GREENSBORO, N.C. — There are more than 724,000 veterans living in North Carolina, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 29% of them have used their earned benefits through VA health care.
Why? Part of it could be the vets don't know what's out there or the system is too complicated. So, what’s a solution?
The AARP Veteran Health Benefits Navigator. This is an online resource to help navigate how to get the necessary documents to get care, figure out what the benefits are, and how those benefits work with Medicare and Medicaid.
While about six million of AARP’s members are veterans, this is a resource for everyone, regardless of membership or age.
“It might be for a vet or someone who has a vet in their life, it could be a child whose parent is a vet or a spouse, it's for everyone,” said the architect of the AARP resource, David Sevier.
To help folks see themselves in the complex benefit world, AARP did several case studies, for example:
I served in Desert Storm but got out 6 years later….
My dad is a veteran and I want to find out what benefits he can access….
I’m a single mother and a veteran……
These case studies go step by step to help you figure out where to start and what the process looks like, including caregiving.
“A younger person for instance can be listed as a paid caregiver for their parent if they meet certain qualifications and we have, in broad strokes, how they can do that,” said Sevier.
In this navigator resource, there is also a focus on women's health and mental health.