Veteran Benefits in Oklahoma
More than 336,000 veterans call the state of Oklahoma home, and their service and sacrifice has earned them a long list of state and national benefits. If you are just beginning to access your veteran benefits, or need assistance filing a claim or following up on a claim, a great place to start is your local Veteran Service Representative (VSR), located throughout the state of Oklahoma. These trained professionals can help you understand your benefits, explain current legislation impacting veterans, located local resources and organizations, and help with your VA questions.
Accessing quality health care is always a top concern for veterans and their families, and the state of Oklahoma is home to two major VA health care systems, three outpatient clinics, and numerous community-based outpatient clinics. The Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System is headquartered at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, serving more than 47,000 veterans in 25 counties in eastern Oklahoma. The center offers a variety of primary and secondary levels of inpatient medical and surgical care, along with outpatient primary and consultative care in medicine, surgery, and psychiatry. The second main VA health care system available to Oklahoma veterans is the Oklahoma City VA health Care System, operating a 192-bed facility in central Oklahoma that serves a veteran population of more than 225,000. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary care, tertiary care, and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, oncology, dentistry, geriatrics, and extended care. Veterans and their families can also access health care closer to home at three outpatient clinics in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and 12 community-based outpatient clinics located across the state.
Veterans and their families facing financial emergencies may be eligible for help through the state’s Financial Assistance Program, created by the Oklahoma War Veterans Commission. When faced with financial hardships from interruption or loss of job and income due to illness, injury, or disaster such as loss of home due to fire, flood or storm, eligible veterans may receive a one-time emergency aid to be used only for food, rent, and utilities for veterans and their dependents. The funds cannot be used for expenses such as old debts, doctor or hospital bills, or car payments. For more information, contact the Oklahoma Veteran Affairs Department at 405-521-3684.
Senior veterans in Oklahoma seeking for long-term housing options with extended medical care will be happy to know that the state is among the top two states in the number of Veterans Centers providing intermediate to skilled nursing care for its veterans. There are seven locations – in Ardmore, Claremore, Clinton, Lawton, Norman, Sulphur, and Talihina – offering a total of more than 1,400 beds. Professional personnel provide diversified health services, including laboratory, x-ray, pharmaceutical, dietary, social, and recreational. The Veterans Centers operate much like private communities, situated on spacious, landscaped acreage and featuring recreational halls, auditoriums, cafeterias, and laundries. An eligible Oklahoma veteran is an individual who is certified by the VA for receipt of per diem payment, has served at least 90 days with one or more days being on active duty (unless discharged as a result of a service connected disability other than dishonorable discharge), and is disabled by age, disease, or other reason.
Veterans looking to enjoy Oklahoma’s natural resources may benefit from discounted fees and rates. For example, all honorably discharged veterans who are currently Oklahoma residents receive free admission to all state-owned or state–operated parks and museums. A valid Oklahoma driver license or state photo identification card and military discharge papers (DD Form 214) or similar evidence of an honorable discharge are required for free admission. Additionally, veterans with a service-related disability of 60% or more receive discounted or free hunting and fishing licenses and tags, and exemption from Wildlife Land Stamp requirements.
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, as well as perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Oklahoma is home to National Veteran Cemeteries in Fort Gibson and Fort Sill. Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. A veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. For more information, you can contact the funeral director at the cemetery, or call 1-800-535-1117. Additionally, the Oklahoma Veterans Cemetery in Oklahoma City includes gravesites from conflicts ranging all the way back to the Civil War. All veterans cemeteries also offer an opportunity for veterans and their loved ones to pay their respects to their fellow veterans and mark memorial occasions with special events and gatherings.
To find out what veterans benefits exist in other states in the U.S. please visit our complete Veterans Benefits by State guide here.
Oklahoma Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma veterans.
Written by Megan Hammons