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Veterans Benefits You May Not Know About

Wednesday December 24, 2014 - Jennifer Prell
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All Veterans deserve the benefits they've earned.  They are typically not transferrable and should be taken as soon as you are able.

Whether you are living in your own home or live in an assisted living community, there are many benefits available to veterans.  This information may also be helpful if you spend time in a rehabilitation center and need additional assistance when you return home.

 

Veterans Aid & Attendance Pension

If you receive a VA pension, you may be eligible to receive additional monthly monetary benefits from the VA.  This is a separate pension from all other pensions and benefits you are currently earning.  If you:

  • Are over the age of 65
  • Require the help of another person for everyday personal care needs (such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication management or toileting), or
  • Are bedridden, or
  • Live in a nursing home and are physically or mentally incapacitated, or
  • Have poor eyesight (5/200 corrected visual acuity or less in both eyes)

You can use your Aid and Attendance payments to help pay for the services that you need.  This benefit is available to veterans and their surviving spouse.

 

Home Health Care 
A Home Health Aide is a trained person who can come to a Veteran’s home and help with activities of daily living.  Home Health Aides are not nurses but they are supervised by a registered nurse who will help assess the Veteran’s daily living needs.  Aides can be provided to Veterans who need skilled services, case management and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, medication reminders or even making meals.  The veteran may be isolated or their caregiver is experiencing burden.  

 

TeleHealth Care
TeleHealth care is a home service that allows the Veteran's physician or nurse to monitor the Veteran's medical condition remotely using home monitoring equipment.  Veterans can be referred to a care coordinator for enrollment in TeleHealth Care services by any member of their care team.  Enrollment is approved by a VA provider for Veterans who meet the clinical need for the service.

 

Community Residential Care
The Community Residential Care program is for Veterans who do not need hospital or nursing home care, but cannot live alone because of medical or psychiatric conditions. This type of care takes place in a number of settings including Assisted Living Communities, Personal Care, Family Care or Group Living Homes, and Psychiatric Residential Care Homes. These places are inspected and approved by VA medical center staff, but are chosen by the Veteran.

Home Modification Programs

The VA has three main programs to assist disabled veterans with home modifications.

The Special Adaptive Housing Grant is designed to help provide a barrier-free living environment that affords the individual a level of independent living they may not otherwise enjoy, such as creating a wheelchair accessible home.  Veterans with specific service-connected disabilities may be entitled to a grant for the purpose of constructing or modifying a home to meet their adaptive needs.

The Special Home Adaptation Grant is for modifying an existing home to meet adaptive needs, such as assistance with mobility throughout the home.  Veterans with specific service-connected disabilities may be entitled to this type of grant.

The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant may provide the veteran with assistance for any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities.  It is available to veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary for the effective and economical treatment of their disability. 

To inquire about the programs and if you might be eligible to receive any assistance, please contact the Veterans Assistance Commission office in your county.  If you are unaware of who to contact, please contact Elderwerks.