VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
For any veteran who is looking for financial support and assistance to pay for home care services, they may be interested in filing an application for the Aid and Attendance Benefit. This pension is made available through the VA and can provide the money necessary to pay for a home care aide.
One of the stipulations in order to qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit is the veteran, regardless of age, needs to be able to prove home care is absolutely necessary at this point in his or her life. The easiest way to go about proving this is through a letter of recommendation from their primary care physician.
There is a major problem, though, when it comes to the application process itself. That has to do with the length of time it takes to find out if the application has been approved or denied. Some estimations put it currently at about nine months, but longer in certain situations. The most common explanation for this significant delay is a backlog in the VA itself.
The VA is dealing with a number of issues, not the least of which is limited funding and not enough staff to handle the influx of paperwork and other requests. That means a veteran who needs home care, proven by a recommendation from their doctor, may have to wait nine months or longer to get the funding to pay for it. In the meantime, they will either go without the support necessary or have to find other alternatives, such as paying for it themselves, which, when on a limited income and with no viable assets, can become seemingly impossible for some.
What’s the solution?
The best thing any veteran can do when he or she needs home care support is to contact an agency that provides these services. Find out what they charge, what their availability is, the experience of their home care aides, and if they may be able to assist them in the meantime.
The veteran might benefit from a home care aide visiting with them just two hours a day once or twice a week to start. That may be a more reasonable solution for some.
It might not be, and if that’s the case, the administration staff at the home care agency may have other alternatives to consider that can help provide safety and comfort for the veteran at this point in his or her life.