A simple search online about veterans home care financial support can lead people to a number of websites, forums, and questionnaires. In a lot of these forums, family members of aging veterans who require some type of home care can vent about how frustrating it is to deal with the Veteran’s Administration.
The VA offers numerous pensions.
One pension called the Aid and Attendance Benefit was developed following World War I. It was initially created to provide financial assistance to injured and disabled veterans returning from war. The goal was to provide them care at home, and then the pension was expanded to provide coverage for veterans of all ages, whether they were injured or disabled during active duty service or not.
Today, there are an estimated 22.8 million veterans living in the United States (US News). Fewer than 1 million rely on financial assistance to pay for home care support. A quick perusal of some of these online forums also highlights that many family members, when helping an aging or disabled veteran parent or other family member fill out this application, become frustrated by the process itself.
Some have been denied coverage, even though they are considered a wartime veteran, have limited income and assets, and have a specific, documented need for home care support. Others have been approved, but end up waiting months and even years to get any type of reimbursement for home care support that was received while their Aid and Attendance Benefit application was pending.
The VA does stipulate that it may offer reimbursement for home care services that were provided while the application was in ‘pending’ status, but if these forums and other discussions are any indication, it is not always easy to collect.
The veteran and his or her family need to be very clear on expectations.
They need to be highly confident they will be approved for this pension. They also have to be careful about any type of outside support in filling out and submitting the application. Paying for help with this or other pension applications could be grounds for refusal, even though the veteran may have qualified otherwise.
Finally, if the veteran absolutely needs home care support, instead of waiting six, nine, or more months for approval, when they have high confidence in getting the financial support through the Aid and Attendance Benefit, they should contact a home care agency to discuss starting services.