Idaho veterans, their families, and spouses are eligible for many services and benefits thanks to their honorable service to the U.S. military. From health care to senior living facilities, Idaho offers many resources and volunteers ready to assist. Read on to find out some of the best veterans resources available in Idaho.
If you’re not sure where to start in accessing your benefits, or need help with a claim, a good starting point is the Idaho Division of Veterans Services’ Office of Veterans Advocacy, a full-service agency with the primary purpose of helping veterans and their family members aggressively pursue all federal and state benefits and entitlements on their behalf. The office staff is comprised of qualified benefits specialists trained to help you obtain your benefits as a veteran, spouse, or survivor, as well as to counsel and educate with current, accurate information on the entire range of issues associated with veterans’ benefits and entitlements. This office is located at 444 Fort Street in Boise and is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can also make an appointment with a Service Officer in your area for assistance.
For veterans and their families, accessing quality health care is a primary concern. The Boise VA Medical Center, located at 500 Fort Street in Boise, provides highly sophisticated primary, secondary, and specialty care to roughly 28,000 veterans each year. The Boise VA Medical Center delivers care in its main facility in Boise and also operates Outpatient Clinics in Twin Falls, Caldwell, Mountain Home and Salmon, as well as in Burns, Oregon. The health care system offers a long list of health care services, as well as specific assistance for the needs of caregivers, returning servicemembers, and women veterans. Veterans can use the patient information home to determine eligibility as well as schedule, change, or cancel an appointment.
Veterans facing difficult times and looking for a way to connect to others going through similar experiences may find the Idaho Veterans Network especially helpful. The group is comprised of volunteers – mostly Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans – who assist other veterans who are in crisis by providing mentoring, advocacy, referral, and ongoing support and friendship to the veteran and their families. With weekly group meetings and other events, the Network is helping veterans work through difficulties shared by many who have been in combat.
For senior veterans needing assistance in daily living, the Idaho Division of Veterans Services operates three Veterans Homes in Boise, Lewiston, and Pocatello. All three homes share a common goal of providing responsive medical and supportive care to veterans who can no longer provide for themselves, along with a focus on quality of life, privacy, independence, comfort and security, and social needs. In addition to providing outstanding care for veterans and their spouses, Idaho Veterans Homes offer numerous activities and social services, including recreational and social activities, outings, and other programs that keep them active, independent, and involved. Social services include extensive on-site veteran services, library services, and transportation to medical appointments.
Idaho resident veterans who are 100% disabled with 100% service-related disabilities receive a free campsite while camping within Idaho’s State Parks and free day-use access. Additionally, resident and non-resident veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for discounted hunting and fishing licenses, as well as candidates for the Disabled Veterans Special Big Game Tag Program. Find out more at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Set against a backdrop of the rugged Boise Foothills, the Idaho State Cemetery offers 76.5 acres of peaceful solitude and beauty for friends and family members of veterans laid to rest. The eligibility requirements for burial at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery follow the National Veterans Cemetery eligibility requirements and Idaho law, although there is no requirement to be a resident of the state of Idaho. Interment fees for eligible veterans are paid by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (associated funeral expenses are not included). Cemetery Grounds are open to visitors every day of the week from 8 a.m. to sunset, and the Stars and Stripes fly 24 hours a day in silent vigil to the brave men and women buried there.