A Place For Mom joins effort to promote veterans’ LTC resources
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers a special fund for veterans age 65 or older who require the “aid and attendance” of another person for care, but not very many veterans know about it. Senior living referral company A Place For Mom (APFM) is partnering with VeteranAid.org, a free resource on pensions and financial aid for veterans and their spouses, to help veterans and their spouses learn more about the resources available to help pay for long-term care assistance.
The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Pension serves as a supplemental benefit based on need. In most cases, it is claimed as monthly payments in addition to the basic military pension benefits. APFM’s database of 200,000 families, more than 40 percent have a military background, but most of them (70 percent) didn’t know about the A&A pension.
A&A is available to U.S. military veterans and widowed spouses of veterans who are residing in a nursing home because of physical or mental incapacity, including dementia.
Since the VA doesn’t differentiate between skilled nursing and assisted living, residents of assisted living communities also may qualify, in most states. A&A also has a benefit designed for qualifiers who are homebound or bedridden or who need the assistance of another person to perform activities of daily living.
In all cases, the eligibility for A&A is contingent upon having a Congress-determined annual income of $1,130.25 or below. However, certain assets, such as the value of a home, don’t count when calculating income.
Think some of your veteran residents might qualify? Encourage them to apply now. The A&A pension program is expected to undergo changes to its eligibility requirements in 2017, so those who may qualify now may not qualify next year.
“It’s imperative that veteran families start planning for senior living as soon as possible so they can take advantage of the A&A Pension while it’s still more widely accessible,” said Kaylin Gilkey, senior manager at VeteranAid.org. “With the proposed changes anticipated to go into effect as early as next year, proactive planning can make the difference between a veteran and his or her spouse living in a high-quality assisted living facility or struggling to pay for basic care costs in the future.”
APFM has created the VA Benefits & Long-Term Care, a free downloadable resource to help veterans, their families and their caregivers learn more about the A&A pension and how to apply.
Pamela Tabar was editor-in-chief of I Advance Senior Care from 2013-2018. She has worked as a writer and editor for healthcare business media since 1998, including as News Editor of Healthcare Informatics. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master’s degree in English from the University of York, England.