As a veteran, you get access to special programs that can help you if you find yourself in need after leaving the service. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a variety of programs and resources available to senior veterans who need help with their benefits.
The VA provides veterans healthcare, housing, disability, benefits, and other services. Two programs, in particular, are geared towards helping care for senior citizen veterans: the veteran aid and attendance benefit for home care and the housebound pension benefit. Read on to learn more about whether you qualify for VA assistance and how to receive veteran assistance in West Central Arkansas.
Check Your Eligibility
The first step in any of the programs listed above is to make sure you’re eligible for veterans’ benefits. To qualify for federal veterans' benefits, you’ll need to have served at least two years of active duty.
If you were injured during your service and cannot work, you may be eligible for 100% disability benefits. You’ll also need to be officially discharged from military service. Most veterans are given an honorable discharge, but some may qualify for a general discharge and still be eligible for benefits.
You’ll need to gather your discharge paperwork and bring it with you to your veterans’ benefits appointment. Your eligibility agent will review your records to make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.
VA Aid and Benefits
VA Healthcare for Seniors
One of the most important benefits that the VA offers is healthcare. This includes everything from routine check-ups and annual vaccinations to long-term care and hospice. The VA also provides specialized care and services for veterans with special needs. The VA offers healthcare services at hospitals, clinics, and other locations around the country. You can also access the VA’s healthcare services remotely via phone, video chat, email, and more. To receive VA healthcare, you must have served in the military and have been honorably discharged. You can also be the spouse, child, or parent of a veteran who qualifies for care.
Housing for Seniors through the VA
As older adults, many veterans may need some assistance with day-to-day tasks, such as cleaning or cooking. Some may also need help with medical tasks, such as taking medication or getting transportation to medical appointments. The VA can help seniors in need of assistance with housing, either on a short-term or long-term basis. There are several housing options available to seniors, including:
- Adult care facilities
- Assisted living facilities
- Nursing homes
You can also receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of living at home, such as paying for a caregiver.
VA Disability for Seniors
If you served in the military and face a long-term medical condition, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the VA. You will be approved for a monthly benefit if you receive a disability rating from the VA. If you experience short-term or temporary health issues that prevent you from working, you can apply for disability benefits from the VA. If you are approved for temporary disability benefits, you will receive a monthly benefit for a limited amount of time.
Other Services for Seniors from the VA
In addition to healthcare and disability benefits, the VA offers other services for seniors, including:
- Burial and funeral services
- Survivor benefits
- Home loans
- Education and training
- Resources for veterans in specific circumstances, such as those with mental health conditions
If you need help accessing any of these benefits, contact the Area Agency on Aging of West Central Arkansas.
Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit for Home Care
Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a pension benefit that increases your monthly allowance from the VA. To receive the A&A benefit, you must meet some of the following criteria:
- You need help performing daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, or eating
- You are bedridden
- You are a patient in a nursing home
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
- You are housebound because of a permanent disability
If any of these conditions apply to you, you may qualify for the A&A Benefit. If you are housebound because of a permanent disability, you may receive an additional increase in your monthly pension.
VA Home Care
Does the VA pay for home care?
If you're signed up for VA healthcare, you may qualify for home-based healthcare as a part of your benefits. The services you qualify for will depend on your specific needs and circumstances.
How can I help a veteran get home care?
Contact the Area Agency on Aging of West Central Arkansas. Our Information and Assistance team will help you apply for VA benefits and navigate the assessment and setup process. If you are approved, we will help you determine if the VA will help provide services through our agency. If you cannot use our services, we will help you find the resources and services you need in your area.
You’re Not Alone
Whether you or your loved one seek care through the VA, you are not alone. The Area Agency on Aging of West Central Arkansas can provide help every step of the way. We also have other senior services available, such as our senior center, family caregiver assistance programs, and Meals on Wheels programs.
Contact us for more information!