A Comprehensive Directory of Resources for Disabled Military Veterans
For many military members, the fight doesn’t stop once their status changes from active to veteran. Though the military has resources for their members, many have issues transitioning back into civilian life. For those that have become disabled as a result of their military service, the struggle as a veteran can be even more difficult. Disabled veterans may have medical issues, housing problems, require mobility assistance, seek resources for food, or require mental health support. Thankfully there are many programs, agencies, and nonprofits designed to help disabled military veterans with these different needs and more.
Medical Care for Disabled Veterans
Generally, it’s best to seek out your local VA for any questions about medical resources you may need. Not only might the VA have further assistance that you qualify for, but they may also have information regarding disabled veteran resources that are local. Despite the challenges and additional expenses that can come with managing a disability of any kind, there are many programs designed to help veterans stay out of debt and avoid permanent damage to their financial health and credit.
In terms of medical care for disabled veterans, each person who served active military duty who disengaged with the service without a dishonorable discharge is eligible for VA health benefits. However, if you’re in need of additional health benefits, you can look into private health insurance options or non-VA resources to help with medical bills and debt.
VA Medical Care Resources for Disabled Veterans
- Enhanced eligibility: For veterans with disabilities, they may be eligible for enhanced eligibility putting them in a higher priority group with more benefits. Some of the VA’s benefits for disabled veterans with enhanced eligibility include long-term care, caregiver support, disability compensation, and various allowances depending on level of disability.
Non-VA Medical Care Resources for Disabled Veterans
- Resources that help veterans with medical bills and debt: The comprehensive list of resources that help veterans with medical bills and debt will help disabled veterans as well as able bodied veterans. These government programs and nonprofits are designed to help veterans and their families with medical bills and debt, understanding the burden that medical bills can create for veterans.
Housing Resources for Disabled Veterans
Whether you’re a homeless vet, or at-risk for homelessness as a result of your veteran status or disability, there are both VA and non-VA resources to help you. While the average landlord may initially be unforgiving toward veterans with needs for additional accommodation or a less than perfect credit history, these resources can help overcome those obstacles and secure housing.
Homeless Veterans Resources
- Physical Disability Board of Review: This review gives disabled vets a chance to have their disability reviewed in order to obtain more benefits as a result. The additional benefits can assist them with securing stable housing.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the VA: This VA supportive housing is a collaborative program between HUD and the VA. They offer rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to those that are eligible.
- Supportive Services for Veteran Families: SSVF offers time-limited supportive services for homeless veterans and their families.
- Operation Once in a Lifetime: Operation Once in a Lifetime started as a sort of “Make-A-Wish” for the military. However, it’s become a nonprofit offering a slew of resources based on the needs of each military member regardless of rank, disability, or time of service. One of their programs is Operation Forgotten Veterans is a program assisting homeless vets. They offer toiletries, snacks, temporary housing, clothing, and furniture.
- Final Salute: This organization’s HOME program is designed for female veterans having issues with homelessness. They offer transitional housing, food, clothing, transportation, and childcare, among other things, for women in 30 states in the United States regardless of disability.
At-Risk Veterans Resources
- Operation Homefront: Operation Homefront is a nonprofit focusing on providing relief for veterans, disabled or not, in many ways that veterans suffer once they get home. One major way that they help veterans in at-risk homeless situations is to put veterans in transitional housing, providing rent-free housing, and placing families in mortgage-free homes. They also distribute holiday meals, supply school supplies, and moving expenses, among others.
- USA Cares: USA Cares does a lot for veterans, one of the things they offer is housing assistance. Their housing program aims to prevent foreclosure and evictions in exchange for mandatory budget counseling for veterans and their families.
Many veterans have mobility struggles as a result of their disability. For that reason, many organizations work to help disabled vets get the resources they need in terms of medical mobility or home mobility.
Mobility Assistance and Resources for Disabled Veterans
- DAV: DAV is a nonprofit designed to offer support for veterans in a variety of ways. A few of which include giving rides to veterans for hospital visits, helping veterans obtain benefits that include mobility assistance, and sponsors programs to help disabled veterans in rehabilitative sports clinics.
- Paralyzed Veterans of America: PVA is an organization that aims to help veterans who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. They offer many resources for paralyzed veterans, one of which is providing medical advocacy. They also focus on vocational rehab, prosthetics, home care, housing, and help filing benefit claims.
- Active Heroes: Like many veteran programs, this program is designed to fulfil a few needs that veterans have. One of those needs is home repair. Since many disabled vets require some home renovation as a result of their disability, this nonprofit created this volunteer project to help with those needs including wheelchair ramps and bathroom renovations.
- House of Heroes: HOH also focuses on home improvement and renovations for disabled veterans looking for improved mobility within their homes. Their mission is to recognize and honor military service with home renovation volunteerism.
- The Home Depot Foundation: Team Depot works to improve the homes and lives of military veterans by helping to improve mobility and making wheelchair and disability accessible home renovations.
- Special Housing Adaptations Grant: This grant is through the VA and is intended to adapt an existing home to accommodate a service-related disability, or purchase a disability accessible home for a disabled veteran.
- Lead the Way: Lead the way’s Wounded Ranger Recovery Program offers support for wounded veterans in terms of monetary compensation, medical advocacy, modified vehicles, accessible homes, and adaptive equipment to improve mobility for veterans with disabilities and severe injuries.
- Salute: Salute is an organization that works to help veterans in whatever capacity is needed for each veteran. Some of the help they offer includes expensive wheelchairs and assistance machines offering increased mobility for disabled veterans.
Many veterans come back from their active status and struggle as civilians and the rate of disabled vets who struggle is even higher. Thankfully, many organizations that help veterans also provide food and grocery assistance.
Groceries and Food Assistance Resources for Veterans
- Military Brats: The Veteran Relief Fund with Military Brats is meant to help veterans with whatever financial pitfall is ailing them. This can include job loss and utility bills, but it can also include help with groceries.
- Our Heroes Journey: This assistance program focuses on many aspects of disabled and abled vets and their struggle once back home. One of which is providing basic necessities for veterans in need of help. They offer groceries, gas cards, diapers, and other things for veterans in need.
- Operation First Response: Operation First Response does a lot for veterans including helping with rent, utilities, vehicle payments, clothing, travel expenses, and they also help with groceries for disabled and wounded vets and their families on their path to recovery.
Support can mean so many things when a veteran is disabled in combat. Battling disability, PTSD, and civilian transition are all problems that many support groups specialize in.
Support Groups and Social Resources for Disabled Veterans
- Wounded Warrior Project: WWP serves veterans who incurred physical or mental injury, illness, wound, or co-incident to their service after September 11. They offer many resources to disabled and wounded veterans, and just one of those resources is offering support and resources including support groups, mental health support, and focuses on disabled vet independence.
- Hope for Heroes: Hope for Heroes is a nonprofit that combines a love for the outdoors and emotional healing for veterans who have experienced life altering disabilities while in the line of duty. It’s a community of people and their families who come together through experiences.
- Veterans Crisis Line: The Veterans Crisis Line is a resource for veterans who are in need of someone to talk to at a moment’s notice. They have a phone number, online chat option, and texting to accommodate many different veterans. The phone number is 1-800-273-8255.
- Veterans Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program: The VA’s rehabilitation program is to help veterans with dependency issues regardless of disability. Since this is an issue that plagues many disabled veterans, it’s a benefit that is available for everyone enrolled in the VA healthcare program.
It’s a hard truth that any veteran who was disabled as a result of combat comes back to a life of struggle, but it is the truth for many disabled military veterans. Medical needs, housing resources, mobility assistance, grocery aid, and emotional support are just a few aspects of struggle for many disabled vets. These programs are designed to help with all of those struggles, but there are also resources that may be available on the local level that are not listed. For that information, be sure to contact your local VA and ask for your local resources for disabled military veterans.
For more information, visit our military support resource center.
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Chelsy is a writer from Montana who now lives in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She enjoys talk radio, cold coffee, and playing Frisbee with her dog, Titan. Follow Chelsy on Twitter @Chelsy5
This post was updated December 8, 2017. It was originally published November 17, 2017.