Veterans Benefits in North Dakota
As a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or a spouse or family member, you are entitled to a long list of benefits and services. For the more than 46,000 veterans that call North Dakota home, these benefits and services can help make life healthier, more affordable, and more enjoyable.
If you are just beginning to understand and access your benefits, or need assistance in following up or resubmitting a claim, you have several helpful resources in veteran service officers, available at three levels: national VSOs, county VSOs, and tribal VSOs. These trained experts – typically veterans themselves – are available to help veterans, dependents, and widows/widowers with inquiries and applications regarding veterans’ health care, compensation, pension, long-term care, burial benefits, interaction with federal and state organizations, and other benefits for veterans of all ages. These officers are employed by the state, county, or tribe, respectively, and provide services to veterans at no charge.
Accessing quality health care is always a priority for veterans and their families, and North Dakota is home to numerous U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. The largest facility is located in Fargo, serving more than 89,000 veterans from the surrounding areas. Additionally, veterans can receive medical care closer to home at nine community-based outpatient clinics that are part of the Fargo VA Health Care System in Bermidji, Bismarck, Devil’s Lake, Dickinson, Grafton, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, and Williston. Patients and their families can check their eligibility, schedule or change appointments, or check on billing and insurance questions from the online patient information home.
Veterans and their families facing financial hardships may be eligible for assistance through veteran-focused state programs, such as the Veterans Aid Fund that lends up to $5,000 to veterans and eligible widows/widowers with a set interest rate. Additionally, the PWTF Hardship Assistance Grant that can help pay for dental and/or denture work (routine and maintenance procedures are not covered), optical, hearing, transportation for medical treatment, special needs for medical reasons, housing deposit, other emergency needs approved by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. Veterans and their families facing homelessness due to financial hardships may also be eligible for assistance through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, which assists with case management, accessing state and national benefits, and temporary financial assistance for items such as rent and transportation.
North Dakota Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can apply for a grant that may provide them with a specially trained service dog from Service Dogs for America. These service dogs, trained in North Dakota, can help calm anxiety attacks, provide comfort and assurance in public settings, or wake a veteran from a nightmare. PTSD service dogs have been proven to greatly assist veterans in returning to a more normal life and reintegrating back into their community. To be eligible, a veteran must be a North Dakota resident, have a diagnosis of PTSD, be engaged in counseling or therapy, and have a doctor’s recommendation for a PTSD Service Dog. All qualified veterans are urged to apply or call 701-685-2242 for more information.
For North Dakota veterans seeking long-term housing options or needing around-the-clock nursing care, the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon is situated on a 90-acre wooded campus bordering the Sheyenne River. Since 1893, the Veterans Home has been providing high-quality care for honorably discharged veterans and their spouses, and offers 98 basic care beds (for independent seniors) and 52 skilled nursing home beds. The facility provides a wide range of medical services and therapies, as well as social services and recreation, like a theater, barbershop, chapel, and museum. To be eligible for admission, a veteran must either be a resident of North Dakota (30 days or more), have served in a North Dakota Regiment, entered the Armed Forces as a North Dakota resident, or be the spouse or surviving spouse of one of a veteran who meets one of these requirements.
Veterans looking to enjoy North Dakota’s many outdoor resources and outdoor recreation opportunities may be eligible for discounts and special events. For example, North Dakota veterans with a 50 percent or greater service-related disability, and former POWs, are eligible for a free state park annual permit. All other North Dakota veterans with service-related disabilities are eligible to receive an annual permit for $20. A resident disabled veteran can get discounted licenses for combined general game, habitat stamp, small game, and fur-bearer license, as well as discounted fishing licenses. A special nonprofit organization, Operation Black Hills Cabin, offers a week-long respite to qualifying wounded veterans and their families from the Iraq/Afghanistan campaign at little to no expense to them (except for transportation). The location also offers a variety of events throughout the year, such as cook-offs, hikes, and fishing tournaments.
Through their honorable service, veterans have earned benefits that extend to burial and memorial, including free burial in a national or state veterans cemetery, burial flag, funeral honors, and headstones, markers, and medallions. Veterans buried in private cemeteries may be eligible for burial allowances in addition to a headstone or marker. Spouses or dependents may be eligible for some of these benefits, so it is helpful to check with your local VSO or funeral director. The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery is located near Mandan on 35 acres and offers North Dakota veterans a final resting place and an opportunity for fellow veterans and civilians to visit and their pay respects.
To find out what veterans benefits exist in other states in the U.S. please visit our complete Veterans Benefits by State guide here.
North Dakota Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to North Dakota 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 North Dakota veterans.
Written by Megan Hammons