How are you planning to spend the Memorial Day holiday this year?
Memorial Day is on May 27th and as the holiday fast approaches, you may be wondering how to best recognize the veterans you love. In reality, there is no one best way to show your appreciation, but caring for your veteran loved one, as well as preparing for their long-term care is a great way to pay your respects.
To help you accomplish this, let us share with you a few tips about caring for the veterans you love this Memorial Day.
First, we encourage you to spend some quality time with your loved one. Whether you attend a Memorial Day festival, take your loved one out for a meal, or simply sit with your loved one and watch television, your loved one will undoubtedly appreciate the time you spend with them. Memorial Day may also be a good time to evaluate your loved one’s changing needs based on the last time you saw him or her, and discuss where your loved one sees him or herself residing in the near future.
Once you have determined the type of care your loved one needs, the next step may be to interview caregivers or visit assisted living facilities. It is important to include your loved one in this process to ensure that he or she is comfortable with the caregiver or facility. Consider taking your loved one on a visit to an assisted living facility or asking him or her to be vocal about which potential caregiver he or she feels most comfortable with.
When the time is right for you and your loved one, we encourage you to connect with an experienced Elder Law attorney to prepare a plan for rising long-term care costs. An Elder Law attorney can also help determine whether your loved one is eligible for any VA benefits, such as Aid and Attendance, and can apply for those benefits on your loved one’s behalf. We know this can be a challenging conversation to have, but planning ahead can help ensure your loved one’s needs will be taken care of and will remain protected in the future.
These are just a few ways you can care for the veterans you love this Memorial Day. We know this article may raise more questions than it answers and we encourage you to schedule a meeting with us to discuss them, as well as a plan for your loved one’s future.
We know that Florida seniors often find themselves in a difficult situation. As their health care and living expenses increase, their ability to work and generate income decreases. It is an unsettling scenario, but one that the Veterans Administration may be able to help with for those eligible for VA pensions.
A VA pension is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to low-income wartime vets who are either age 65 or older, disabled, living in nursing homes, receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. An additional, and under-used, type of pension benefit that all impacted veterans should be aware of is called Aid and Attendance. This is available for veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans whose unreimbursed medical expenses exceed their monthly income. The purpose is to provide financial assistance for those who need help performing activities of daily living.
If you are not sure if you or your loved one qualifies, consider contacting an accredited VA attorney to help determine your eligibility or for information about how to access the VA Pension with the Aid and Attendance benefit. Remember, veterans whose income is above the limit for a VA pension also may qualify if they have large medical expenses that are not reimbursable. Your VA accredited attorney can discuss with you options to become eligible or how to find the long-term care support you need.
Aid and Attendance support is available for vets who served at least 90 days, with at least one day during wartime. It is not reserved for those with service-related disabilities. Veterans, and their surviving spouses, are eligible if they meet the above criteria and if they need aid from another person to help them perform basic living activities, such as:
Assistance with personal care needs, like bathing, dressing and using the bathroom.
Living in a nursing home.
Are mentally or physically incapacitated.
If they are bedridden.
Suffer from extremely poor eyesight.
A second long-term care benefit tied to the VA Pension program is known as the Housebound Allowance. This underused pension feature offers an additional monthly monetary benefit for veterans who are significantly restricted to their homes because of a permanent disability. Eligibility rules may require a written statement from a doctor describing a qualifying vet’s needs and limitations and you will want to discuss this with your VA accredited attorney as well.
Finally, Aid and Attendance and Housebound Allowance benefits are paid on top of monthly pension payments. This means that they increase the overall pension amount, making people who are not normally eligible for a basic VA pension due to excessive income potentially eligible for these long-term care items.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. We encourage you to ask us your questions this Veterans Day or, at any time, schedule a consultation with attorney Scott Selis to get the elder care support you need.