FAQ Answers

Am I Eligible for Financial Aid? Can I Get Help With My Medical Bills?

If you are a veteran, dependent of a veteran or a widow/widower of a veteran and struggling financially, you may be entitled to assistance. Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. Ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies and medical care in accordance with a formula which takes into account the number of dependents and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would were the veteran still living. This benefit is defined by law.
  • Eligibility Information
  • How to Apply

Can I Get Hearing Aids From the VA? What About Hearing Aids From the VA? (Eyeglasses Too)

VHA Directive 20141034(1) Issued April 22, 2014 (PDF):
Purpose: This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive provides policy for uniform criteria necessary for prescribing hearing aids and eyeglasses (sensori neural aids) to veteran patients.

Background: Public Law 104-262, the Veterans Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996, changed eligibility laws to allow VHA to furnish prosthetic appliances to veterans. However, that law further provided that VHA could not furnish sensori neural aids (hearing aids and eyeglasses) except in accordance with guidelines that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prescribes. Subsequently, the Department published regulations (Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §17.149) in the Federal Register establishing such guidelines. In 2002, VHA issued Directive 2002-039 to establish uniform policy for the provision of hearing aids and eyeglasses.

Can I Get a Hearing Aid From the VA?

It is National VA Policy that hearing aids are furnished to eligible veterans in accordance with the restrictions defined in a VA Directive 2002-039 released July 5, 2002. Briefly, the Directive explains that eligibility for hearing aids is currently limited to veterans with a documented service connected hearing loss, veterans receiving a disability rating of 10% or more - for a condition other than hearing loss, and some veterans with very special needs. With the exception of veterans with documented service connection for hearing loss, an eligible veteran must be currently enrolled in and receiving healthcare from a VA Medical Center or VA Outpatient Clinic.

Hearing aids are not customarily provided to non-service connected veterans. However, if there is a medical reason, a VA Physician can refer a non-service connected veteran for a hearing evaluation.

If you are not certain about your eligibility status, check the blue pages of your local phone directory for the number of your local Veterans Benefits counselor, or, call your nearest VA and ask for the Veterans Service Center. You may also contact the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 877-222-VETS.

Your VA Hearing Aid (PDF): Adjusting to a new hearing aid can be a confusing and difficult experience. This booklet offers some suggestions to help you adjust to your new hearing aid.

How do I Get a "Veterans ID" Card?

A question that is frequently asked is, "How do I get a veterans ID card." There is no such thing as a DoD (Department of Defense)-issued veterans ID card, unless you are a retired service member. The military provides all veterans with a DD-214, i.e., your discharge papers or equivalent. This document is the only proof of your military service. This is document should be safe-guarded. It is recommended that you make copies of your original and only use those copies and a photo ID (like a driver's license) as proof for those that seek it.

If you join a military service organization (American Legion, VFW, DAV, etc.), they will provide you with a membership card, most of them do not have your picture on them. A fully retired service member will get an official DoD ID card with a picture.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides eligible Veterans a Veterans Healthcare Identification Card (VHIC) for use at VA medical facilities. If you are enrolled in the VA medical system and receiving services, you will get a picture ID from the VA. More on the this card at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic/

How to Get a VA Veterans Identification Card

Various retailers now have started asking for a picture ID to receive a discount. These retailers have now requested a military-related picture ID to get a discount other than on Veterans Day or Memorial Day (maybe other holidays, too). Some retailers are telling us that their discount programs was really intended to support active duty and retired military service members for any-time discounts. That is unfortunate.


Lowe's® Statement on Military (Veterans) Discount: Lowe's Companies, Inc. announced it will expand its support of the military by offering an all day, every day 10% discount to all military personnel who are active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members, with a valid, government-issued military ID card.

All other military veterans will receive the discount on the Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day weekends.

Home Depot

The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. Statement on Military (Veterans) Discount: The Home Depot offers a year-round, 10% discount, up to a $500 maximum, at our U.S. stores to all active duty military personnel, reservists, retired or disabled veterans and their immediate families. We offer this discount to thank them for their outstanding service to this nation and to help make their homes more comfortable and safe. Customers requesting the discount should present a valid military ID.

In addition, a 10% discount is also offered in recognition of Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day at all U.S. Home Depot stores for all other military veterans.

If you ever have difficulty getting your discount, or if you have questions about the discount programs, please call The Home Depot's Customer Service line at 800-HOME-DEPOT (800-466-3337),

Visit the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council webpage for more information on ID cards.