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Resources and Services Senior Veterans Need to Know About and How to Apply

As veterans age and enter the senior years, health and financial challenges appear. There are a range of opportunities available for senior veterans. The Veterans Administration has three programs specifically for senior veterans to assist them.

The three programs are: Aid and Attendance, Housebound, and Geriatrics Health Care. Below, we will discuss each of these programs.

Aid and Attendance

Aid and Attendance will give you an added amount in your monthly pension. In order to qualify, you will need to meet certain requirements. For example, you need help daily in activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. Also, being confined to bed or in a nursing home will qualify you. Last, if they consider you to be almost legally blind, you are eligible for this service.

Housebound

Housebound is very similar to Aid and Attendance and the eligibility as far as health is the same. You must be almost completely confined to your place of residence as a result of a permanent disability. We will discuss how to apply for these services below. First, lets review the Geriatric Services.

Geriatric Services

Geriatric is another word for aged, elderly or senior. The VA has specific services for those in this group. As you age, your health needs may become a bit more complicated. If you or loved one needs long term or at home care, then you may be eligible. This care is available at home or in a medical facility operated by the Veterans Administration. The application process will include basic identification, along with the physician’s information about the current state of the patient.

Increased Pension

Remember that all three of the above mentioned services will qualify you for an added amount in your pension. You will need your typical information and identification to apply for these benefits. The process can be completed online from the VA website. In addition, you will need medical confirmation from your physician. To sum it up, the easiest and most convenient way is to apply is through an online process. This will most likely be quicker and more concise. Otherwise, you will need to obtain the proper application forms. Below, you will find detailed instructions on how to apply to ensure you only have to do it once.

Special Monthly Compensation

The special monthly compensation is an amount added to your regular pension payment. In order to qualify for this increase, your housebound status must be a result of your service in the military. In addition, a surviving mate may qualify for the special monthly compensation. Online applications are welcome. To know exactly what you are eligible for is the key to improving the quality of life. A representative can help to determine which plans will be given to those who need it most. Since the process can be difficult, there are people to point you in the right direction. There is help available in abundance for those who have served our country, and for the elderly on a wide scale.

Special Monthly Pension

The special monthly pension is different in that the housebound status does not have to be related to your military service. Therefore ,the veteran or his surviving mate are both eligible for the special monthly pension.

Forms You Need

You will need VA Form 21-2680. If you or someone who cares for you has access to a computer, then download it from the official VA website. Otherwise, you can visit your local benefits office. If you need help locating one, the VA website has a locator link to help you. Once completed, submit this form to the Pension Management Center within your state. Your local VA office should be able to assist you.

Nursing Home Form

If you are already in a nursing home, ask for Form 21-0779. It is otherwise known as a “Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection with Claim for Aid and Attendance.” Both forms are three pages long.

Application Information Needed

First, you will need your typical identification information. Name, social security number, date of birth and service number as well. Next, you will need to choose whether you are applying for the special monthly compensation or the special monthly pension. They describe both in detail on the form.

Physicians Information

You will need your attending physician’s cooperation to fill out the rest of the report. It will need to be very detailed as to the applicant’s status. Examples of what it should include are:

  • Was there a disease or injury resulting in housebound status?
  • Is there a lack of coordination?
  • Can patient dress, feed or bathe him or herself?
  • Can the patient move around?

Besides the above information, there should also be included a letter or report concerning the daily activities of the individual applying. For instance, where does he or she go if anywhere? How do they get there? What activities can he or she do on their own, if anything? Is the applicant completely housebound?

Where To Apply

There are various ways available for you to apply. Of course, you can apply directly online on the VA website if this is a resource available to you. Use the e-benefits link. If this isn’t possible, find a regional VA office in your area, and have someone there assist you. Last, you can obtain the assistance from a VA representative who has been approved by the VA.

Accredited Representative

It’s important to have someone on your side who understands the inner workings of tasks that may be difficult for an elderly person to carry out. An accredited representative is a person who has been trained and tested and is qualified to assist veterans with the various programs and services. Importantly, they have also passed a background check. In addition, they receive ongoing education to stay up to date on all services and requirements. Therefore, you will be helped to gain knowledge of and apply for any services you are eligible for. Keep in mind that depending on who and where you find a representative, there may be a fee involved.

Finding A Representative

You can find a representative by using the e-benefits link mentioned above or by visiting your regional office. There is also a VA Form 21-22 that can be filled out and mailed for your convenience. Subsequently, a representative will be appointed for you. The mailing address is:
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
CLAIMS INTAKE CENTER 
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547-4444

Understand Your Options

Senior veterans need to have access to a thorough understanding of their available resources and services. These can make a difference with incredible results. As you can see, there is a wide variety of resources available. Wading through these options can be a daunting task. Accordingly, it is wise to take the time and thoroughly examine all resources available.

Senior Specific Needs

Seniors have specific needs that need to be addressed. As discussed, options for senior veterans include aid and attendance and increased pension. Also, geriatric services, special monthly pension compensation, and housebound services. In conclusion, getting knowledge of these services and knowing how to apply is crucial. This ensures senior veterans receive the care they deserve.