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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Services for Veterans: Helping those who served

Services for Veterans: Helping those who served

Individuals who have served their country in the armed forces are eligible for a wide array of benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits include health care services ranging from routine screenings and check-ups to long-term care. Additional benefits are also available for aging Veterans.

Qualification and Enrollment

Any individual who served in the active military, naval or air service and was discharged under any condition other than dishonorable may qualify for VA health care benefits. Members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty, other than for training, and completed the full duty requirement may also be eligible for health care.

All Veterans are encouraged to enroll with the VA to determine their eligibility for benefits. Only by enrolling in the VA health care system can Veterans guarantee that comprehensive services will be available when and where they are needed.

The VA’s enrollment system is based on priority groups. Congress determines the VA’s funding annually, which impacts the number of Veterans who can be enrolled in the health care program. The VA classifies Veterans into priority groups to ensure that limited funds are provided to higher priority Veterans first. Individuals in lower priority groups often have to pay copays for care and services.

Long-Term Care Benefits

In addition to preventative, health maintenance and emergency care, VA benefits may also provide for long-term care in some instances. Long-term care benefits include assistance that is provided for an extended period of time to help Veterans with everyday tasks and/or provide support for managing an ongoing illness. Long-term care, as defined by the VA, may be provided in a person’s home, a community site, residential setting, or nursing home. Eligibility for services covered by the VA are determined based on a Veteran’s need for ongoing treatment, service availability in their area, financial eligibility, priority group status and insurance coverage. Long-term care services may also be covered though Medicare, Medicaid, insurance or private funds.

Veterans can also call the VA at 844-698-2311.

Aid and Attendance Benefit

Veterans and survivors who have been found eligible for a VA pension may also be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits. VA pensions are only awarded to Veterans and their spouses who meet strict eligibility requirements and whose yearly family income is less than the amount set by Congress for qualification.  

Aid and Attendance benefits are paid in addition to the monthly pension. Veterans who are not eligible for a pension cannot receive these benefits. Since this allowance increases the pension amount, some veterans who were not eligible for a basic pension because of excessive income may be eligible under these rates. 

To qualify for Aid and Attendance, Veterans must require the aid of another person to perform the activities of daily living, which include eating, dressing and toileting. Veterans who are bedridden may also be eligible. Patients who are living in a nursing home or who have extremely limited eyesight may qualify as well. 

Housebound Benefit

Veterans or their surviving spouses who are confined to their homes because of permanent disability may be eligible for an additional Housebound benefit. The Housebound benefit is added to the monthly pension amount. Veterans must have already been determined eligible for the pension. Recipients are not eligible to receive both the Aid and Attendance benefits and the Housebound benefits at the same time. 

Application Process

Veterans and their families may apply for benefits by submitting the required forms to the Pension Management Center that serves their state or by visiting a local benefit office. Information on centers and offices is available online at www.benefits.va.gov/benefits. 

Overview of Veterans Aid and Attendance - CarePatrol Education Series

CarePatrol is hosting a series of free educational webinars to provide seniors and their caregivers expert advice and resources to be better prepared for their eldercare journey. John...

Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 04/13/2021

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