North of the River
Special Veterans’ Benefits
In addition to the benefits available to all disabled veterans, there are special benefits available only to two specific groups of veterans, namely former Prisoners of War and holders of the Congressional Medal of Honor. These special benefits are over and above, and in addition to, the benefits to which these veterans would be entitled based on level(s) of disability alone.
1. Enrollment in VA Healthcare Priority Group 3 (no healthcare co-payments required), unless disability rating warrants assignment to higher Priority Group 1 or 2.
2. Exemption from all pharmacy co-payments, including for NSC medications.
3. VA fee basis outpatient medical card (all conditions requiring treatment, whether SC or not).
4. Eligibility for any and all necessary dental treatment.
5. Eligibility for sensorineural aids—hearing aids, eyeglasses, contact lenses—without regard to whether the condition producing need for such is service-connected. Veteran must be enrolled in and receiving VA healthcare and/or services.
6. Eligibility for exemption from vehicle license fees.
7. California State Park pass.
Medal of Honor holders:
1. Entitlement to payment of special Medal of Honor pension, currently $1,237 per month, in addition to any compensation for SC or other disability, or in addition to NSC disability pension.
2. Eligibility for exemption from vehicle license fees.
3. Eligibility for CAL-VET College Tuition and Fee Waiver for veteran and children (Plan D), but not for spouse or surviving spouse. May be authorized concurrently with VA education assistance under 38 U.S. Code, Chapter 35.
4. California State Park pass.
Wartime Veterans over 65:
VA pension is a needs-based benefit for wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are age 65 or older. Those who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability may also qualify. In addition, Veterans who are housebound or require an aid to perform daily activities may qualify for pension at an increased rate.
Like Jim, a Korean War Veteran who has Alzheimer’s and needs care 24/7. His sons found the help their family needed through VA pension benefits.
Using the financial support from Jim’s pension benefits, the family hired an aid to take care of Jim on a daily basis. With the help of a caregiver, Jim and his wife are able to stay in their house and get the services they need.
“Just knowing somebody is there in the morning to help to start their day and help with their daily activities is a real relief for our family,” says James, Jim’s oldest son.
Tim, Jim’s youngest son, says the money has been a godsend. “It has helped my mother and my dad. It relieves a lot of pressure and stress on us as a family.”
T apply, Visit Explore.VA.gov .