Categories: Elder law, veteran, veterans, veterans’ law, VA law, VA planning, estate planning, Aid and Attendance, veterans’ planning, Medicaid planning, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, NC.
According to a study by the RAND Corporation, an estimated 5.5 million family caregivers provide care for ill or disabled veterans in the United States. That’s 5.5 million people who are sacrificing time, energy, and money to provide care for veterans they love, as these veterans recover or age.
Family caregivers have been saving the government money by providing care to veterans that expensive medical professionals would normally perform, and the VA is recognizing this fact. Lawmakers have approved reinforcing and expanding the VA Caregiver program, through the VA Mission Act, which expands caregiver support to benefit pre 9/11 veterans, in addition to post 9/11 veterans. The VA Mission Act, which authorizes $860 million in veterans’ caregiver support over the coming years, was signed into law on June 7, 2018.
As these programs become implemented and available, ill or disabled veterans will be able to apply to a VA program to support those who are caring for them.
For many veterans, aging is not an easy process. In the words of Brad Barton, a Vietnam Veteran whose spinal cord was severed from a mortar round during the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive: “I want to see veterans treated equally. We all served our country when our country needed us, and now we need their help. And I think they should do this for us.”
At a time where the number of people who need care is increasing, and the number of caretakers is decreasing, this bill may provide an example for eventually providing caregiving financial support to non-veteran families.
Veterans and their families should make certain that they receive all VA support benefits available to them. Programs such as Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits may add valuable funds to a veteran’s pension which can be used to help with home care or assisted living expenses. An elder law attorney can provide VA asset planning services to help veteran families qualify for and receive all available veterans home support and long-term care benefits.
Quil Lawrence, VA Bill Set to Expand Support For Veterans’ Caregivers, NPR NEWS (May 23, 2018), https://www.npr.org/2018/05/23/613596970/va-bill-to-expand-support-for-veterans-caregivers
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (June 14, 2018), https://www.naela.org
Susan Collins, U.S. Senator from Maine, Press Release: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $860 Million for Veterans Caregiver Support Program (June 8, 2018), https://www.collins.senate.gov/newsroom/senate-appropriations-committee-approves-860-million-veterans-caregiver-support-program