Veterans Benefits in Nebraska
For veterans living in Nebraska, your honorable service to the nation has earned a long list of benefits and services. If you are just getting started learning about and accessing these benefits, the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs is an excellent place to start. Whether you are needing to access your DD-214 or would like a comprehensive view of the state’s veterans’ organizations, the department’s website can be a helpful tool. Additionally, the department supports trained county veterans service officers located throughout the state who are skilled in helping you understand and access your state and national benefits.
Accessing quality health care is always an important topic for veterans and their families, and for Nebraska residents, the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System includes two large, main medical centers – one in Omaha and one in Grand Island – as well as an outpatient clinic in Lincoln and numerous community-based clinics spread throughout the state. The medical centers offer a range of services to veterans, including residential substance abuse units, extended care, rehabilitation, geriatric care, palliative care, respite care, supportive/restorative and long-term care, and general nursing home care. The VA community clinics offer primary care services, lab work, prescription services, and referrals to the medical centers for specialty care. You can enroll online to check your eligibility, as well as make appointments. The VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System has established several procedures to help ensure a veteran can see his or her primary care provider within one to two business days, and have faster access to specialty care when needed.
Nebraska is an excellent location for hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offers special permits to veterans age 64 and older, deployed military, and disabled veterans at reduced or no cost. For example, Nebraska residents who are veterans may receive a fee exempt hunting or fishing permit if they are 50 percent service-related disabled or receive a disability pension from the VA. These permits are fee exempt and good for the life of the veteran. Nebraska residents who are veterans may qualify for a Veteran's Hunting/Fishing Permit for a fee of $5 if they are 64 years of age or older and have served active duty service other than basic training. For more information, see the commission’s full list of discounted permits.
If a veteran falls on hard times or is experiencing a financial emergency, the Nebraska Veterans Aid Fund (NVA) might be of some help. Established in 1921, this temporary emergency aid fund assists veterans, their spouses, and dependents when an unforeseen emergency occurs disrupting their normal method of living and when other resources are not immediately available. Aid can only be used for food, fuel, shelter, wearing apparel, funeral expenses, or medical and surgical items. Applications must be made through the County Veterans Service Officer or Post Service Officer of any recognized veterans' organization in the county nearest the applicant's place of residence and submitted to the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs.
For senior veterans seeking long-term housing solutions, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services provides four veteran homes located in Bellevue, Norfolk, Grand Island, and Scottsbluff. The veteran homes focus on wellness and allowing people to live their lives to the fullest extent possible, with services range from assisted living to skilled nursing care. Eligible veterans are those who served on active duty with an honorable or general discharge, and who lived in Nebraska at least two years during their lifetime, and are disabled by reason of service or age, or are otherwise unable to earn a living. Spouses, widows, and widowers of veterans, as well as Gold Star parents, are eligible under similar requirements. Veterans are admitted without regard to their financial situation and charges are based on each individual’s income and assets (those who can are required to pay a part of their care costs, but there is no fixed charge). To learn more, veterans and families should contact their County Veterans Service Officer or Area Veterans’ Home.
The State of Nebraska maintains a state veterans cemetery in the city of Alliance, located on 20 acres that were once a part of a large Army training airfield. Services are provided for free for eligible veterans and include pre-planning services, graveside services, interments, headstones, and perpetual care of the gravesites. The cemetery also offers a memorial garden for visitors to sit, reflect, or gather quietly with other loved ones. Nebraska is also home to two national veterans cemeteries, one in Omaha and one in Sarpy County.
To find out what veterans benefits exist in other states in the U.S. please visit our complete Veterans Benefits by State guide here.
Nebraska Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to Nebraska 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 Nebraska veterans.