Debbie Burak, Founder of VeteranAid.org (http://VeteranAid.org)
In her comments, Ms. Burak states: "Millions and millions of senior veterans, their spouses or widows are missing out on this VA Pension benefit to help pay for care. This pension is a critical piece for Veterans and their families who are struggling to pay for assisted care, yet the VA does not inform Veterans of the existence of this pension. The Aid & Attendance Improved Pension has been an entitlement to veterans and their spouses/widows for the past 61 years and yet this information is not well known.
Improved Pension allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication dosing, or taking care of the needs of nature to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an Assisted Living facility also qualifies.
Simply put – Improved Pension is a 3-tier Pension Benefit and is the least known VA Benefit, and this petition is necessary in order to facilitate the changes needed at the VA so that awareness of this benefit is as well known as Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid."
For further information about the petition, please visit http://www.change.org/
Ms. Burak is the daughter of a WWII Veteran. Her own family faced challenges of caring for her aging parents for 9 years. Upon discovery of the Aid and Attendance Benefit, Ms. Burak filed on behalf of her mother as a surviving spouse; however, payments were not released before her mother’s passing. This Pension would have meant over $160,000.00 that would have helped pay for Ms. Burak's parents care, and would have provided better options and services had they have known about the Pension from the beginning. In 2005, Ms. Burak founded VeteranAid.org, a 501(c)(3) organization, which was created to provide information, free of charge, to veterans, their spouses and families. This benefit could make the difference between a veteran or surviving spouse living in a quality assisted living facility or in a state-operated nursing home. For more information, please visit VeteranAid.org.