Tom was 82 years old, had served during the Vietnam War, and took a great deal of pride in his time of service. He lost friends during the conflict and though he didn’t talk much about his actual service, he talked proudly of the Army, the friends he made in service, and the things he accomplished in his life.
At 82, Tom was having trouble getting out of bed and moving around the house. His wife of 60 years was doing her best to help out, but she was frail, having difficulties of her own, and she wasn’t a great physical support for him.
Tom and his wife were on a limited income with his pension. Their house was fully paid for, but between utilities, including heating the home during winter, medication expenses, and more, their budget was stretched thin. There was no way they could consider home care on their own.
That’s when Tom found out about the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
Tom had never heard about the Aid and Attendance Benefit before a friend at the local VFW told him about it. It turns out that this particular pension, made available through the VA, could pay for home care support services, not just for him, but for him and his wife.
If he passed away before her, she might be eligible for financial assistance for home care as well, because of his time in service.
Tom knew he qualified based on the criteria, so he began the application process.
Within a few weeks, Tom was trying to contact someone, anyone, at the Veterans Administration to follow up with his application. It took him days, hours on the phone at a time, just to reach somebody who could answer his questions. He kept getting the same answer, week after week, month after month.
“It’s in processing,” was the answer.
What does that mean? It was getting frustrating. He and his wife really needed help now, and they were putting themselves at unnecessary risk trying to do everything alone. Their family didn’t live anywhere in the area and their friends were in many of the same situations they were.
After 10 months, Tom finally received word that his application had been processed and approved. It was a great relief. So, what was the hold up?
This was a very unfortunate situation, but a reminder that those who may need home care support should begin any application for a pension as quickly as possible. For the Aid and Attendance Benefit, it could take up to a year to find out if the veteran has been approved for it.
If you or a loved one are considering hiring veterans care, please contact the friendly staff at Veterans Care Coordination. Call today: 1-855-777-4693