As many Americans reach the final stages of their lives, aging in place has become increasingly popular. Still, seniors who choose to remain in their homes often need outside help with both everyday activities and medical care. At-home health care professionals may regularly visit the home to provide necessary assistance.
Aging is a disabling condition under the Aid and Attendance benefits program that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs administers. If you have an elderly veteran in your family, the VA may cover some at-home care costs, allowing your relative to stay out of the nursing home.
To be eligible for the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefits program, your relative must meet three criteria:
- Qualify for a VA pension
- Require assistance with everyday activities
- Have financial need
Qualifying for a VA pension depends on service record, age and disability. For a veteran to require assistance with everyday activities, he or she must need help cooking, bathing, dressing or otherwise completing daily tasks.
For purposes of financially qualifying for the Aid and Attendance benefits program, your relative must have fewer than $124,000 in assets and a monthly income below the maximum annual pension rate.
Reimbursement for at-home care
Your elderly relative may help other insurance that pays for in-home care directly or through reimbursement. If that is not the case, the VA may reimburse some costs of at-home care. The VA may also reimburse at-home care costs for the qualifying veteran’s spouse. The VA’s Aid and Attendance benefits program does not usually pay for home modifications, however.