“This article is reprinted courtesy of Northeastern Pennsylvania LIfestyles Over 50 Magazine – Sept.-Oct. 2020 – www.LIFESTYLESover50.com/NEPA
VetAssist Regional Manager Sue Ellen Engelman, shown here with a Korean War veteran, volunteers with organizations including Leigh High Valley Aging in Place and Wilkes-Barre American Legion.
As we celebrate Veterans Day in 2020, there’s something families of WWII, Korean War, Vietnam and Gulf War veterans should know. There’s a little known VA benefit for these veterans or their surviving spouses to help them in their old age. It can cover medical and custodial care costs up to $1,911 per month for a single veteran and up to $2,266 for a married veteran.
“The good news is that many are eligible. The bad news is that they just don’t know about it,” says Sue Ellen Engelman, VetAssist® Regional Manager. This VA benefit is a pension paid to veterans (or their surviving spouses) with an additional amount called “Aid and Attendance” to assist those who are disabled and need help to live safely at home. While most people are aware that the VA compensates veterans who are injured or disabled as the result of military service, many are unaware that a pension exists for wartime veterans who do NOT have a service-connected disability. Even those who are enrolled with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) may be unaware of Aid and Attendance.
“VetAssist is the brainchild of Bonnie Laiderman, owner and founder of Veterans Home Care®,” says Ms. Engelman. She started the company in 2003 after her experience as a caregiver for her own mother. Unfortunately, her terminally ill mother was eligible for Aid and Attendance but never received it due to the lack of awareness and paperwork involved. Since then, the company has helped more than 18,000 people successfully claim their Aid and Attendance funds and use it primarily for home care.
The VetAssist Program connects a national network of 3,800+ home care agencies with eligible veterans and spouses who need an in-home caregiver. VetAssist clients receive help with transportation, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping and personal care such as bathing, dressing and using the bathroom. VetAssist clients also receive the latest medical alert system powered by Amazon Alexa® technology. VetAssist can also arrange for adult day care. The cost of care is offset with the Aid and Attendance VA funds. There’s never a charge
for help with the VA application.
People can apply directly to the VA and file a claim, but the paperwork and the process can be daunting. So we always suggest that families of veterans get help with the application. Along with paperwork help, we get the care for the veteran or the veteran’s surviving spouse started right away. The VA may take months to process a claim for Aid and
Attendance. One of the best features of the VetAssist Program is that care can start before the VA funds arrive.
1. Military Requirements
The veteran must have served at least 1 day during wartime, served at least 90 days of active duty and have an honorable discharge to be eligible for Aid and Attendance and the VetAssist Program. Gulf war veterans must have served 2 years or the full time they were called for active duty. No combat duty or overseas service is required.
2. Medical Requirements:
The veteran or surviving spouse must be 65 or older and have a medical condition verified by a doctor that causes them to need help with activities of daily living. People younger than 65 could be eligible if they meet the requirements and have a letter from Social Security verifying their disability.
3. Money/Financial Requirements:
There’s a net worth limit (income and assets) of $129,094. However, a home, a car and certain medical expenses can be deducted from net worth.
Learn more: www.VeteransHomeCare.com or e-mail
us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free
888-314-6075 for a free consultation. Or in Pennsylvania, contact Sue Ellen Engelman at email@example.com or 570-793-5491.
Courtesy of Janet Jennewein, Veterans Home Care Communications
Director and Sue Ellen Engelman, VetAssist Regional Manage