Are you a wartime veteran (or the surviving spouse of one) with a medical condition that requires the assistance of another person? Are you receiving this care from an Assisted Living Community, a Home Health Care Agency, a Skilled Nursing Facility or even a family member?
If so, you may be eligible to receive a Pension from the Veterans Administration. To qualify, the veteran needs to have served at least 90 days of active duty in the military, where at least one day of this service occurred during a wartime period, regardless of whether or not the veteran was engaged in actual wartime combat.
For example, a married veteran of WWII (December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946) or the Korean War (June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955) who meets the above requirements and is in an assisted living community or receiving home care services for health reasons may be eligible for VA benefits of $1,949 per month. The surviving spouse of a wartime veteran may be eligible for $1,056 per month.
Another benefit is that this pension, which is paid by the Veterans Administration, is tax-free.
The fact is, many veterans and their families are not aware of these benefits and therefore cannot afford the care they need or are forced to move to Medicaid facilities when their money runs out. Like any government program, unfortunately, you must apply and the application process is not easy and is not simply explained. Minor mistakes on the application can cause delays or even rejection of benefits.
Since everyone's situation is unique and the benefits they are entitled to vary greatly, you should discuss your specific situation with a Veterans Service Organization or a company that can educate you about VA benefits. One word of caution, it is a violation of Federal Regulations to charge for this assistance. If anyone tries to charge you for help with the application, they are breaking the law.
We at SeniorLiving.com are always looking for resources to help our members afford the care they need. We have found Veterans Financial, Inc., a private financial services company that specializes in educating families about Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Planning and Financial Planning as it relates to long term care expenses. Over the past five years, they have advised more than 20,000 families from over 1,000 Assisted Living Communities and Home Care Agencies about the eligibility criteria for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension. They are not part of the Veterans Administration, but they offer free information about VA Benefits and will provide the necessary forms needed to apply as well as any help you need along the way.
These forms, and other resources, can be obtained by calling Veterans Financial, Inc. at 1-800-835-1541. You can also visit their website www.veteransfinancial.com to request information and to learn more about these benefits.
You may wonder, as we originally did, “how they can afford to work for free?” Veterans Financial, Inc., explained that they are able to provide financial services assistance for some of the families they advise about benefits. This may include structuring assets to provide income to pay for care or setting up Long Term Care Insurance for the family members of those in need of care. In these instances, their compensation comes not from the client, but from the various financial firms. VFI’s staff is committed to providing comprehensive service to all that seek their assistance, regardless of their need for VFI’s financial assistance.