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The VA can help pay care expenses for home care, assisted living, adult day or skilled nursing facilities.

by Emily Schwarz, Veterans Financial Inc.

Are you a wartime veteran, or the spouse of one, with a medical condition that requires the assistance of another person? Are you receiving this care from an Assisted Living Community, a Home Health Care Agency, an Adult Day, a Skilled Nursing Facility or even a family member?

If so, you may be eligible to receive a significant monthly Pension benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the “VA”. To qualify, the veteran needs to have served at least 90 days of active duty in the military, where at least one day of this service occurred during a wartime period, regardless of whether or not the veteran was engaged in actual wartime combat.

For example, a married veteran of World War II (12/7/41 through 12/31/46) or the Korean War (6/27/50 through 1/31/55) who meets the above requirements and is in an assisted living community or receiving home care services for health reasons may be eligible for VA benefits of $1,949 per month. The surviving spouse of a wartime veteran may be eligible for $1,056 per month.

Another benefit is that this pension, which is paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is tax-free.

The fact is, most veterans and their families are not aware of this benefit program and therefore cannot afford the care they need or are forced to move to Medicaid facilities when their money runs out. Like any government program, unfortunately, you must apply and the application process is not easy and is not simply explained. Minor mistakes on the application or not submitting all of the necessary supporting documents, such as medical documentation and a letter from the care provider will cause delays or even rejection of benefits.

Since everyone\'s situation is unique and the benefits they are entitled to vary greatly, you should discuss your specific situation with a Veterans Service Organization or a company that can educate you about VA benefits. One word of caution, it is a violation of Federal Regulations to charge for this assistance. If anyone tries to charge you for help with the application, they are breaking the law.


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