RI Veterans: Did You Know? – 6 May 21 – by John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

“Free Nursing Home Care for Eligible Veterans”

Eligible disabled veterans could be entitled to free long-term care at a community nursing home or state-run veterans home, an estimated $8000-$13, 000 a month, regardless of any income or assets.  

Eligibility for a community nursing home is based on clinical need and setting availability. The VA will only pay for Community Nursing Home or State Veterans Home Care if you meet eligibility criteria involving your service-connected status and level of service-connected disability.

Eligible veterans are those receiving 70% or more combined disability (including VA TDIU disability) or requires nursing home care due to a service-connected disability. The Veteran is eligible for 100% community nursing home and or Rhode Island Veterans Home*, regardless of income.

Here is the list of contracted community nursing homes to include the Rhode Island Veterans Home currently contracted with VA:  

Rhode Island Nursing Homes


Orchard View Manor                          
135 Tripps Ln
Riverside, RI


Silver Creek Manor
7 Creek Lane
Bristol, RI

Rhode Island Veterans Home
480 Metacom Ave.
Bristol, RI


Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center of RI
10 Woodland Drive
Coventry, RI


Morgan Health Center
80 Morgan Ave.
Johnston, RI


Crystal Lake Rehabilitation and Care Center
999 South Main St.
Pascoag, RI


Hebert Health & Rehabilitation
180 Log Road
Smithfield, RI

MA Nursing Homes


Bourne Manor
146 MacArthur Blvd.
Bourne, MA


Our Lady’s Haven
71 Center St.
Fairhaven, MA


The Tremont
605 Main St.
Wareham, MA

To be eligible for 100% free community nursing home care program you must be enrolled and using the Veteran Health Care system and one of these must be true for the Veteran:

  • The Veteran must have a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or more, to include 100% VA TDIU, or
  • Requires nursing home care because of his service-connected disability.
  • Is in need of such care.

The Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island (ITAM-RI) provides FREE veteran benefit reviews for ALL veterans; membership is not required. If you would like to set up a free “benefit check-up”, contact ITAM-RI; email or (401) 677-9VET.

VETTIP: VA rules are complicated and always changing. From senior and experienced veteran service officer’s guidance to me, always have the veteran apply in writing to the VA for any benefit the veteran believes he or she is entitled. Moreover, if previously denied, review the reason(s) why you were denied, and if the veteran believes the decision was erroneous, contact a Veteran Service Officer in your area, who will assist you free of any charges.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. How do I know if the veteran has a service-connected disability?

In most cases, he will receive a monthly VA disability deposit or check. Exceptions to the rules, he could be ZERO percent service connected, however, the veteran will not receive a month. For example, many Veterans are rated 0 % for service connected for hearing. The veteran is still considered a disabled veteran however he receives zero financial compensation.

Q2. What is Service-Connected Disability

A “service-connected disability” is a disability that is related to your active military service. Your disability is assigned a rating (0% to 100%) based on how severely it impacts your daily life. The greater your disability, the higher you’re rating.

Example, you are receiving disability for a heart condition, VA rated 30%, and your disability requires you to be in nursing home, YOU WOULD BE eligible for long term nursing home care provided by the VA pr with a contracted facility.

Q3. How does a veteran know if he or she is receiving VA disability combined 70% or more service connected?

The first question I will ask the veteran, how much is your monthly payment from the VA? The veteran can check his or her account where the VA service-connected disability is deposited. Is the deposit $1400 or more, if yes, more than likely, you are receiving payment for 70% or more combined service connected. Another method to verify, is to check you account.

Q4. Where can I get more information on Community Nursing Home Care?

Best bet, go directly to VA website to find out more by visiting the Paying for Long Term Care section at

The Veterans Service Officer (VSO) from the Italian American War Veterans is available to assist, or by phone, (401) 677-9VET.

*Q5. How do I find out more about the State Veterans Home in Bristol Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Veterans Home (RIVH) is a 110-acre complex on Mount Hope Bay in Bristol managed and tun by the State of Rhode Island. The RIVH, by federal law, signs a State Home Care Agreement or contract with the Providence VA Medical Center, which conducts an annual survey to ensure the facility is in compliance with all statues to be a contracted facility for veterans care.

The home provides quality nursing and residential care to Rhode Island war veterans. Some of the services provided include social, medical, nursing and rehabilitative services.


  • Approximately 208 beds.
  • Long Term Care Facility.
  • X-ray, dental, and pharmacy services, physical therapy and occupational therapy, social work services, transportation to PVAMC.


  • Honorable discharge.
  • Veterans with 90-days (active) service during wartime.
  • RI resident for 2 consecutive years prior to date of application OR joined the service from RI.
  • The Rhode Island Veterans Home will accept any Veteran we are licensed to accept, however, the Medical Director has the authority to approve or disapprove any Veteran’s diagnosis for admission to the Home. Admission to the Rhode Island Veterans Home is voluntary.


John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.


  1. John Anthony Cianci on May 6, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Lora,

    Prayers and condolences on the loss of your husband.

    First, I would hold his legacy of military service has been preserved, like in a shadow box , which might also have the flag that was over the casket. If you don’t have all his medals and awards, contact your local congressional leader who will assist you in obtaining the medals and ribbons—FREE from the U.S. Government; provide the congressional leader with DD214 and authorization yo obtain the awards, their office facilitates the request to the appropriate agency.

    Federal and State benefits you should be eligible for; each state is different.

    Here is what I retrieved from the VA website today,May 6, 2021( rules are often changed with VA( based on laws) :

    VA benefits for spouses, dependents, survivors, and family caregivers
    As the spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for certain benefits, like health care, life insurance, or money to help pay for school or training. As the survivor of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for added benefits, including help with burial costs and survivor compensation.

    For spouse, dependent child, surviving spouse, surviving child

    Education and training ———————–
    Find out if you may be eligible for help paying for school or job training through our Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program (also called Chapter 35) or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship. And learn about how a Veteran may transfer their unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to you.
    For spouse, dependent child, surviving spouse, surviving child

    Employment right——————————
    Find out how to get free educational and career counseling if you’re a dependent family member who is eligible for VA education benefits.

    For surviving spouse————————-

    Life insurance options, claims, and beneficiary assistance right-arrow
    Learn how to apply for Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) coverage, explore other coverage options, and manage an existing policy. If you’re the beneficiary of a Veteran’s or service member’s policy, find out how to get free financial advice and will preparation services.
    For spouse, dependent child, surviving spouse, surviving child

    Pre-need eligibility determination for burial in a VA national cemetery right-arrow
    Apply in advance for eligiblity to be buried in a VA national cemetery. This can help you plan ahead to make the burial process easier for your family in their time of need.
    For spouse, dependent child, surviving spouse, surviving child

    Burial benefits and memorial items——–
    Get step-by-step guidance on how to plan a burial in a VA national cemetery, or in a state or tribal government Veterans cemetery. You can also apply for help paying for burial costs, request memorial items, and learn about bereavement (grief) counseling and transition support.
    For surviving spouse, surviving child, surviving parent

    If you’re the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran with wartime service, find out if you’re eligible for monthly pension benefits————————————–
    For surviving spouse, surviving child
    Compensation for surviving spouse and dependents (DIC) right-arrow
    If you’re the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, find out how to apply for this tax-free monetary benefit.

    Second, ensure you understand rules that could jeopardize your survivor benefits, to include your monthly VA retrieve from VA website , May 6, 2021:

    a. General Information on the Effect of a Surviving Spouse’s Remarriage, Continued

    b. Provisions of 38 CFR 3.50 as They Apply to a Surviving Spouse Under 38 CFR 3.50, in order to qualify as a surviving spouse for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purposes, a person must be unmarried. Therefore, a surviving spouse who remarries is no longer eligible to receive VA benefits.

    • If a surviving spouse remarries after age 55, he/she may retain eligibility for certain VA benefits under Public Law (PL) 107-330.
    • If a surviving spouse remarries after age 57, he/she may retain eligibility for certain VA benefits under PL 108-183.

    References: For more information on
    • eligibility for VA benefits under PL 107-330 and PL 108-183 after remarriage, see M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart iii, 3.F.23.h and i.
    • the effective dates for discontinuing payments when the surviving spouse remarries, see 38 CFR 3.500(n), and
    • award procedures when the surviving spouse remarries, see M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart iii, 3.F.25 through 34.

    Emphasis, ALWAYS verify with the VA on anyone else who answers questions on eligibility. Ensure to ask for a hard copy of the reference ANYONE tells you on benefits you could be entitled. Don’t hesitate to contact a local congressional leader for any questions on Veteran benefits; their office will provide you the most up-to-date.

    If you let me know what state and town, I can research and get back to you on those benefits you might be eligible for( every state and town/city is different).

    ( I will follow up with state and local benefits with survivors)

    Hope this was helpful.

    John A Cianci

  2. Lora Wandras on May 6, 2021 at 11:26 am

    My husband was a 100% disabled Veteran and passed away three years ago. I am receiving a
    widow’s compensation check from the VA. I am wondering what other benefits that I am entitled to receive. Please advise.