As your loved one grows older, it can be a struggle for family members to keep them safe and comfortable in their own home. The spouse who once helped them up the stairs or kept up with hygiene tasks may end up with health problems of their own, or other changes that can cause family caregivers to struggle with the workload.
If your loved one is a veteran, help may be just around the corner. The VA Aid and Attendance benefit is a common pension plan many veterans are familiar with. This benefit specifically provides eligible veterans (including their spouses) with home care assistance.
To meet eligibility, veterans must meet a few qualifications. They need to be either at least 65 years of age, or completely disabled. They also need to have served at least 3 months of active duty, with at least one day during a time of war. Other restrictions include needing the help, and certain income restrictions.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to get help paying for in-home care. According to the latest VA statistics, only about 25% of eligible veterans who qualify for this benefit actually apply, which means there are many veterans out there who may be missing out on the extra payments they can receive for in-home care.
How it works
The VA Aid and Attendance benefit is a monthly stipend added to your usual benefit. Qualifying veterans can get as much as $1,881 per month if they are single, and a married veteran can receive as much as $2,230.
Many veterans miss out on this because they believe they don’t qualify, when in reality they do. The VA’s definition of war time can extend beyond the actual first and last conflict dates, so if your loved one is close to those dates they may still be qualified.
The amount of money given for home care can be of huge benefit to a family struggling to care for their elderly loved one, because they no longer have to try and handle financing home-care themselves. Once approved, the aid is sent in the form of a monthly direct deposit to the veteran in question.
How to apply
At the minimum, your loved one will need their social security number, VA file number, and veteran’s service number. They will also need to print out VA Form 21-2680and have section 3filled out by the veteran’s doctor.
Additional documents can provide supportive evidence, such as a doctor’s report, but aren’t necessary. The file needs to be dropped off in person or sent by mail.
If you’re not sure or are struggling to fill out the forms, there are many organizations who are able and willing to help fill out the forms for free. You might try looking up your local Disabled American Veterans chapter, or American Legion for free help filling out your form.
Finances can often be a huge barrier to getting in-home care services, but if you’re a qualifying veteran they don’t have to be. Benefits are there to help your life easier and more comfortable.
At Homewatch CareGivers Overland Park, we are always honored to support and care for our veterans. For help throughout Overland Park, Leawood, Prairie Village and surrounding areas, contact us today.