At Maplewood Senior Living we are honored to support many residents who are veterans. Each year we honor the sacrifices they made to protect America with special ceremonies held in celebration of Veteran’s Day across our communities.
Throughout the year we also host a number of educational events aimed at educating veterans and their families about a variety of benefits that are available to them. According to the U.S. Census brief, there are more than 12.4 million veterans aged 65 and older. However, nearly 69% of veterans aren’t aware of the many benefits available to them in their later years. Many of these veterans, most of whom served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and during the Persian Gulf War, are eligible for financial and health-related benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you or your loved one is a veteran, there’s no better time to review Veteran’ benefits for elderly care.
There are a number of different benefits that may be beneficial to age veterans, depending on their needs and current living situations. Here are some of the most common benefits used by older veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
• Disability Compensation- Veterans who develop a disease or injury during active military service can be eligible for a tax-free monetary benefit. Those who experience post-service disabilities that are related to the circumstances of their service could also be considered for this financial compensation.
• Pension- A pension is available for older adults aged 65 and older who need assistance with their financial responsibilities and meet net worth limitations.
• Health Care- While many older adults choose to enroll in Medicare, health care plans are available for older adults through the Department of Veterans Affairs. This can assist with specialty appointments, home health care, and medical equipment.
• Insurance- Veterans are eligible to convert their pre-existing Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policy to a Veteran’s Group Life Insurance policy. This allows veterans to keep their life insurance benefits after they’ve departed from their service.
• Burial- Veteran families are also eligible to receive compensation for funeral expenses. Depending on the situation of each individual, the VA has different levels of compensation available.
While there are many different services available to veterans, one of the most popular benefits amongst older veterans is the Aid and Attendance benefit. For those who are eligible, the Aid and Attendance benefit includes an increased monthly pension. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this benefit is designed to help those who meet one of the following conditions:
• Those who need help with basic daily tasks, such as eating, bathing, dressing, or using the restroom
• Those who are bedridden and non-weight bearing
• Those who are residents in a nursing home because of a physical or mental incapacity such as Alzheimer’s and dementia
• Those who have severe visual impairments including limited eyesight corrected to 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
• Those who are housebound, meaning they are substantially confined to immediate premises because of a permanent disability
In addition to meeting certain health conditions, in order to be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, veterans must also meet at least one of these requirements to qualify.
• Be 65 or older with no or limited income
• Have a permanent or total disability
• Receive Supplemental Security Income
• Receive Social Security Disability Insurance
• Reside in a nursing home
According to Veteran Aid, in December 2018 the Department of Veterans Affairs set a financial cap for all veterans applying for A&A (Aid and Attendance). This means that all eligible applicants must have a net worth of no more than $123,600, not including automobiles, personal effects, and place of residence. To ensure this, the VA will review three years’ worth of financial documents to make sure no assets were sold or gifted in order to reduce the net worth below the eligibility limit. In addition to an upper net worth limit, the VA also introduced a limit on monthly countable income, minus expenses like medical bills, prescription costs, and Medicare insurance premiums.
In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress defines the wartime dates used to decide if a veteran is eligible for Aid and Attendance. In order to qualify, veterans must have served during one of the following wartime dates:
• World War II between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946
• The Korean Conflict, June 27, 1950- January 31, 1955
• Vietnam between February 1961 and May 7, 1975
• Gulf War between August 2, 1990, through a date, to be determined in the future
As veterans age, many of them will require healthcare support and assistance from the VA. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of offerings and services available to veterans.
The VA has established geriatrics programs to support chronically ill veterans and their caregivers. As they move up the continuum of care, their needs will also change, requiring the services of some or all of the geriatrics and extended care services. Here are some of the following programs available for veterans:
• Adult Day Health Care
• Community Residential Care
• Geriatric Evaluation and Management
• Geriatric Primary Care
Residential Settings and Nursing Homes
Many older veterans require either long-term care or daily care assistance. The VA has established a variety of senior living options for veterans such as community residential care, medical foster homes, adult family homes, and assisted living. While all veterans are eligible for this benefit, they must have a clinical need for it and live in an area where the service is provided.
Homemaker and Home Health Aide
These services provide in-home support for veterans who wish to stay at home but need assistance with basic daily functions. Services provided by public and private agencies are available for veterans who qualify for assistance. Caregivers and home health aides help with bathing, dressing, fixing meals, and taking medications. This service is especially beneficial to veterans who might be experiencing isolation or neglect.
At Maplewood Senior Living, we celebrate all veterans and their service to our country. Our senior living services and programs allow all residents and veterans to experience a high quality of life while receiving the care they require. To learn more about our programs and facilities, please connect with us.
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