When looking for senior housing, one of the first thing that crosses peoples’ mind is, “How can I afford this?” While some senior living facilities can be as low as $2,500 a month, others can be upwards of $8,000. It is expensive and the sad truth is most people don’t plan for it.
Now, before we get too deep into other affordability options, I do want to remind those with low income that the Concierge Care Advisors have a history of helping seniors afford QUALITY elder care (see the Concierge Care Samaritans Program), but Medicaid isn’t the only way for seniors to receive funds; one of the other ways is with Veterans Benefits.
The Senior Veterans Service Alliance estimates that ten million veterans should be receiving benefits, but only 543,000 are. That’s an incredible difference and it is not good!
There are usually only two reasons a person does not receive these funds:
- They are unaware of their veteran status
- They do not know how to start receiving their entitled benefits
First of all, not knowing you’re a veteran isn’t a matter of memory loss, anyone who is a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran is eligible for these benefits – some simply don’t know it. In addition, there are some benefits available to spouses of living veteransESPECIALLY if they have a chronic health condition that requires medical supervision OR if they are legally considered housebound.
The caveat to all of this is that the veteran must have served during wartime – that does not mean “in combat,” they just need to have served for 90 days when we had declared war and be honorably discharged…
One exception to that however is Vietnam War/Era, since technically we were not “at war.” That gets a little complicated, but to find out if you qualify, visit Senior Veterans Service Alliance, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, or if you need help determining your veteran status, contact us and we’ll help you navigate the system.
As for the second point (above), we can help you get started so you can afford the senior housing your elder deserves.
What is the Veterans Pension and Aid and Attendance?
Essentially, these are funds reserved for veterans and their spouses provided by the government to cover the medical costs associated with long-term care.
To qualify, the veteran and/or their spouse must pass the income test, which calculates how much the family makes in a year (in 2014, the total annual income cannot exceed $16,569). However, in special circumstances, household earnings as high as $6,000 a month may still qualify.
Then, there’s the asset test which is a subjective decision based on the Veterans Service representatives. There is no regulated test in place and they may deny benefits unless the total assets available are $20,000 or under.
There is a Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR) which is calculated based on the income test, asset test, and living situation (whether it’s a single veteran, surviving spouse of a veteran, or a veteran with a dependent spouse/child).
The Senior Veterans Service Alliance has listed them below:
Husband and spouse with no rating allowances — $0 to $1,381 per month
Husband and spouse with housebound allowance — $0 to $1,615 per month
Husband and spouse with aid and attendance allowance — $0 to $2,085 per month
Single veteran with no rating allowances — $0 to $1,054 per month
Single veteran with housebound allowance — $0 to $1,615 per month
Single veteran with aid and attendance allowance — $0 to $1,759 per month
Surviving single spouse of a veteran with no rating allowances — $0 to $707 per month
Surviving single spouse of a veteran with housebound allowance — $0 to $864 per month
Surviving single spouse of a veteran with aid and attendance allowance — $0 to $1,130 per month
It is absolutely critical that veterans receive these funds to pay for their senior living homes. There are hundreds upon thousands of funds, reserved for veterans that are simply untouched because people don’t know they qualify or don’t know how to apply for them.
We strongly encourage you to contact us for help getting these benefits, YOU DESERVE THEM!