Veterans Corner Serving Those Who Served

Mar 29, 2013, 11:18 a.m.
Many veterans or spouses may not be aware that they qualify for a pension benefit. A war-time Veteran with 90 days of active duty, with one day beginning or ending during a period of war, is eligible to apply for the Aid & Attendance Pension.
Only an estimated five percent of these potentially eligible veterans actually receive these benefits. This fact can be attributed to the complicated and frequently changing laws surrounding the rules and regulations.
If you think you might need
assistance in applying for benefits, contact your area Veterans Service:
Lake County: 1300 S. Duncan Drive, Bldg. E, Tavares, (352) 742-6585.
Marian County: 2528 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Phone: (352) 671-8422
Pinellas County: 2189 Cleveland St., Suite 230, Clearwater, (727) 464-8460;
St Petersburg – 647 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg, (727) 582-7828
Hillsborough County: 10119 Windhorst Rd., Tampa, (813) 246-3170
Sarasota County: 4000 Tamiami Trail S # 139, Venice, (941) 861-3047
Manatee County: 1112 Manatee Ave. W, Third Floor, Bradenton, (941) 749-3030
Charlotte County: 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte, (941) 764-5579
Lee County: 2440 Thompson St.,
Ft. Myers, (239) 533-8381
Need a Book to help?
Barbara Steinberg, a Registered Financial Gerontologist™ and expert on eldercare financial planning has written Crack the VA: Discover Hidden Benefits For Your Parents, a guide to finding those hidden benefits. In it you will learn:
• What benefits are available to aging Veterans and their surviving spouses
• How to determine what they are eligible for
• Which forms to complete and where to apply for benefits
• How to fill out the forms to increase your chances of success
Homeless veterans will soon be a part of a national effort to reduce homelessness among veterans. Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc., was one of 38 projects around the country to receive a grant that will be used to provide a daily average of 25 beds for homeless veterans to promote increased housing stabilization. Housing will be provided at 5726 126th Avenue North, Clearwater, FL; and 8384 Bayou Boardwalk, Largo, Fla.
The grants were awarded through a special program that gives Veterans the opportunity to take over payment of a lease instead of moving out after leaving certain VA programs, such as substance use counseling, mental health services, or job training. Usually, VA programs require veterans living in transitional housing to move out after 24 months.
Called the “Transition in Place” model, it helps close the gaps in available housing for the nation’s most vulnerable homeless veterans.
“Securing permanent housing is a vital step in the journey of our homeless veterans,” said Dr. Susan Angell, executive director for VA’s Veterans Homeless Initiative. “This is the last piece of the puzzle. It is crucial for them in continuing to lead independent lives.”
Under the program, funds go to community-based programs that provide homeless veterans with support services and housing.
Lisa Pape, national director of homeless programs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which oversees VA’s Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD), said on a single night in 2011, a national count of homeless veterans totaled 67,495.
To help a homeless veteran or veteran at risk of homelessness, refer them to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, 1-877-4AID-VET, or direct them to www.va.gov/homeless.