Veterans Benefits Available in St. Louis
Veterans Services & Benefits
Veterans services & benefits are available through the Veterans Health Administration which administers all medical benefits. In the St. Louis area, there is John Cochran Division, 915 N. Grand, St. Louis, MO 63106 which serves the acute medical needs of veterans. Jefferson Barracks Division, 1 Jefferson Barracks Dr., St. Louis, MO 63125, offers mental health, spinal cord injury, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, substance abuse and domiciliary. Their mission is to improve the health of veterans through clinical care, education and training, medical research and FEMA support.
The Veterans Benefits Administration administers all non-medical benefits. Their regional office is at 400 S. 18th St., St. Louis, MO 63103, (800-827-1000). They handle applications for pensions, compensation, vocational rehabilitation and employment, housing & automobile grants, home loans, life insurance, education & training benefits and more.
The National Cemetery Administration operates the cemeteries. Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis is the 4th largest in the country averaging 18-24 burials per day. Springfield and Jefferson City also have cemeteries.To be eligible, a veteran must have an honorable discharge. Spouses and children are also eligible. Private cemetery burial benefits include: 1) a headstone or marker, including shipping; 2) Presidential Memorial Certificate issued upon request; and 3) burial flags provided to veterans who served after 1/31/55 or during a wartime period prior to that date.
The Department of Veterans Affairs pays a burial allowance of $2000 if death is service connected. It pays $300 burial and funeral expense for veterans that receive a VA pension or compensation or when death occurs while under care in the VA medical center, Vets home or while on VA nursing home care. DVA pays a $300 plot allowance to veterans who are not buried in a National Cemetery and who are in receipt of VA pension or compensation or when death occurs in a VA facility.
VA financial benefits are complex, and means tested, meaning it depends on ability to pay. Veterans must have an honorable discharge and, if not service connected, must be totally disabled and have served 90 days with at least one day during a wartime defined as:
WWII 12/7/41 to 12/31/46
Korea 6/25/50 to 1/31/55
Vietnam 8/5/64 to 5/7/75
Persian Gulf 8/2/90 to present
Because of the complexity of the application process, it is recommended that veterans seek assistance from an attorney certified through the VA, a company that specializes in VA benefits or by applying directly through the following organizations:
American Legion 314-552-9884
Disabled American Veterans 314-552-9883
Missouri Veterans Commission 314-552-9885
Paralyzed Veterans of America 314-552-9887
Veterans of Foreign Wars 314-552-9886
The veteran does not have to be a member of these organizations. If you do not receive assistance in filling the application out completely, be aware the process can be lengthy. Ask about their success rate in getting approved applications.
Veterans Homes are available in St. Louis, St. James, Mexico (MO), Cape Girardeau, Mt. Vernon, Cameron and Warrensburg. The one in St. Louis has at least a year waiting list so put the veterans name on the list even before they are ready so if they are called, they will be higher on the list even if they aren’t ready.
Other benefits available to veterans:
- Skilled nursing home care
- In-home health care, PT, OT and Social work assistance for those needing Hospital based primary care
- Home Modifications to accommodate a veteran’s disability
- Community based Outpatient Clinics
- Hospice Programs
- Adult Day Health Care
- Residential Care in which veterans are placed in community facilities approved by the Medical Center.
- Vet Centers for mental health support
- Spinal Cord Injury Support
- Respite Care
- Much more too numerous to detail.
Contact the Veterans Administration for a booklet on Veterans benefits. In Missouri, contact 573-751-3779 in Jefferson City or 314-552-9985 in St. Louis. Website is www.mvc.dps.mo.gov.