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VA Home Aid and Attendance Services Grant
There are financial benefits available for Veterans or their surviving spouses for non-service connected disabilities.
The Veterans Administration has established a pension program whereby your purchase of personal care and attendant in-home care services may be paid for through your acquired pension. If you are a Veteran or the surviving spouse of a Veteran who has served at least 90 days or more on active duty with one day beginning or ending during a period of war, and you are in need of in-home care due to your disabilities, you may be eligible for VA's non-service connected disability pension.
The following are the VA's defined “periods of war":
Income, liquid assets and are also a determination of eligibility. The car and house does not count as an asset. In 2008 the Aid and Attendance income threshold for a veteran is $1,554 monthly, spouse is $998 and couple is $1,842. Each year the amounts will be adjusted based on the cost of living (COLA).
In many cases if a person has a paid caregiver such as a nurse's aide for in-home care, those expenses impact so greatly on a person's net income, that they will meet the criteria for the income level.
If a Veteran or Veteran Widow has cash assets above the limit, they are allowed to place those assets into certain investments in order to have them “sheltered". This sheltering does not have a penalty or “look back period" associated with it. Proper asset sheltering for Aid and Attendance should be done under the supervision of an eldercare professional such as an Elder Law Attorney (www.naela.org) well versed in Medicaid planning because one could easily ruin the chances of ever getting Medicaid if the VA pension planning was done incorrectly.
With a little professional planning, many Veterans and Veteran Widows can receive pensions that make a significant difference in the amount of in-home care they receive. After all, the reason for this particular pension is to assure that a Veteran or Veteran Widow does not live in a substandard environment in their old age. It takes a little work to apply for this pension, but anything worth having usually does.
Although you can apply on your own, it's best to seek the advice of a professional. Seek an in-home care agency that is familiar with this program and can assist in expediting the process. There is no fee to apply and find out if you or a loved one is entitled to these services.
One of the best websites with comprehensive information can be found at http://www.veteranaid.org
Marilyn Rowe is the CEO and owner of Home Care Assistance of Denver, Colorado
For more information and a FREE REPORT “Discover the Secrets That Allow Seniors To Stay At Home For Life", please go to http://www.homecareassistancedenver.com