Veteran’s Elderly Care
Today, there are approximately 21.8 million former military service members in the United States (US News). These veterans may or may not have served during wartime, but veterans who did serve during a war, go back as far as World War II. Those who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam would now be between the ages of 70 and 105+.
What happens when a veteran needs elderly care?
There are government benefits for elderly disabled veterans but not everyone is aware they exist. In 1952 Congress passed Title 38 of the United States Code creating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and authorizing benefits for veterans. One of these benefits is the Non-Service Connected Pension, with “Aid and Attendance.” (Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension benefit.)
The Aid and Attendance Pension helps low-income veterans or their surviving spouses who struggle with activities of daily living. Aid and Attendance helps pay for assistance with: bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders and transportation. Unfortunately many who would qualify, put themselves at risk and go without help and end up in nursing homes. Some rely on family or friends to help out instead of using their VA pension to get the assistance they need.
So why don’t they consider the Aid and Attendance Benefit?
Even though the pension has been around for more than 60 years, very few people know about it or understand how it works. According to the VA’s own research, “The greatest barrier to participation is that eligible veterans and spouses and their caregivers are unaware of the VA Pension program.” According to a VA focus group, eligible nonparticipating veterans, spouses, and caregivers are unaware of the program because they have not received any communication from VA about it.
The VA’s focus groups also revealed that VA pension enrollees reported needing help with the application process. The same study also found fifty-one percent of all veteran pensioners report having been eligible for VA pension for an average of 11 years before they applied.
Many veterans find out about the program through a veteran service organization such as: the American Legion, Amvets, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Yet not all veterans join these organizations. Many who served were anxious to put their service years behind them and get on with their civilian lives.
How can we help?
The best thing anyone can do is share information about support services that may be available to veterans. For those who know a veteran, whether it’s a family member, friend, or friend of a friend, let them know there are pension programs like the Aid and Attendance Pension that could help pay for home care support services. The more people veterans know about these programs, the more likely they’ll put them to use, if they can and need.
Veterans Home Care specializes in connecting veterans and their surviving spouses with quality home care and the VA pension they deserve. Since we began in 2003, we have helped more than 11,000 veteran families with home care, the VA Aid and Attendance application process and more.
For more information and to learn about veterans aid and attendance, contact Veteran’s Home Care at (888) 314-6075.