The month of November honors veterans and their families, and Veterans Home Care is highlighting ways to help these wartime heroes navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and receive some unknown benefits they rightly deserve.
According to David Laiderman, CEO of Veterans Home Care, The VA has considerable long-term care benefits for aging veterans and their surviving spouses, yet many are underutilized.
First, Laiderman said don’t assume veterans or their survivors will be notified by the VA if they are eligible for benefits. “Unlike Social Security and Medicare, the VA typically does not advertise or notify those who may be eligible but have not applied for benefits.”
Secondly, all three VA branches need to be checked for available benefits. This includes the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA). For example, an aging veteran may receive benefits for an in-home caregiver through both the VHA and the VBA at the same time. A social worker at the VHA may not know about programs through the VBA and vice versa.
Thirdly, aging veterans receiving Disability Compensation payments may eventually need more help at home and can apply for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) or a higher amount also known as Aid and Attendance.
“Aid and Attendance can help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, moving about, meal preparation, light housekeeping and more,” Laiderman added. “It’s widely known that the VBA pays Disability Compensation for those who suffered a service-connected disability for a disease or injury due to military service. However, the Aid and Attendance benefit is not often publicized. Compensation payment amounts are based on the level of disability and there is no income or net worth requirement.”
Fourthly, certain wartime veterans aged 65 years old and older are eligible for the Aid and Attendance Pension even if they do not have a service-connected disability.
“Soldiers need not have gone overseas or served in combat. Even those who served at a desk stateside are eligible,” emphasized Laiderman. “The benefit pays up to $2,050 for a single veteran and $2,431 for a married veteran. Veterans must have served at least 90 days of active duty with one day during official wartime. Other medical and net worth restrictions apply.”
A fifth point is veterans’ widows (surviving spouses) are eligible to receive the Aid and Attendance Pension. The veteran must have met the criteria, the spouse should have been married at least one year and married at the time of the veteran’s death. “While survivors can’t get care from a VHA medical facility, they can get benefits to cover custodial care. The benefit pays up to $1,318 per month. Other medical and net worth restrictions apply.”
Laiderman pointed out that before filing a VBA claim, veterans should consider filing a short “Intent to File” form which can start the clock and set an earlier effective date for you benefits. Veterans should also never a file claim on their own unless they have the expertise to do so. For more information: https://veteranshomecare.com
Tech to help aging vets at home
Aging vets who want to maintain their independence and activity level are eligible to receive a Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). In many instances, a vet can get a communication device for free, and LogicMark, is a Kentucky-based company that specializes in the design and manufacture of innovative Home Healthcare products with a focus on PERS devices. The company is approved to sell to the United States Government through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will help with the VA paperwork.
PERS Devices such as LogicMark’s GuardianAlert911+ can assist those vets to maintain their independence and activity level. The device is covered via benefits for veterans and includes a 4G LTE (so no landline is necessary), no monthly fees, and 2-way voice communication. With a press of a button, this device connects directly with 911 to dispatch first responders in emergencies.
Also covered for veterans is the FreedomAlert device. With the push of a button, you can call up to 4 pre-programmed contacts or 911 directly–to come to assist you. If medical assistance is needed, they can call 911 to dispatch emergency services
According to Chia-Lin Simmons, LogicMark’s CEO, “Our vets looked out for us, and now we must look out for them. LogicMark is dedicated to that purpose. Our role is to help service members, veterans and their families understand what benefits they have under the VA,”
Several factors including living alone, living situation and medical history are factored into receiving a PERS device at home. “Our role is to help navigate the approval process under the VA program,” adds Simmons. For additional information, log on to www.logicmark.com