As we reflect on Veterans Day, November 11th 2018, Denver Senior Care would like to take a moment to honor and thank all of the veterans, past and present. Our veterans have so courageously served our country so that we may continue to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today. We are forever grateful and thankful for all the veterans and their dedication to our country.

Denver Senior Care wants to ensure that veterans are receiving the support and benefits that may be available to them. If you or your loved one is a veteran, you may have felt unbelievably overwhelmed at times when trying to navigate the eligibility requirements and all of the potential benefits and services.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits specific to senior veterans. These benefits can assist with needs that arise as one ages. For instance, veterans, spouses of veterans or surviving spouses, who are eligible for a VA pension, may also be eligible for what is called Aid and Attendance (A&A). A&A is for those who need financial help for in–home care, an assisted living facility or an skilled nursing facility. It is a non–service connected disability benefit, meaning the disability does not have to be a result of service. These benefits may be paid in addition to monthly pension.

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 resident in a skilled nursing facility
  • 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

Even though you many have too high of an income to qualify for a basic pension, you may still be eligible for A&A.

The VA health care can also provide geriatric and long term care programs at home, at VA medical centers, or in the community. Some of these services include: adult day health care, homemaker and home health aides, respite care, hospice and palliative care, medical foster homes and skilled nursing facilities.

The qualification to receive VA health care is as follows: a service-connected disability, a recipient of certain service medals, receive or qualify for Medicaid benefits, or considered low-income based upon VA National Income Limits. However, if a veteran qualifies for pension, such as A&A, that veteran can enroll in VA health care regardless of household income.

Furthermore, the VA also provides burial benefits. The VA will pay up to $780 toward burial and funeral expenses (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $780 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery).

There are other benefits that the VA offers that have not been mentioned. If you would like more information and assistance with applying for any of these services or benefits, Denver Senior Care can direct you to advisors who are accredited by the VA. Accreditation by the VA means that the advisor can officially prepare, present and prosecute a claim for benefits. When working with an advisor it is important to be aware that the VA has specific regulations surrounding financial compensation for these advisors.

Our veterans have sacrificed a great deal to defend our individual freedoms that we enjoy each day. It is now our turn to give back and support veterans and their families in any way possible, especially through their aging journey.