Pension For Elderly Veterans And Widows A Well Kept Secret

Veterans Who Served During Wartime And Their Widows Are Not Being Told About A Pension They Earned Which Helps Pay For Home Care, Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care.
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March 30, 2007 - PRLog -- Ask an elderly Veteran if they are aware they may be eligible for a pension from the Veteran’s Administration and they will tell you “I’m not eligible because I was not injured in the War.” This is a common misconception which keeps many Veterans from tapping into a benefit they well earned by serving our country.  The fact is elderly, disabled Veterans and their widows may very well qualify for large sums of money, but they have to apply for the funds. There are several Veteran pensions, but the pension designed to help elderly Veterans and Veteran’s Widows pay for costly Home Health Care, Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home fees (if the Veteran is not covered by Medicaid) is called  Special Monthly Pension with Aid and Attendance. The pension can pay a married Veteran up to $1,801/month , an unmarried  Veteran up to $1,519/m and a Veteran’s Widow can receive up to $976/m. The amount one receives is based upon their medical expenses and their current financial and medical status. The pension is paid by check directly to the Veteran or Widow monthly.

The Special Monthly Pension with Aid and Attendance is the governments’ best kept secret. Many seniors have told me that they called Veterans’Affairs and were told that this pension does not exist or that they do not qualify. For thirteen years, I have assisted Veterans and Veteran’s Widows in obtaining these funds – they really do exist.

To get the maximum pension amount, a Veteran must qualify medically and financially and must have served their country for at least one day during “War Time”. Also the Veteran must have been honorably discharged. Every case is considered individually. If a Veteran or Veteran’s Widow feels they may qualify, they can apply for the pension. dpyuc The pension can take many months to actually be approved. The average waiting period is three to eight months. The first check will be retroactive to the date the application arrived at the Veterans’ Affairs, therefore the first check may be for thousands of dollars. Subsequent checks will arrive monthly for the approved amount. This pension money can mean the difference between affording adequate care for an aging Veteran/ Widow or having no care at all.

As with any governmental program, success is in the paperwork. The application is lengthy and some of it is in essay form. It is the wording of the essay areas that mean the difference between approval and denial. Also, Veteran’s Affairs does not tell Veterans about all the supporting documents that they would like to see with the application. The better the medical and financial records, the better the chances are of approval. Including the right medical forms signed by a doctor is very important for approval. Also typical of governmental red tape is the frustrating lack of communication. Once the application is filed , it is very difficult to get a status update.

In a perfect world, financial assistance for those who qualify should be easily accessible and easy to get. But the reality is that government agencies are inherently complicated and their application processes are never self explanatory or simple. Seasoned Geriatric Care Managers can often navigate these processes for you. They may charge for their services, but to attempt to do it yourself and have your application denied, will cost much more money. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs supposedly employs staff to help Veterans and Widows apply for these pensions for free, but it is these very people who have told so many seniors that they do not qualify, when in fact, they could qualify if they made one small change . Perhaps Veteran’s Affairs is afraid that if they made it easy for every Veteran to apply, the pension fund would go broke. I anticipate the pension fund will one day be either broke or impossible to get. For now, the money is very much available and attainable. With a little professional planning, many Veterans and Widows can receive pensions that make a significant difference in the amount of care they receive. After all, the reason for this particular pension is to assure that aged Veterans or Widows do not live in a substandard environment in their old age. It takes a little work to apply for this pension, but anything worth having usually does.

Source:Sonja Kobrin, V.I.P. Care Management, Inc.
Email:Contact Author
Tags:Geriatric, Veteran, Elders, Finance, Home Health, Assisted Living
Industry:Finance, Medical
Location:United States

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