There are few programs that pay for the services that are provided by In Home Care agencies. Most often people pay for services privately and it can be an expensive choice for them and their families. It is a necessary choice though. It makes it possible for them to live a healthy life.
There is one payer that most people do not know about, though. That is a Veterans benefit for Aide and Attendance. The first time I heard that there was a Veterans benefit that paid for In Home Services I really got excited. A guy from Flint, Mi was talking to a group of Aging Services workers and explaining the program. I imagined there we’re thousands of people who had served their country and would at some point in the future need assistance to pay for In Home Care.
Today, I would like to highlight these Veterans benefits. The rest of this article will explain who it works for and what you can do to gain services when you need them. It may seem complicated at first, but there are service agencies out there to help. You can be successful if you are willing to take some time and pay attention to the details.
Before you get too far into the process of filing for Aide and Attendance you need to establish eligibility. Eligibility has three parts. First, you need to have been in active duty during war-time and have an honorable discharge. Second, you must be considered homebound as documented by your doctor or a VA physician due to a medical illness or disability. (It does not have to be related to a military injury) Last, you need to meet their financial qualifications.
The VA will need you to prove each of these three qualifiers. It will mean filling out forms and providing copies of your personal and financial statements. It often is a task that is to hard for someone that is ill or has a disability and requires the help of a service organization like the Veterans Affairs Office. A lawyer may be needed if a financial situation requires decision making to protect the client or their other family members.
It is also important to note that the Aide and Attendance benefit is a reimbursement type benefit. As you prove your payments for In Home Care as well as other medical or health related costs, the VA will reimburse up to the level of a pre-established Pension Benefit.
In general, for a veteran or their spouse there will be approximately $2,000 per month that can be spent to help them live a healthy life at home. This should work out to about 25 hours per week of personal care and respite service. Hours can be used as needed to ensure that a client can live at home rather than being forced to move into a Skilled Nursing Home.
Our In Home Care agency, Care N Assist, does provide services to veterans. It is an honor and privelage to be able to support them in their time of need. We look forward to being able to provide the necessary support with activities of daily living and companionship for years to come.
Daniel Story, RN