October 11, 2013
Health care benefits for elderly Veterans

 
According to the 2012 U.S. Census brief, Veterans age 65 or older numbered in excess of 12.4 million. These Veterans served in conflicts around the world including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and even in the Persian Gulf War. As Veterans age, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will provide benefits and services that address a variety of issues including the changing health risks they face, as well as financial challenges through VA benefits and health services.
VA benefits
Elderly Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial.
VA benefits for elderly Veterans Two VA programs provide certain elderly Veterans with an additional monetary amount if you are eligible for or receiving a VA Pension benefit.
Aid and Attendance (A&A) is an increased monthly pension amount paid if you meet one of the conditions below:
You require help performing daily functions, which may include bathing, eating or dressing.
You are bedridden.
You are a patient in a nursing home.
Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Housebound is an increased monthly pension amount paid if you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of a permanent disability.
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.
Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.
The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:
You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment.
You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment.
You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.
Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
The housebound increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability. You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office where you filed a claim for pension benefits. If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, you may file the request with any VA regional office. You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.
The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
VA health care for elderly Veterans Geriatrics is health care for elderly Veterans with complex needs. Extended care also known as long term care is a program for Veterans of all ages who need the daily support and assistance of another individual. Elderly Veterans can receive geriatric and long term care programs at home, at VA medical centers, or in the community.
Eligibility for long term care services, prvided in any long term care setting, will be determined based on your need for ongoing treatment, personal care, and assistance, as well as the availability of the service in your location. Other factors, such as financial eligibility, your service-connected (VA disability) status, insurance coverage, and/or ability to pay may also apply.
If you have questions, call toll-free, 1-877- 222-VETS (8387), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST). Or, contact your VA social worker.
Shared decision making
Shared Decision Making for Long Term Care is a patient-centered process that engages patients, their caregivers or other support persons, their social worker, and health care team in collaborative decision making. Shared Decision Making works best with decisions, like long term care, that are preference sensitive meaning that the patients values and opinions affect care decisions.
Shared decision making is designed to increase:
Patient knowledge
Patient involvement in decision-making
Consistency between decisions and patient values
The goal of Shared Decision Making is to obtain services and settings that best meet your long term care needs while keeping you as independent as possible.
To learn about the Four-Step Long Term Care Shared Decision Making process, visit www.va.gov.
How to Apply
The specific VA benefit or program web page will provide tailored information about how to apply for a particular benefit or program. Generally, Servicemembers, Veterans, and families can apply for VA benefits using one of the methods below.
Apply online using eBenefits, OR
Work with an accredited representative or agent, OR
Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional office on our Facility Locator page.
Source: www.benefits.va.gov
 

 

 

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