A guide to using veteran benefits to cover long-term care costs

A guide to using veteran benefits to cover long-term care costs

August 31, 2016
Author: Sarah Sullins

If your loved one has served their country, they may be eligible for financial assistance for both short- and long-term care. In most cases, veterans need to be at least 65 years of age to qualify for financial assistance from the Department of Veteran Affairs, or VA, but younger veterans who are 100% disabled may also qualify. Surviving spouses may also be able to take advantage of these benefits.

If you want to cover your loved one's long term care cost with the help of veteran benefits, there are several thingsveteran you first need to know.

Facilities and types of care covered

VA benefits can cover many different types of facilities and care throughout the country, including community nursing homes, community living centers, assisted living facilities and board and care homes. Benefits also cover stays at VA-run locations.

Before selecting a location, understand what benefit tier you have. There are three:

• Basic Pension: this tier is provided to low-income veterans and their dependents, even if they are healthy.
• Housebound: this tier is provided to veterans who need assistance with daily activities on a regular basis.
• Aid and Attendance: this pension tier is provided to veterans who need assistance with daily activities every day.

Community nursing homes are regular nursing homes which are not operated by the VA but are under contract to provide nursing care services to veterans that need it. You can typically pay for these facilities using VA Health Care, Basic Pension and Aid and Attendance. Assisted living facilities provide around-the-clock care, helping residents with activities of daily living. While the VA will not directly pay for this type of care, Aid and Attendance pension benefits may be used for assisted living care costs.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for any assistance from the VA, certain eligibility requirements must be met:

  • the Veteran’s character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general).
  • Veterans must have served at least one day during wartime in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War or the Gulf War.
  • Veterans must meet financial requirements based on needs, assets and income.
  • Veterans must be 65 years old or older or be 100% disabled.

Getting the pension benefits you need to cover long-term care costs is possible.   California Homes for Seniors can help you locate facilities that accept VA pension benefits and refer you to a local veteran aid expert that can help you apply for assistance. For more information on VA benefits and using them for long-term care costs, please call us (888) 365 4586.