From Veterans Home Care, written by Valerie VanBooven, RN BSN
Veteran care can have a wealth of benefits if you can find them. There seems to me quite a bit of misleading information on the internet. From the Department of Veterans Affairs benefit called the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension. This pension benefit allows for around $2,000 dollars per month for an approved veteran and their spouse. Finding this benefit seems to be the difficult part.
The Aid goes to cover the cost of caregivers in the home, which includes sons and daughters of the veteran but does not include the spouse. If there is no live in care then the money can go into assisted living or into a nursing home.
In 2012 there were 1.7 million WWII veterans alive and only 38,000 and their spouses taking advantage of the Aid. It is not mentioned on the veteran affairs website. It also seems difficult to find as when people have called the V.A. office, people employed in the agency did not know about the benefits. That would be detrimental to people looking to grab the benefits for them or their senior loved one.
There are some misunderstandings about who applies and who does not apply. It is not commonly known that the V.A. immediately classifies a veteran as disabled when they turn 65. Also, a veteran doesn’t need to be injured in service or disabled to qualify for the Aid. Also if income and asset material is approved then there is also a possibility to be eligible for basic pension from the V.A.
It is essential to beware of scams surrounding applying for these forms. There are many scams available online promising to do the application form for a certain price or taking a percentage of the income. None of the forms to the V.A. cost anything to download or apply. It is only scams taking advantage of seniors and trying to scam off their money.
“The sad thing is, it’s been an entitlement for 61 years, but it’s sat idle — the V.A. employees just haven’t been educated about it,” said Debbie Burak of Midlothian, Va. She called on behalf of her father who is a WWII veteran and she was unable to receive any information on the Aid.
There is also a big scam of financial planners from assisted living places whom are ‘helping’. These financial planners are trained to understand Medicare, Medicaid and moving assets and understanding the finances. These planners prey on seniors and families who have a tough time understanding how to pay for these services and they are looking for people with the maximum amount of money.
Once approved if provided the Aid & Attendance and Housebound Impaired pension benefit then it can be advantageous and a wonderful benefit for veterans.