Spectrum Health program connects veterans with benefits

Program leader says thousands of dollars in benefits going unclaimed

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By Heather Walker

Veterans are entitled to a lot of  federal and state benefits, but figuring out how to get and use them can be hard. A new program at Spectrum Health is helping veterans pay their hospital bills and much more with benefits that already exist.

The program started in November, but nearly six months later, many people still don’t know about it and thousands of dollars in benefits are going unclaimed. Only 30 percent of the documented veterans at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital have received some kind of benefit since the program started.

“I’m not sure which ones I would take advantage of,” veteran Ron Yaw said.

Yaw served in the U.S. Army in the 1960s. He ended up in the hospital last week. His hospital roommate Frank McKian, also served a few years before him. Neither of them took advantage of veteran benefits until they got to Butterworth.

“I think it’s wonderful, wonderful,” McKian said of the program.

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