Page 26 - Scene Magazine 45-06 June 2020
P. 26

  Local Interest
BY AARON D. EDLEFSON, MPA
Director, Calhoun County Veterans Affairs
   Upon separation from the armed forces, many Veterans are unaware of the benefits they have earned. Even Veterans who have been out for decades are un- aware of the benefits that are available to assist them. There are numerous benefits, from a variety of agencies, and the system that houses all of them can often be com- plicated and difficult to navigate. In the rolling ocean of benefits, Calhoun County Veterans Affairs is the lighthouse designed to navigate you in the right direction. We assist Veterans and their families with federal, state, and county benefits.
died from a service-related illness or injury. Pension, often referred to as aid & attendance, is a benefit for wartime Veterans who have limited income and meet age and disability requirements es- tablished by the VA. Survivors pension is similar to pension but is for the surviving spouses and unmarried dependent chil- dren of wartime Veterans. There are also enhancements to those four benefits, as well as a myriad of other benefits offered by the VA, including burial benefits.
Veterans that are not included above. At the county level, we have our own
At the federal level we assist with numerous benefits, but the most common are disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), pen- sion, and survivors pension. Disability compensation is a benefit paid to Veter- ans who have a disability related to their service. DIC is paid to surviving spouses or dependents of a service member killed in the line of duty or of a Veteran who
At the state level, we house the Mich- igan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF) which is an emergency financial relief program for wartime Veterans, dependents, and surviving spouses. We also assist Veter- ans and unremarried surviving spouses with the property tax exemption that
is offered by the state to Veterans who are rated 100% permanently and totally disabled or have been awarded individ- ual unemployability. As with the VA,
the state also offers other benefits for
This has been an incredibly brief summary description of some benefits offered at the federal, state and county levels, but as I previously mentioned there are many more benefits and pro- grams that exist.
We’re Assisting Veterans with Their Benefits
emergency financial relief program,
the Veterans Relief Fund (VRF). VRF differs from the MVTF in that peacetime Veterans, Guardsmen, and reservists can apply for assistance. Calhoun County also offers burial assistance for Veterans and dependents who meet certain criteria.
If you have any questions regarding benefits for Veterans or their families,
or would like to apply for any benefit
I mentioned, I would absolutely rec- ommend that you contact our office. Calhoun County Veterans Affairs can be reached at (269) 969-6734. If you would prefer to reach us by e-mail, you can do so at va@calhouncountymi.gov.
 Providing services for veterans and their families.
Federal Benefits Emergency County Burial and Programs Assistance Benefits Benefits
                                                                                                          (269) 969-6735 • 190 East Michigan Avenue, Third Floor, Battle Creek, Michigan calhouncountymi.gov/departments/veterans_affairs/index.php
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