with them during their recovery. 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. TSGLI cannot be declined unless the service member also declines basic SGLI. TSGLI claims are adjudicated by the individual military branches of service. In addition, there is retroactive TSGLI coverage for service members who sustained a qualifying loss between Oct. 7, 2001 and Nov. 30, 2005, regardless of where it occurred. TSGLI coverage is payable to these service members regardless of whether they had SGLI coverage in force.
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. To be eligible for this type of supplemental insurance, veterans must meet the following three requirements:
• Be under age 65
• Be eligible for a waiver of premiums due to total disability
• Apply for additional insurance within one year from the date of notification of waiver approval on the basic S-DVI policy
Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
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. Protection is issued automatically following SAH approval, provided the veteran submits mortgage information required to establish a premium and does not decline coverage. Coverage automatically terminates when the mortgage is paid off. If a mortgage is disposed of through sale of the property, VMLI may be obtained on the mortgage of another home.
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. Veterans who entered active duty on or after Sept. 8, 1980, or officers who entered active duty on or after Oct. 16, 1981, may have to meet a longer minimum period of active duty. In addition, the veteran’s discharge must have been under conditions other than dishonorable and the disability must be for reasons other than the veteran’s own willful misconduct.
• 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 or call 517-373-1204 for current rates and how to purchase these licenses.
Benefits for dependents
Children of Veterans Tuition Grant
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.