Make Full Use of Your Veterans Benefits
Servicemen and women who have served in our nation’s military branches — on active or reserve duty — have earned the opportunity to access comprehensive health care benefits without concerns about expenses.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are over 9 million veterans enrolled in VA healthcare programs. Some of these benefits assist with the transition to civilian life, while others give elderly veterans retirement and health care benefits to support them when they can no longer work, as well as benefits to assist with financial challenges that elderly veterans may face.
Those benefits include long-term care coverage at VA medical centers, eligible long-term care facilities, and even at home.
Ensuring that senior veterans have the care they need outside a hospital or other live-in facility is an important part of what the Department of Veterans Affairs does. Here are two programs for elderly veterans with this:
- Aid and Attendance (A&A)— Through A&A, qualified senior veterans can receive an additional monthly pension amount if they need extra care to live at home. For example, if you need help with the activities of daily living or are bedridden, you may need to hire a caregiver, which can be at least partially funded by A&A. This program is also available to veterans who are patients in nursing homes, rather than living at home. People who have limited vision may also qualify for A&A.
- Housebound is another veterans’ benefit that works for many elderly vets. Specifically, Housebound provides an increased monthly pension amount to any veteran who cannot leave his or her home because of a permanent disability. The disability can be for any reason, not just service-related disabilities.
Veterans’ Health Insurance
VA Health Benefits can include help with basic medical care, wellness and preventive care, immunizations, genetic disease counseling, inpatient hospital services, and other care needs. In some situations, you can also use your health care benefit for dental and other specialty care coverage options.
Veterans who have complex needs and require long-term care can make use of the VA Health Care for Elderly Veterans program, which includes a Geriatrics and Extended Care program specifically for veterans. This program provides payments for long-term care in a care center like those administered by American Health Corporation or for home and community-based services in your own home.
Who is eligible for VA benefits?
Each program has its eligibility requirements. In general, veterans must have something other than dishonorable discharge and complete a minimum time in the service to qualify for health benefits. If you think you may be eligible, call or visit the Veterans Administration for more details regarding your eligibility.
Applying for Veterans’ Benefits
If you qualify for veterans’ benefits for health care and long-term care needs, you will still need to apply before using your benefits. It’s helpful to gather some documents before you start the application process, including:
- Social Security numbers for anyone who will be covered, including the veteran and dependents
- Military discharge papers
- Insurance information for any coverage you have
- Gross household income from your previous year’s tax return
- Deductible expenses for the previous year’s tax return
How to evaluate your options and make a decision
Navigating the complicated network of veterans’ benefits to ensure you receive the full benefits can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to work with a partner you know and trust, particularly one who understands the complexities of your situation. If you’ve reached a point where you’re ready to take advantage of some or all of your veteran’s benefits, it’s time to evaluate and select a partner that can help. Facilities managed by American Health Corporation the highest quality healthcare nearby and meet the requirements for Veterans Administration funding.
For more information or to schedule a facility tour, contact one of our three locations in Alabama nearest you:
Oak Trace (Bessemer, AL) 205-428-9383
Colonial Haven (Greensboro, AL) 334-624-3054
Perry County Nursing Home (Marion, AL) 334-683-9696