Veteran Benefits in Rhode Island
For the more than 70,000 veterans living in the state of Rhode Island and their families, their honorable service has earned them a long list of state and federal benefits. Knowing how to access them can be a bit daunting, but a great place to start is the State of Rhode Island Office of Veteran Affairs. The department not only acts an advocate for Rhode Island veterans in government and legislative issues, but maintains staff trained on state and national benefits and can help veterans navigate the process of claims and applications. You can search its website for benefits that apply to you based on your service history, view a calendar of veteran-related events, access a long list of veteran organizations and links, or call (401) 921-2119 to speak to
Accessing quality health care is always a top priority for veterans and their family members, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) maintains its main medical center for the state in Providence. Located at 830 Chalkstone Avenue, the Providence VA Medical Center (PVAMC) delivers a broad range of services in medicine, surgery, and behavioral sciences with 32 subspecialty clinics and 73 beds. The medical center has approximately 150 board certified physicians and more than 1,000 full-time employees who complete the health care delivery team of professional, technical, administrative, and support personnel. Additionally, its nationally and internationally recognized clinical research activities enhance patient care in health services, dermatology, mental health treatment, pulmonary/vascular, rehabilitation, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcoholism and drug abuse. Rhode Island veterans can find medical care closer to home with the VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in New Bedford, MA; Hyannis, MA; and in Middletown, RI. These facilities offer primary care and some specialty care, and work closely with the Providence VA Medical Center when referrals are needed.
Rhode Island veterans may be eligible for numerous discounts and reduced fees when enjoying the state’s natural resources and recreation opportunities. For example, every 100% disabled veteran can get a hunting and fishing license for free. Any veteran who is an RI resident and with a 100% service-connected disability is exempt from paying any fee to play golf at the Goddard Park Golf Course. Disabled veterans may also be eligible for reduced or free parking, admittance, and certain user-fees at Rhode Island state-owned campgrounds, parks and recreational sites. Call the Rhode Island State Parks department at (401) 667-6200 for more information.
For Rhode Island senior veterans looking for long-term housing and care options, the Rhode Island Veterans Home offers more than 300 beds at its a 110-acre complex on Mount Hope Bay in Bristol. Located at 480 Metacom Avenue, new cottage-like settings and updated construction began in 2015 with an estimated open date of late 2017. The new construction includes private baths and bedrooms, a central location for social activities, and a chapel, salon, coffee shop, library, and medical examination room. The home offers 260 nursing care beds in three skilled and semiskilled units, and two ambulatory care units with an additional 79 beds. Residents have access to X-ray, dental, and pharmacy services, as well as physical therapy and occupational therapy, psych services, and transportation to PVAMC. Eligible veterans have been honorably discharged, have at least 90 days active wartime service, have been RI residents for two consecutive years or joined the service from RI, and do not have certain health conditions, such as addictions or contagious/infectious diseases. The cost of housing is dependent on the resident’s income. For more information on the application process, call (401) 253-8000.
A veteran’s honorable service to his or her country earns full honors at the time of death at no cost to his or her family, including burial, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. The Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, located at 301 Couth County Trail in Exeter, offers a final resting place for RI veterans as well as a place for veterans, families, and civilians to reflect and pay final respects. The cemetery is located on 280 acres and includes 31 monuments dedicated to veterans of specific wars and conflicts. You can check eligibility for burial online, fill out an application, or call (401) 268-3088 for more information.
Rhode Island Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to Illinois senior veterans and their spouses to help pay for senior care like assisted living, home care, or nursing home care. Here is more information on how the Aid and Attendance benefit helps Rhode Island veterans.
Written by Megan Hammons