By: Paul Lorah
We have many Veterans coming to our office to plan for long term care and what we find is that there are so many that have never applied for or are not receiving all of the benefits that are available to both the Veteran and their spouse.
Veterans and widowed spouses who require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible for additional pension benefits for care assistance in the home or in an assisted living community [referred to as Aide & Attendance benefits or "Housebound" benefits]. More than one third of all American's are war time Veterans and could be benefiting from this assistance.
After sacrificing their lives serving our country and enduring years of physical and or mental issues after they return home many are unaware that these benefits are available for at-home care or assisted living care.
In order to qualify for Aide Aide & Attendance [A&A], your doctor needs to establish that you require daily assistance with tasks such as dressing, undressing, bathing, cooking, eating and others. The A&A pension can provide significant financial support to a veteran or surviving spouse in the following amounts:
- Up to $1,758 per month to a veteran
- Up to $1,130 per month to a surviving spouse
- Up to $2,085 per month to a couple
- Up to $1,380 per month to a veteran filing with a sick spouse
During a recent webinar the top 3 questions asked were the following:
- Which care options offer these benefits? This issue was the most common question asked during the webinar. Benefits are available known as "aide & attendance" or "housebound" which will help with costs for assisted living facilities or at home care. Aide and Attendance benefits are paid when a qualifying veteran needs help with activities of daily living [ADL's] such as dressing, bathing, eating, cooking, medications, etc. Housebound benefits are paid to a qualifying veteran who, due to illness or injury, cannot leave his/her home.
- What happens if I am denied benefits? If you receive an denial letter, it will explain why, many times it is due to additional information needed or not received. Your options are to appeal and/or submit the information requested. If you receive a denial and you have submitted the application and paperwork without the aide of an an elder law attorney. We recommend that you speak to one immediately at this point. They can help ensure that the information requested is submitted properly and that the appeal is filed before the deadline.
- Can I pay someone to expedite paperwork? No, it is not legal for anyone to charge veterans to complete or expedite paperwork. Instead, consult with an elder law attorney for what the next step can be, they have the experience to ensure that all of the paperwork is completed and submitted correctly the first time which will help ensure a quicker approval.
Author Paul Lorah is a Medicaid and Long Term Care Planning expert who has authored such books as "Planning and Paying for Long Term Care' and "How to Get Medicaid to Pay for Your Long Term Care Costs".
Questions about Veteran's benefits? contact us today