March 8, 2023
There’s a common misconception that as long as a senior is covered by Medicare, they won’t have to worry about paying for home care. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. Most people use private funds to pay for the care they need at home. However, if a senior is a veteran (or the surviving spouse of a veteran), there are a couple of alternatives to learn about and explore to help cover the cost of home care for veterans.
What Benefits Are Available to Veterans to Cover the Cost of Home Care?
Veterans may qualify for benefits to cover the cost for home care if they:
- Have a physician’s order that states that they need the aid and assistance of others on a daily basis
- Have received a general or honorable discharge
- Meet specific financial requirements
- Have served at least one day during an active war with no less than 90 days of service
- Or, be the surviving spouse of a veteran to qualify for spousal benefits
The first option to explore is the Veterans’ Aid and Attendance program, which assists wartime veterans and/or their spouses with paying for the cost of care at home, if they meet the specific qualifications required to receive those benefits. The person applying may be eligible for this benefit if they:
- Are bedridden, in that their disability or disabilities require them to remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of treatment or convalescence, or
- Are a patient in an assisted living facility as the result of physical or mental incapacity, or
- Require the assistance of someone to perform daily activities of living, such as getting dressed, bathing/showering, feeding, bathroom use, adjusting prosthetic devices, or staying safe in their daily environment, or
- Are blind, or so nearly blind that corrected visual acuity is 5/200 or less in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field is 5 degrees or less
In some instances, veterans may qualify for the Housebound benefit to pay for their in-home care services. This benefit is paid over and above a monthly pension, and is available to veterans who:
- Have a single permanent disability that has been confirmed to be 100 percent disabling AND, as a result of this disability, the veteran is permanently and substantially confined to the home, or
- The person has a single permanent disability confirmed to be 100 percent disabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, confirmed to be 60 percent or more disabling.
Veterans are not able to receive both the Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits simultaneously, and they must be receiving a monthly pension to qualify for either of these additional benefits.
At Continuum, it’s our great honor to serve those who have served our country. We’re here to help ensure you receive all of the benefits to which you’re entitled to help cover the cost for in-home care services. If you or someone you love is a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, contact us at 636-861-3336 for assistance with applying for veterans’ benefits and getting started with our award-winning home care services in St Louis and the surrounding area.