Tag Archives: seniors

Veteran Benefits for Seniors Needing Care

senior day care

Anyone who served in the military might be eligible for benefits depending on their needs and countable income and retirement savings, but once a veteran reaches age 65 and older, a variety of benefits become available.

Elderly veterans are also eligible for all of the benefits available to all veterans, including service connected disability compensation for disabled veterans, education and training, veteran pension, healthcare, insurance, home loans, vocational rehabilitation, employment, death pension, pension benefits, burial, and other cash benefits. Additionally, elderly veterans are eligible for Aid and Attendance and Housebound.

Aid and Attendance

Aid and Attendance (A&A) offers a monthly pension amount for veterans who:

  • Require help with daily functions, including eating, dressing, or bathing
  • Are in a nursing home
  • Are bedridden
  • Have very limited eyesight that meets certain qualifications

To qualify, veterans need not be injured during service. They must have served during an approved war period and have been honorably discharged. As of 2016, to qualify, they need less than $80,000 in total assets, with the exception of a home and one vehicle.

According to the New York Times, reporting data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, A&A is one of the least known and most underutilized benefits available to veterans. Money is available through the program for caregivers in the home, including sons and daughters (but not spouses) or it can be used to pay for assisted living or home care.

As of 2016, veterans alone might be entitled to $1799 per month. Veterans and their spouses can receive up to $2120 per month and a surviving spouse can receive up to $1149 per month (spouses might need to re-apply after the death of the veteran). Veterans with a sick spouse can qualify for up to $1406 per month. This can be more than 50% higher than the basic veterans’ pension. These numbers are expected to change in 2017, but will likely remain similar.

According to the data, of the nearly two million World War II veterans alive in 2011, fewer than 40,000 were granted A&A benefits. There were also fewer than 40,000 spouses with these benefits. Many consider these benefit a “well-kept secret.” It’s been an entitlement for veterans for nearly 70 years and only recently was information added to the website about the benefit.

Applying for Veterans’ Aid and Attendance

Applying for A&A can be confusing and frustrating. Some applicants are confused by the requirement that they must qualify for VA benefits, for which they must be considered disabled. What some people don’t realize, though, is that the VA automatically qualifies all service members as disabled once they reach 65 and they are eligible for benefits even if there are no “official disabilities.”

Income limits to qualify for A&A can be flexible and allow you to deduct the cost of medical expenses, caregivers, assisted living or nursing home fees. Besides off-setting the cost of senior care for vets, A&A might also provide a way for you to protect your assets.

Housebound

Housebound is another elderly veterans’ benefits program. It offers monthly payments for those who are substantially confined to their homes because of a permanent disability.

Elderly Veterans Healthcare

Veterans are entitled to certain healthcare programs. Included are programs such as extended care, geriatrics, long-term care, and more. Depending on their circumstances, they can receive this care at VA medical centers, regular hospitals, in long-term care facilities, at home, and throughout the community.

The VA has a strong interest in helping veterans remain in their home and in the community as long as possible.  These services range from adult day care, home care, and physician in the home among other programs.  Typically, the a VA Medical Center will contract with community providers to provide these services at little at reduced or no cost to the veteran and their family.  There is not always a low income requirement to access these services.

Geriatrics Program

Geriatrics and Extended Care Services is a program that tends to the health and well-being of vets with certain illnesses, chronic health conditions, disabilities, chronic diseases, injuries, and age. The goal of the programs is to help veterans be as independent as possible and lessen the burden of these issues on vets and their families.

The Geri-PACT program is an enhanced ambulatory care program that helps vets in the community with their health care needs. Those who have challenges related to chronic diseases, co-existing cognitive and functional decline, and psychosocial issues.

Long-term Care

The veterans long-term care program offers a wide range of services that range from assisting with everyday activities to providing support for illnesses. The program provides these services for an extended period of time and can assist vets in their homes, residential settings, nursing homes, and at community sites, such as adult day health care. Some of these programs are ideal for family members and caregivers who are providing support to their veteran loved one.

Veterans might also be entitled to financial assistance to help them pay for the cost of living in a residential setting or nursing home. Benefits are based on the individual’s need for ongoing treatment, assistance, personal care, and availability of services in their area, as well as insurance coverage, financial eligibility, and service-connected status.

Some of the residential settings in which veterans’ receive long-term care include medical foster homes, community residential care centers, assisting living, adult family homes, nursing homes, community living centers, community nursing homes, and state veterans’ homes. Hospice and palliative care might also be available.

Be Aware of Scams

It’s important for veterans and their loved ones to be aware of scams related to VA benefits. For instance, it is illegal for any entity to ask for financial compensation for help in filling out VA forms, but there are many companies that do just this. It’s also a good idea to check into the credentials of anyone offering an educational seminar or other instruction on VA benefits if it’s not coming directly from the VA. Though some are genuinely trying to help veterans, others stand to benefit and are taking advantage of veterans and the benefits to which they are entitled.

Financial issues as we age become tougher and tougher and can be one of the most stressful aspects of growing older. Fortunately for veterans and their loved ones, there might be financial assistance and other forms of support available to reduce this stress. If you or a loved one is a veteran and you would like to discuss your options or you have questions about home care or adult day care, call or email us at Skylark Senior Care.

Financial Resources for Seniors

senior care

As we age, we need more and more assistance to help us through our daily lives. Some of us require more health care and prescription coverage as we develop medical conditions, endure disability, suffer from disease, heart problems, and other life-changing illnesses.

Also, our living arrangements often need to change. For many, a family member known as a family caregiver is ideal. For others, home care or adult day care is a better option giving an opportunity to socialize, access to services, and peace of mind for our loved ones. Unfortunately, figuring out how to pay for it can be a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of financial resources available to help.

What should you consider to help you or a loved one pay for the cost of senior care?

Medicaid

Beginning in 2016, Medicaid now pays for a portion of the cost of assisted living in 46 of 50 states. It’s expected all 50 states will offer assistance in the coming years. There are several Medicaid programs that can help, including the  Home and Community-Based Services or HCBS Medicaid Waivers.  Check out more information about the Georgia program here.

Another Medicaid program that might help with the cost of senior care is State Plan Personal Care or Personal Assistance Services, which pays for personal care but does not limit the location of that care. With this program, it might be possible a senior to get access to care that comes in from the outside to offer help with grooming, bathroom, or transportation needs.

In recent years, many states have increased the Medicaid assistance offered to those for senior care because overall they are still saving money. Providing care is less expensive than paying for nursing home residency.

Unfortunately, even with these programs, Medicaid remains an inconsistent source of support for seniors because it varies so much from state to state.  Medicaid is a resource, but for most people, it will need to be one of several resources used to pay for senior care.

Veterans’ Programs

If you or a loved one served in the US armed forces you are eligible for veteran’s benefits. One veteran program provides assistance and services for seniors to help them stay in their home longer.

Your State’s Non-Medicaid Programs

Many states offer financial assistance to seniors outside of the Medicaid programs.  Programs vary a great deal, so you’ll need to check with your state to see what’s available and to determine which programs you qualify for.

Private Funding Sources

Most people use a combination of funding sources to pay for their senior care arrangements. They might be both public and private or they might be a combination of private sources.

You Have Options

The important thing for seniors and their families to understand is they have options. If you would like to know more discuss your situation with us at Skylark Senior Care or you can fill out the contact form below and we’ll get in touch with you for more details.