October 29, 2012

Veteran’s long-term care benefits

By Roger Brannan
Bettendorf Health Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides three types of long-term care benefits for veterans. The first type is benefits provided to veterans who have service-connected disabilities. These medically necessary services include home care, hospice, respite care, assisted living, domiciliary care, geriatric assessments and nursing home care. In order to receive the services, a veteran must be enrolled in VA’s health-care system. Veterans with service-connected disabilities have
priority for health-care enrollment acceptance.

Some of these services may be offered to veterans in the health-care system who do not have service-connected disabilities, but who may qualify because of low income or because they are receiving pension income from VA. These recipients may have to provide out-of-pocket co-pays, or the services may only be available if the regional hospital has funds to cover them.

Currently, veterans desiring to join the health care system may be refused application because their income is too high or they do not qualify under other enrollment criteria. Increased demand in recent years for services and lack of congressional funding have forced VA to allow only certain classes of veterans to join the health care system.

The second type of benefit is state veterans homes. These homes are generally available for any veteran and sometimes the nonveteran spouse and are fun by the states, often with the help of contract management.

The third type of benefits for veterans is disability payments. Compensation is designed to award the veteran a certain amount of monthly income to compensate for potential loss of income in the private sector due to a disability or injury or illness incurred in the service. In order to receive compensation, a veteran has to have evidence of a service-connected disability.