Veterans may be eligible to receive VA home care, especially when they have physical or mental impairments that prevent them from functioning independently in their own home. Spouses of veterans, too, can benefit from VA home care in a variety of ways.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide range of programs that are designed to support veterans in the years after military service. Support programs include those focused on issues surrounding aging, health care and recovery. A few programs support spouses of veterans.
Husbands and wives of veterans may be eligible to receive some of the benefits that are available to veterans. Qualifications must be met, however, in order to receive support. The fact that support is available to both veterans and their spouses greatly relieves stress for both individuals.
What is VA Home Care?
VA home care is a type of care that is given to veterans by professional home health care providers. Caregivers or home health aides provide veterans with assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) Veterans may receive help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, mobility and eating, for instance.
What is Aid and Attendance?
The VAs Aid and Attendance program is also known as the Survivor’s Pension with Aid and Attendance. The benefit is offered as a monetary distribution. Aid and Attendance support may be used to pay for home care in the event the spouse of a veteran requires assistance at home.
An individual’s mother, for example, may need help at home; if the father was a veteran, the mother is eligible for Aid and Attendance support. The Aid and Attendance monetary benefits may be used to cover the costs of home care services.
As of 2018, the amount the Aid and Attendance benefit pays is $1209 per month. Veterans and their spouses may receive the VA Pension with Aid and Attendance for as long as the veteran needs and qualifies for home care. Benefits amount to $2230 per month for married veterans.
What criteria qualify applicants?
Surviving spouses of deceased veterans may also be eligible to receive the financial support from the Aid and Attendance program administered by the VA. The deceased spouse must have met the military guidelines and the widow must meet medical and net worth guidelines.
Aid and Attendance benefit requirements stipulate that the veteran must have served in active duty in one branch of the armed forces for at least 90 days. Veterans who served in the Reserves do not qualify. Veterans of the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines, however, do qualify.
The veteran must have also served for at least one day during wartime periods. Wartime service must be met in order to qualify—without meeting it, the veteran (and spouse) would be ineligible for benefits. Overseas service and combat duty are not required.
The spouse of a qualifying veteran may be eligible to receive Aid and Attendance support if he or she is married to the veteran (for at least one year) at the time of the latter’s death. Benefits are provided on the condition that the surviving spouse has not remarried.
Financial need is also evaluated. The spouse or veteran must have assets under $130,773; and monthly income from Social Security, pensions, and IRAs (minus the cost of home care) is considered. Plus, the spouse must need assistance with bathing, eating and other activities of daily living.
Once the eligible spouse of a veteran applies for the Aid and Attendance program, the application process may be approved within six to eight weeks; some applicants wait for over a year. However, once approved, the benefits are applied retroactively to the date of application.
How do spouses benefit?
Using the Aid and Attendance program provides the spouses of veterans the financial means to pay and receive VA home care. The money from the program is tax free. Funds may be used to pay for in-home care, a private-pay nursing home or an assisted living community.
The VAs Aid and Attendance benefits are minimally used. The underutilization of benefits is due to the fact that many spouses of veterans are unaware of the federal government’s financial assistance via the program.
As a long-term care benefit, the Aid and Attendance program is especially useful to spouses who need home care. Homemaker home health aides arrive at the care recipient’s home to provide nonmedical care. These professionals are not nurses, but are supervised by registered nurses.
Homemaker home health aides are employed by organizations that partner with the VA. This care option is a preferable alternative to being admitted to a nursing home. Being cared for by a homemaker home health aide also alleviates the burden of responsibility experienced by family caregivers.
When your aging loved one is a veteran or spouse of a veteran and needs home care, consult Assisting Hands Home Care for quality, compassionate in-home support. Our professional caregivers assist veterans and spouses in the comfort of home and help them perform the activities of daily living.
Our veteran respite care program is ideal for family caregivers who would benefit from a break from caregiving. In order for veterans or spouses to qualify, they must meet certain requirements, such as having significant cognitive impairment and needing help with three or more ADLs.
Assisting Hands Home Care also offers a VA homemaker and home health aide program. Eligible veterans and their spouses receive 12 hours of home care services weekly. An initial evaluation from a social worker, registered nurse and medical doctor is required to become eligible.
Families of veterans and their spouses are encouraged to consult Assisting Hands Home Care for our dedicated veteran home care services. Costs may be offset by utilizing any of the VAs financial assistance programs. We serve veterans living in the areas surrounding Frankfort and Mokena, Illinois.