The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has several benefits and programs designed for aging veterans and their surviving spouses. Many veterans, as they age, may require additional support with daily living and seek home health care services to help. The VA can support aging veterans through financial assistance and other benefits that enable them to get the support they need.
In this article, we’ve listed how veterans can access VA home health care benefits they can utilize towards in-home care.
What Is Home Health Care?
In-home health care was created so that older adults could remain in the comfort of their own homes while receiving the care or support they need. There’s no place like home. That is why healthcare providers like Nurse Next Door are paving the way for future care providers.
Nurse Next Door offers home health care services so veterans can stay independent for as long as possible in the comfort of their own environment.
Home health care services range depending on the individual’s needs. Some services could include:
- Assistance with daily living like meal preparation, etc.
- Personal care services such as bathing, toileting, or dressing.
- Specialized care services.
- Light housekeeping.
- In-home nursing care for medical support is typically administered by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
- Physical therapy.
- Post-operative care services.
Each service can be tailored to the individual, and Nurse Next Door will go above and beyond to ensure the perfect care plan for every person in their homes.
How Does the VA Support Home Health Care for Veterans?
The VA does support home health care for eligible veterans through different programs and VA benefits. To qualify for various benefits through the VA for home health care services, one must:
- Be signed up with the VA health care, and
- The VA must conclude that you need a specific benefit to help with your ongoing treatment and personal care, and
- The service is available near you.
Besides those requirements, the VA may also consider other factors.
To find out more about VA coverage, we recommend contacting a VA social worker or calling the VA toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387. In addition, if you’re not currently in the VA healthcare program, we recommend signing up immediately so you can apply for VA benefits as soon as possible. Apply now.
How to Get VA Benefits for Home Health Care?
There are different ways to access veteran benefits that contribute towards home health care services. Below is a list of several programs that can contribute towards home health care services:
1) VA Health Care
If you’re already enrolled in VA health care, you may be eligible for long-term care services at home, including:
- 24/7 nursing and medical care
- Physical therapy
- Help with daily tasks (like bathing, dressing, making meals, and taking medicine)
- Comfort care to manage pain
Support for caregivers who may need skilled help or a break so they can work, travel, or run errands. Also known as respite care.Some of these care services are provided directly by the VA and its healthcare providers. Some services are managed by state or community organizations that inspect, approve and transfer to the Community Care Network.
2) Community Care Network
Community Care Network (CCN) is a robust network of community care providers offering veterans more choices and access to in-home care services outside of VA medical facilities and programs.
As the new Community Care Network rolls out across the United States, Nurse Next Door franchises have started to join the referral community. We’re already serving veterans in Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth) and California (Elk Grove) and building relationships with local VA programs in other regions.
If your region is not listed above, let us know, and we will do everything we can to help provide you with the care you need.
For more information on the CCN, visit our recent article here.
3) Aid and Attendance Benefit
Suppose, for whatever reason, you’ve exhausted the VA healthcare services and are seeking additional financial support. In that case, the Aid & Attendance Benefit can contribute to the cost of your region’s private home healthcare services.
The VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits provide monthly payments added to your VA pension for qualified Veterans and surviving spouses.
You may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit if you get a VA pension and you meet at least one of these requirements:
- You require someone to help you perform daily activities
- You must stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of an illness or injury
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or
- Your eyesight is limited
For the Housebound benefit, similar to the Aid and Attendance benefit, you must also receive a VA pension to receive the benefit. The only difference is that you must spend most of your time at home due to a permanent disability that will not subside. You cannot get both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits simultaneously; it is one or the other.
4) Disability Compensation
Sick or disabled veterans who’ve become injured or ill due to their military service or had a pre-existing condition that worsened due to their active duty can receive tax-free monthly payments from Veterans Affairs.
The VA must deem that you have “service-connected disability status” to receive the disability compensation. You may qualify for VA disability benefits for physical conditions (like a chronic illness or injury) and mental health conditions (like PTSD). You may use the VA Disability Compensation benefit towards your in-home care costs if the services are related to your disability.
5) VA Caregiver Support Program(s)
Lastly, two programs support the caregivers of veterans.
- The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers provides financial assistance and resources to caregivers of eligible veterans. They allow veterans to designate one Primary Family Caregiver and up to two Secondary Family Caregivers on the application to support them while they care for a veteran at home.
- The General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS): provides mentoring, skills training, coaching, phone support, and other resources to caregivers of veterans.
Who Is Eligible for Veterans Home Care Programs?
Veterans enrolled in VA health care should be eligible for various in-home care programs under VA health. Some additional eligibility requirements include the following:
- Qualify for community care services.
- Have a physician’s order for home care services
For other benefits, like Aid & Attendance, disability, etc., it’s best to research eligibility criteria for each benefit to understand what the application process entails and what is required to qualify.
VA Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care Program
Under VA health care, there is a veterans home care program called the VA Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care program, otherwise known as the (H/HHA) program. This is one of several home and community-based services that the VA offers.
The program aims to help veterans remain safe and independent while living in their homes. Typically, this in-home care program runs under the supervision of a registered nurse, where trained homemakers and home health aides support veterans at their homes. The caregivers will assist with personal care, support with daily activities, respite care sometimes, and companionship.
Note that eligibility requirements differ for skilled home health care services, specifically physical therapy or occupational therapy, through the VA’s home health care program. However, the VA Homemaker and Home Health Care Aide program may be combined with other VA community-based services, but acceptance into the program is limited.
For more information on the VA Homemaker and Home health aide care program, visit the VA website.
Finding home care and nursing care services that meet your loved one’s needs, especially for veterans who have served their country, can be challenging. At Nurse Next Door, our goal is to provide the most comprehensive home care health services for seniors in your area.
Every individual is unique, so we design a care plan that offers personalized support and assistance to remain independent and continue living at home. Your local Nurse Next Door location may work with your local VA, and your benefits may cover home care. Please reach out to us for more information.
Ready to see what Happier Aging® is all about? Contact us to set up a free care consult today and learn more about veterans’ home care options near you!