Care for Aging Veterans in Long Island NY
November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month and for veterans of any age, if they have difficulty with their mobility, safety, or other issues and are going to require long-term care, it can be costly. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider certain pensions.
There are two key pensions that are available to veterans of all ages. One is called the Homebound pension and the other is known as the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
Let’s talk about the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
This pension was developed following World War I. Originally it was meant to help soldiers who had been injured and disabled in battle get the care they needed at home once they returned to the States. Through the years it expanded to provide coverage for veterans of all ages.
In order to qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit, a veteran needs to have served at least 90 days’ active duty in one of the major branches of the United States military. If they served less than 90 days’ active duty, they will not qualify.
Also, at least one day of their time in service needs to have fallen during a time of official combat, as defined by Congress. Generally, this covers World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. There’s an important distinction between the Gulf War and the other conflicts, with regard to time of service.
A veteran who served any length of time during the Gulf War would need to have served a minimum of two years’ active duty in order to qualify for the Aid in Attendance Benefit.
‘Active combat’ doesn’t mean the veteran needs to have fought in an actual combat situation. It simply means their time of service needs to have overlapped a time of official combat.
Due to under-staffing at the VA, it can possibly take many months to hear back on whether an application for the Aid and Attendance benefit is approved. The earlier a veteran applies for this particular pension, the sooner they will get approval and the money needed to pay for home care support services.
Finally, in order to be eligible for this pension, that can be used to pay for long-term home care services, the veteran needs to be able to prove home care is absolutely necessary at this point in their life. The best way to go about this is through a doctor’s recommendation.
The moment a person realizes long-term care is going to be needed, that’s when they should begin planning and fill out the Aid and Attendance Benefit if they believe they will truly qualify for it.