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Recent Veterans Benefits VA Advice

    In Ohio, if I have guardianship of my mother and am a viet nam vet, can I get help paying for her assisted living expenses?
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    Marcia W. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Check with Fairfield County Veterans Service Commission @740-652-7920 or the Ohio Dept. of Veteran Services in Columbus @ 614-752-8941. Ask about Aid & Attendance program. It may not apply to your circumstances, but it's worth the call.

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    My father fought in the Korean war. He fought on Pork Chop hill. Is the any assistance I can get from the VA for my mother?
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    Cheryl D. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
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    David I. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    typically VA benefits are available for the veteran and their widowed spouse upon their death

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    I am a disabled vet. I am 75 and my wife is 73. My wife and I would like to get wills drawn up for ourselves. Who do i see at the VA (Veterans Affairs) to get a will drawn up?
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    Drew E. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You can make an appointment at the VA Legal Services Clinic at the main hospital or at the FT McPherson clinic--make the appointment through Volunteer Services and a local attorney at the legal clinic can assist you.

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    My dad served in the army on active duty for 2 years. His service, from 1955-57 were not during wartime.

    My Dad currently has Alzheimer's disease, is there any assistance he can access to help in paying for his assisted living necessary for him because of his Alzheimer's disease.
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    Laurel F. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    I suggest contacting either the closest VA office or Am Vets, Paralyzed Vets of America or VFW hall to speak with a volunteer VA benefits counselor to identify your father's eligibility. Even if he did not serve during a time of war, there are some benefits for service related late onset disabilities for example radiation exposure, chemical agents, hearing loss---be sure to go only through a VA office or recognized volunteer service organization (as above)--there are unscrupulous financial product sales people that falsely portray themselves as from a service organization, and it is just a front. Other options for financial assistance would be your local area agency on aging office for information on Medicaid waiver for in-home/assisted living facility care, and subsidized adult day care programs.

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    Is an elderly, disabled combat vet and his wife eligible for paid, long term care? We are 83 (veteran) and 82 (spouse).
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    Cynthia S. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    You may be eligible for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to help defray the cost of long term care.

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    My widowed uncle is a Vietnam veteran with some beginning-to-be-serious age-related issues. The point has coming where he needs some intense nursing. My brother (a doctor) and I are helping hom make some caregiving choices. Other than going to a VA nursing facility, are there ways that he can stay at home and get home health care nurses and aides through the Veterans Administration? Our uncle does own his home, a nice three bedroom ranch. So that is one asset. He also has some other assets, but I think he gets a Veteran's pension. Any suggestions for us, for him?
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    Leonard B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Your uncle might be eligible for an "Improved Pension" from the VA which includes Aid & Attendance benefits just under $2,000 per month. If he is living in his house the value is generally disregarded by the VA. The VA will look to the value of all of his other assets. Also he must have medical expenses, such as doctor recommended caretakers to qualify for this program. Other qualifications include service during a combat era and an honorable discharge.
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    Kimberly B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You need to consider applying for Aid & Attendance through the VA program. This would provide your uncle with the funds to pay for home care if he meets the medical requirements. There are asset requirements as well, but there is no look back period like with Medicaid. You should contact a local elder care attorney to make sure he is within those bounds.

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    My dad, currently deceased, fought in the battle of Midway during WWII.

    My mom gets some benefits from the VA like his pension, but is she eligible for assistance from the VA for assisted living?
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    James M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Your Mom would be entitled to Veterans Aid & Attendance of up to $1,094 per month to help with her assisted living bill provided she met the income and resource limitations. Since the cost of assisted living is considered a medical expense it is likely that her monthly bills (assisted living, Medicare supplement plans) would exceed her fixed income, so she should qualify on that count. As to resources, it is generally agreed that she can maintain control over assets so long as they do not exceed between $20,000 to $30,000 (depending on her age). If her resources (which would include IRAs) are greater than that, planning would be necessary and you should consult with an accredited attorney with the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, if the "VA pension" you mention was something your Dad received based on a service-connected disability, your Mom would be limted to that pension OR her Aid & Attendance allowance, whichever is greater (she cannot get both). If the pension is a retirement pension (assuming your Dad was full time military) then no such reduction would be required.

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