Are You a Wartime Veteran (or Spouse) in Need of Financial Assistance With Elderly Home Care Services?

With the large number of retired veterans residing in the South Jersey area due to the close proximity to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Comfort Keepers of Haddonfield provides adult and elderly home care services to many wartime Veterans and their spouses.  For those in need of financial assistance for adult and elderly home care services, there are VA programs available for eligible wartime retirees and their spouses.  We compiled the following information to guide you in starting the application process.  Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions, or need additional assistance.

Supplemental Income for Wartime Veterans

The Veterans Administration helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension benefit. Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.

Eligibility

Generally, a Veteran must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period qualify for a VA Pension. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions), with at least one day during a wartime period.   All of the listed dates below are inclusive.

·         World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)

·         Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)

·         Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)

·         Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the Veteran must be:

·         Age 65 or older, OR

·         Totally and permanently disabled, OR

·         A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR

·         Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR

·         Receiving Supplemental Security Income

Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit.  Learn more about income and net worth limitation, and see an example of how VA calculates the VA Pension benefit.  Eligibility must be proven by filing the proper Veterans Application for Pension or Compensation. This application will require a copy of DD-214 (discharge papers), Medical Evaluation from a physician, current medical issues, net worth limitations, and net income, along with out-of-pocket Medical Expenses.

To qualify financially, an applicant must have on average, less than $80,000 in assets, excluding  his/her home and vehicles. Currently, there is no "look back" period, as with other government programs, such as Medicaid. The VA looks at the value of assets on hand at the time of Aid & Attendance application.

Additional Pension Allowances

Veterans or surviving spouses who are eligible for VA pension and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible for an additional monetary payment.

Aid & Attendance and Housebound

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.

Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Aid & Attendance (A&A)

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:

·         You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment

·         You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment

·         You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity

·         Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less

Housebound

This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability.

How to Apply

You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office where you filed a claim for pension benefits. If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, you may file the request with any VA regional office. You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type elderly home care services.

The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.

  • Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the applicant gets around, where the applicant goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.

VA recommends you appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer to help you initiate your claim and gather any required medical records or evidence.  You can find  an accredited Veteran Service Officer using eBenefits:  http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/infographics/ebenefits.html#sthash.m4Y52pBG.dpbs

Click here for additional info on Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits:  http://benefits.va.gov/PENSIONANDFIDUCIARY/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

You can apply for these benefits by  using VA Form 21-526 for the veteran Download VA Form 21-526EZ, and VA Form 21-534 for a surviving spouse. Download VA Form 21-534EZ

If you reside in Camden County, please contact the Camden County Office of Veterans Affairs:

http://www.camdencounty.com/veterans

Camden County Veterans Affairs

Lakeland Complex

3 Collier Drive

Blackwood, NJ 08012

856-374-5801, Fax (856) 374-5302

 

If you reside in Burlington County, please contact the The Burlington County Department of Military and Veteran's Services:  http://www.co.burlington.nj.us/547/Veterans-Services

 

Human Services Facility
795 Woodlane Road
Westampton, NJ 08060

609-265-5008  Fax: 609-265-3184

 

How long does it take to process the application and get approved?

This is a difficult question to answer.  Much depends on the VA regional office for your area. On average, 6 to 9 months seems to be the normal approval time.

 Please keep in mind that if the benefit is approved, it is applied retroactively to the date of application. Also, if the applicant is over 90 years old, include a letter requesting that the application be expedited.  The VA will give priority to any application for benefits by a veteran 90 or older.

Comfort Keepers of Cherry Hill, NJ provides leading in home care services to the following cities:

Atco, Berlin, Cedar Brook, Cherry Hill, Collingswood, Columbus, Hainesport, Gibbsboro, Haddonfield, Jobs, Lawnside, Lumberton, Maple Shade Township, Medford, Mt. Laurel, Pemberton and Vorhees Township, NJ

 

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