Many wartime veterans may be eligible for financial help with long-term
care costs and not even know it. That is because many wartime veterans
don’t realize that even if they didn’t suffer a wartime injury,
there is a pension benefit available to them through the Veterans Administration.
That benefit is called improved pension (sometimes referred to as Aid
This improved pension benefit is available to veterans or their surviving
spouses 1) who are either permanently disabled (a service connected disability
is not required) OR age 65 or older, 2) who meet wartime service requirements
and 3) who meet financial eligibility criteria (there are limits on both
income and assets).
Sometimes a wartime veteran who isn’t as independent as he or she
used to be prefers to either stay at home and receive help from a home
health company or move into an assisted living community instead of going
to a skilled nursing facility. Medicaid is not always available to pay
the costs of home heath or assisted living communities because in many
states, the bulk of the Medicaid assistance goes towards skilled nursing
care and long waiting lists exist for community based care assistance.
The VA improved pension benefit can be an option for obtaining the financial
assistance necessary to make staying at home or moving to an assisted
living community possible.
If you are a wartime veteran or know a wartime veteran, be sure to spread
the word about this little known but vital option for acquiring financial
assistance for community based long-term care services.