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The hurdles of mental health and disability for veterans

For Pennsylvania veterans just home from tour or veterans of past wars, mental health stability has always been a factor in their recovery and in quality of life. It can be difficult to approach the issue though as it demands a certain awareness from many parties for these heroes to get the help they need. Soldiers may struggle with reaching out for fear of appearing weak. Friends and family may not know how best to help when those scars come to light.

In recent months, the Chicago Tribune reports that the Wounded Warrior Project asked 36,000 veterans if they had considered suicide. One-third responded yes. This is a problem that many organizations work toward helping as mental health issues contribute to a veteran’s everyday challenges including maintaining employment.

The problem is exacerbated for veterans who, either from their time in service or from age, suffer from mental disability that leaves them in need of long-term assisted living.

There are many programs designed to alleviate the costs of this care, though it can be hard to navigate through the red tape and forms to get approved for financial aid. Some forms of aid require specific circumstances to qualify. Other programs such as The Veterans Aid & Attendance Or Pension Benefit can offer assistance for long-term care that falls outside service-connected disabilities. For appropriate cases, this benefit can also lend aid to widows of service members. But as Forbes reports, only 5% of assistance funds are applied for.

This aid for assisted living can help any qualifying veteran as neither Medicare nor Medicaid cover assisted living costs in Pennsylvania.

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