Many people think that medical and other benefits are immediately accessible to veterans. This is a myth. Currently, all medical and other benefits must be applied for by the veteran. Many veterans are even under the impression that their benefits are automatic, but sadly, they are not.
The reality is that all veteran benefits require a separate and often lengthy application process. For the untrained person and for the veteran, this can be a very confusing and frustrating challenge.
No matter how difficult the VA system is to navigate, there is no other option. Veterans have earned these benefits. If the veteran is too ill to advocate for him/herself, then you can contact the American Legion, VFW, AmVets, Red Cross, or Disabled American Veterans. Also, there are Social Workers at the VA hospitals that may help you find a VA Benefits Contact.
Do not give up and do not be intimidated by the process. Do not let anyone minimize your challenge or your frustration. Do what you need to do to get the veteran the benefits they need.
Coaching Into Care – 1-888-823-7458 (M-F 8-8pm EST)
Crisis (Veterans) Hotline – 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
Gambling Hotline – 1-800-522-4700
GI Rights Hotline – 1-877-447-4487
Homeless Veterans Hotline – 1-877-424-3838
In Transition – 1-800-424-7877 (personal coach to help between care providers)
Reachout Hotline – 1-800-522-9054
Tobacco Hotline – 1-800-784-8669
Military One Source – 1-800-342-9647
VA Assistance to sign up for Medical Benefits – 1-877-222-8387 (M-F 8a-8p EST)
VA Caregivers Support Line – 1-855-260-3274 (M-F 8a-11p; Sat 10:30a-6p EST)
VA Loan Center Counseling (avoid home foreclosures) 1-877-827-3702
Vets 4 Warriors (Peer Counseling) – 1-855-838-8255
Veterans Families United – 1-405-535-1925