There are more than 228,000 veterans living in the State of Iowa, and nearly half of those are over the age of 65. These veterans have earned helpful benefits for themselves and their families, from both state and federal organizations, but knowing where and how to access these is key.
If you need help getting started with Iowa veterans benefits or following up on a claim, the Iowa Department of Veteran Affairs staff offers accredited benefits specialists who specialize in federal VA and state benefits. They advise veterans and family members concerning federal VA benefits, including pension, disability compensation, and other ancillary benefits. Specialists can also represent claimants with federal claims and review all related correspondence to determine if an award action or denial was correct. For additional information, call the IDVA office at 515-252-4698 or 800-838-4692 and ask for a benefit specialist.
The State of Iowa offers several benefits for combat veterans who served after 9-11-2001, such as an Injured Veterans Grant that provides up to $10,000 to those with combat-related injuries. Additionally, The Military Homeownership Assistance Program provides eligible service members and veterans (90 days active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present) with a $5,000 grant for down payment and closing costs on a qualifying home purchase in Iowa.
Iowa veterans experiencing crisis can turn to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund for potential help. Since the multimillion-dollar fund was established in 2007, the earned interest has been made available to provide relief for Iowa veterans and their families. Currently, funds are used for unemployment or underemployment assistance due to service-related causes, assistance with vision, hearing, dental care, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs; counseling and substance abuse services; vehicle repairs; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency. Trust fund applications are reviewed and approved through the Iowa Veterans Commission.
Senior veterans in Iowa have a well established and expansive housing option in the Iowa Veterans Home, established in 1887and now the third largest state-owned facility for veterans in the nation. Located in Marshalltown, the campus spans nearly 150 acres with more than 700 residents, six main nursing care buildings, and one residential care building. The home provides personalized medical, nursing, rehabilitative care, mental health, pharmacy, and dietary services, along with many other services. You can request a tour of the campus by calling the IVH Tours Hotline at 1-800-645-4591.
Iowa veterans and their families have two main choices to find quality health care at the VA Central Iowa Health Care System and the Iowa City VA Health Care System. Both provide a wide range of services and specialized care for veterans and their families, as well as additional support for caregivers, returning servicemembers, veterans in crisis, and female veterans. The VA Central Iowa Health Care System operates out of its main facility in Des Moines, with community-based outpatient clinics in Mason City, Fort Dodge, Knoxville, Marshalltown, and Carroll. The Iowa City VA Health Care System operates out of Iowa City but also runs community-based outpatient clinics in Bettendorf, Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Dubuque, Ottumwa, and Waterloo, as well as Illinois locations in Galesburg, Quincy, and Sterling.
Written By Megan Hammons