Our Veterans put their lives on the line to serve and protect our county.
They fought for our freedoms and helped to defend our democracy and our rights. We owe them a lifetime of gratitude. Many of the amazing veterans who defended our country are now seniors and are in need of care and medical support. Many veterans and their families are not aware of the senior veterans benefits that are available.
Below, we will give an overview of the benefits that are available for you or your senior veteran family member.
Veterans Aid Attendance Benefit
If you are currently receiving a VA pension, or are eligible to receive a VA pension, you may qualify to receive additional money each month. The Veterans Aid Attendance Benefit is an additional sum of money that some elderly veterans may qualify to receive. If you, or your elderly veteran family member, meet one of the qualifications below, then you may be eligible to receive this added benefit.
- You need assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, or other daily activities
- You are currently in a nursing home
- You are unable to get out of bed
- You have limited eyesight (5/200 acuity or lower for both eyes)
If you believe you or a family member may qualify for the Veterans Aid Attendance Benefit, you can check with the Pension Management Center for your state. You will want to be sure to have evidence that you qualify provided by your doctors or other medical providers in order to ensure that you receive the added benefits in a timely manner.
Long Term Care for Veterans
Through the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit, you or your senior veteran family member may qualify for long term care for veterans. This care can take the form of in-home care where you or your loved one will provide care related to daily activities, such as eating, dressing, and bathing. Additionally, some transportation services may be included as well to assist you or your loved one in getting to their doctor’s appointments. If you can demonstrate that you or your family member meet the qualifications required to receive the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit, you can begin receiving in-home healthcare services.
Using in-home healthcare can help you or your loved one maintain as much of independence as possible and stay out of a nursing home. Qualifying for in-home care will also take a lot of the burden off of the family members as there will be someone else available to assist in caring for the senior veteran.
If you are the spouse or dependent family member of a veteran who died in the line of duty or sustained a serious injury, you may be eligible for spouse sponsorship. Through this program, families of veterans may receive education or training scholarships, services to help with employment, healthcare benefits, home loan assistance, life insurance, pensions, or memorial benefits. The spouse sponsorship program is designed to provide support to the families of a veteran who is no longer able to do so, either because of a serious injury or death.
Pension Benefit Options
A Veterans Disability pension is one of the pension benefit options that may be available to you or your loved one. This pension option is available to veterans who are at least 65 and are on a limited income. In order to qualify for this benefit, you or your senior veteran family member must not have been dishonorably discharged from the military. Additionally, the veteran must have served for at least 90 days in the military, with at least one of those days being during a period of war.
Compensation for Disability
If, during your time in the military, you became disable or seriously ill, you may qualify for compensation for disability from the VA. If you apply, you will receive a monthly payment. If you suffered and injury or became sick while serving, you will likely qualify for compensation for disability. Additionally, if you already had an injury that became worse through your service, you may also qualify for disability compensation. Both physical and mental conditions can qualify you to receive disability compensation. Physical conditions include injuries and prolonged sickness. Mental conditions include disabilities such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. These conditions may have developed during or after your time of service.
Respite Care Cost
Respite Care, or the temporary care of an elderly veteran family member, allows the caregivers time to rest, take a break, work, or take care of other necessary obligations. The respite care cost can often deter family members from seeking assistance, and can contribute to burn out. Elderly veterans and their families may qualify for respite care provided by the VA. This will allow family members to take that much-needed and well-deserved break without having to worry about the cost.
Burial Allowance for Veterans
If you are a veteran, you have special burial privileges. You are eligible to be buried in a national military cemetery. There are 136 national military centers, so you can choose to be buried in close-proximity to your loved ones. You will also receive a government provided headstone. At the time of your funeral, your spouse or family members will receive the burial flag that was draped over your casket to mark your service to your county.
Additionally, your family may qualify for burial allowance for veterans. This is a flat rate monetary amount provided to families of veterans. Since 2014, surviving spouses are automatically awarded these benefits. However, spouses and family members may choose to file for additional benefits to help cover costs of a plot of transportation of a loved one’s remains. The amount of the benefits varies depending on whether the cause of death was a service-related injury or illness.
If you are a veteran or a caretaker for a veteran, there are a multitude of senior veterans benefits that are available. These resources are designed to provide some compensation for our veterans for the service they provided to our county. If you have not begun to take advantage of these services, reach out to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) soon to get started receiving benefits for you or your loved one.