Veteran Benefits in Missouri
More than 490,000 veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces call the state of Missouri home. Their service and sacrifices have earned them a long list of benefits to make life healthier, happier, and more affordable, but knowing how and where to access these benefits is key.
A great place to start is by contacting one of the state’s 41 highly trained and accredited Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) to assist you in filing for VA benefits. They are located in almost every county across the state and are divided into five regions. These accredited VSOs are thoroughly trained and knowledgeable in all areas of veterans’ benefits, including service-connected compensation, non-service connected disability pension, education and training, vocational rehabilitation, burial, and survivor benefits. Additionally, VSOs have access to the VA’s Benefit Delivery Network system, allowing them to expedite the filing of claims and delivery of earned benefits. To find your nearest VSO, you can contact Missouri Veterans Commission Central Office Headquarters at (573) 751-3779, or by using the online Service Officer Locator.
Certain Missouri veterans are eligible for free specialized license plates, including Medal of Honor, Purple Heart recipients, Military Retirees, Former POWs and widows of former POWs. Additionally, disabled veteran specialty license plates are available to eligible applicants at no fee (limit one set per applicant). You can contact the Missouri Veterans Commission for more information at 1-866-VET-INFO.
Additionally, the Missouri Veterans Commission has established several special initiatives to offer assistance to veterans in specific groups, including the Minority Veterans Initiative, the Women Veterans Initiative, and the Incarcerated Veterans Re-entry Initiative. Additionally, the commission’s Ombudsman program assists veterans and their families with extraordinary needs not being met by other agencies or organizations, by acting as a referral source to local, state and national resources.
Accessing quality health care is always a top priority for veterans and their families, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers five main medical centers throughout Missouri, in Columbia, Kansas City, Poplar Bluff, and two in St. Louis (Jefferson Barracks and John Cochran). Veterans and their dependents can also access care at the main outpatient clinic in Platte City, or at one of the 29 community-based outpatient clinics located across the state. The VA medical facilities offer a wide range of primary and specialty care services, as well as special programs for returning service members, caregivers, female veterans, and veterans experiencing homelessness. Using the medical centers’ websites, you can check your eligibility, schedule and change appointments, and get information on billing and payments.
For senior veterans needing housing options that offer around-the-clock care or help with activities of daily living (ADLs), the Missouri Veterans Home program manages seven modern, well-equipped facilities, offering 1,350 beds in compliance with 157 federal VA regulations. The Homes are located in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mt. Vernon, St. James, St. Louis, and Warrensburg. Each home employs a licensed nursing home administrator, has registered nurses on duty 24 hours per day, and provides physician care, medication, recreational and rehabilitative therapy, social services, and pastoral services. Each home also has a secured dementia unit that includes a dining room, activity area, and enclosed courtyard. The monthly resident charge is calculated based on the veteran’s ability to pay, with an established maximum monthly rate. To be eligible for admission, a veteran during his or her lifetime must have lived in Missouri for 180 days at some point in his or her life, meet the VA criteria for veteran status established, and require skilled nursing services.
The state of Missouri seeks to honor the service and sacrifice of its veterans by creating a network of veterans’ cemeteries so that every Missouri veteran will have reasonable access to a veterans’ cemetery. There are currently five cemeteries are in operation at Springfield, Higginsville, Bloomfield, Ft. Leonard Wood, and Jacksonville. For eligible veterans and spouses, the Missouri Veterans Commission provides burial with full military honors, granite headstone, and perpetual care, at no cost to the veteran’s family. To check eligibility and access pre-planning services, contact the cemetery director at your nearest veterans’ cemetery.
To find out what veterans benefits exist in other states in the U.S. please visit our complete Veterans Benefits by State guide here.
Missouri Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to Missouri 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 Missouri veterans.
Written by Megan Hammons