Veterans Benefits for Senior Living and Home Care Costs

Many families are unaware of financial aid for vets and families

Memorial Day is May 29, a special day for honoring Americans who served in the country’s armed forces, so this month is ideal for veterans and their families to research their eligibility for financial support.

The Veterans Aid and Attendance (VA&A) Pension provides benefits to veterans and their spouses to help pay for costs of care—both in-home care and senior housing. Unfortunately, many families are not aware of the benefit and miss out on key financial support to help pay for senior living and home care expenses. The benefit is anticipated to change in the coming year, which could affect the number of new families eligible, so families are encouraged to take action now to determine their eligibility.

Veterans benefits provide financial assistance to those who have served their country, as well as their spouses, during their retirement years. Veterans who are at least 65 years old and who served during war time (though not necessarily in combat) may be eligible for financial assistance through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to help pay for care. Spouses and surviving spouses of wartime veterans are also often eligible. For many families, veterans benefits can make a significant difference for those struggling to pay for care.

Senior housing benefits from the VA

The VA provides nursing home care through different types of facilities:

  • The VA’s own nursing homes
  • Private nursing homes that contract with the VA to care for veterans
  • The VA’s Community Living Centers that provide short-term residential care and outpatient care
  • State Veteran Homes for vets not eligible for direct VA nursing home care

Community and home care benefits from the VA

The VA has long-term community and home care programs for vets who don’t qualify for nursing home care or who want to live at home but need regular assistance with activities of daily living.

  • Community Residential Care provides many of the types of care and services in assisted-living facilities. Veterans who don’t require nursing home care are provided with room and board, plus limited personal care and supervision.
  • Hospice/Palliative Care offers supportive services for veterans with end-of-life medical conditions.
  • Home health care enables long-term medical care in the veteran’s own home supervised by a treatment team.
  • Homemaker/home health aide services are provided by a home care agency.
  • Adult day health care that provides medical and rehabilitative services is available to veterans in a group setting during daytime hours at a VA or community facility.

How to get help applying for VA care benefits

Through a VA Vet Center (https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/vetcenter.asp), located in every state, you can get free assistance by phone or in person. Assistance is also available by contacting the Veterans Benefits Administration office (https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/division.asp?dnum=3) nearest you. The VA also has a toll-free telephone help line at 1-800-827-1000.