Our veterans once provided a valuable service to our country by serving in the armed forces. In honor of their service, the veterans’ home care program is designed to care for them later in life when the activities of daily living become more challenging.
Most veterans prefer to continue living at home just as civilians do. For veterans and their spouses who meet the federally-based criteria, veterans’ benefits for home care can allow them to receive home care assistance that allows them to continue living at home.
Who Qualifies for the Veteran’s Home Care Program
Individuals who served in active duty for a minimum of 90 days and served at least one day during a war qualify for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. The rules, which are set by Congress, have certain limits on the veterans’ annual income and net worth. For the purpose of qualification, a veteran’s income includes their spouse’s net worth.
Certain wars automatically qualify veterans for the home care program including the following:
- Mexican Border period
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Gulf War
Veterans must also submit documentation that shows they need help with some activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, and taking medications.
The federal government determines who qualifies for veterans’ benefits.
Eligible veterans may receive $1794 monthly for an individual and up to $2127 for a married couple. Eligible surviving spouses may receive up to $1153 every month.
Understanding the Cost of Home Care Services for Veterans
The average national cost for a full-time home care aid for a veteran is $125 per day. The cost of a full-time home health aide is only slightly higher at $127 per day.
The average workweek for a home care aid or home health aid is 44 hours. The total cost is $3805 per month ($45,760 per year).
Considering these statistics, the VA helps to fund a significant portion of the home care and home health care needs of our country’s veterans.
Consider also that not all veterans will need care on a full-time basis, so the funds may go a lot farther. Family members may be able to provide care part of the time, yet they are subject to caregiver burnout. Family members who help provide care may qualify for VA benefits to cover respite care to give them a chance to recharge and rejuvenate.
The VA also offers a home health aide program that pays for 12 hours of home care every week. Veterans who have a significant cognitive impairment or require assistance with at least three or more activities of daily living qualify for this assistance.
The Value in the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit
The Veterans’ Aid & Attendance Benefit has been dubbed a well-kept secret. While the criteria to qualify for the program is strict, veterans do not need to exhaust all their assets to qualify for the program.
The primary qualifications are the veteran must be at least 65 years old or be homebound. Veterans must also need to have regular assistance from a home care aide or services as provided by an assisted living facility or nursing home.
In New Jersey, the Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) program, which is a waiver program, offers limited benefits for those who qualify. Also, New Jersey funds state homes for veterans in Menlo Park, Vineland, and Paramus.
Veteran’s Benefits for Home Care: Understanding IVAP
The federal government uses the following formula to calculate income for the veterans’ benefits for home care program:
Gross income – Unreimbursed medical expenses = Income for VA purposes (IVAP)
Veterans’ benefits for home care through the Veteran Aid & Attendance Benefit program offers the following monthly benefits to eligible veterans and their spouses:
- Up to $2,266 per month for a married veteran living with their spouse
- Up to $1912 for single veterans who served during wartime
- Up to $1230 for widowed spouses who served during wartimes
These benefits are provided on a tax-free basis.
Veterans who are not certain they qualify for these benefits may request assistance from a professional.
How to Receive VA Pension Benefits
The Veteran’s Administration has determined that only three types of professionals may assist New Jersey veterans in claiming their VA benefits.
Such professionals include the following:
- Licensed attorneys in New Jersey who are accredited with the VA.
- A Veteran’s Service Organization (VSO) such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organizations in local areas.
- An official from the New Jersey County Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
New Jersey residents should have no trouble finding a professional to assist with applying for their VA benefits.
At Astir Home Health Care, our home care teams have been offering compassionate care for veterans and their families for over 25 years. Whether you need care on a full-time or part-time basis, we will develop an appropriate care plan for you. We also offer respite care, 24-hour care, hospice care, and post-surgery care. Call our experienced professionals to help you understand your VA benefits today at 201-685-4441 today!
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