Services available to veterans locally

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

On Friday, Solace Hospice along with Pearl River County Veterans Affairs Representative Cindy Smith hosted a workshop at the National Guard Armory in Poplarville to share information about local programs and services offered to veterans and their families.

Smith said she can assist veterans with applying for and obtaining their earned compensation, pension and healthcare.

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The Veterans Choice Program provides veterans with medical care through an authorized community provider, Smith said. To be eligible for the program, veterans will need to be pre-approved for VA coverage, she said.

Smith also said veterans have 72 hours to have emergency medical care authorized under the VA program.

The compensation program is for any veteran who has a disability related to their service and is not income-based.

Application packets can be sent to veterans who need them, she said.

Smith said she does not have the authority to approve or deny claims, but she can help them with the application process and provide the required information to the Veterans Affairs office required in the decision making process.

Under the healthcare program, the VA requires information related to the income of the veteran and their spouse from the previous year, she said.

To qualify for the pension program, proof of 90 days of active duty, including one day served during wartime period, is required, Smith said. 

“It is a dollar for dollar based program,” she said.

Veterans can also apply for the housebound program, where veterans suffering from a permanent disability can receive a stipend to their usual benefits, she said.

Widows of veterans are eligible to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Smith said.

For additional information about VA benefits, contact the Veteran’s Service Center in Biloxi at 228-435-8271.