donnaeh Asked February 2013

Does anyone know of a Healthcare Advocate? IS the VA accepting patients?

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My dad is currently in a skilled nursing facility, but insurance stops paying after 21 days. Is the VA the next step? Do you know of a Healthcare Advocate to get me thru the VA process? Thank you.

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jfryhospice Feb 2013
Does your father currently receive ANY kind of services from the V.A., including prescriptions???? If he does, he has an open case with them. GREAT! If he doesn't ......you're probably in for a VERY long haul of it. I had a patient on hospice care whose wife applied for Aid and Attendance/Skilled nursing care from the V.A. for him two years ago. (He didn't have an open case with the V.A. Never needed it or qualified for it before because he'd worked, making too much money, and had health insurance through his employers)This patient died a few months ago. They still hadn't received any answer...denial or acceptance!! The wife called the V.A. regularly, monthly, to stay on top of it...and this still happened.

If your father has an open case, contact the V.A. and discuss your father's needs. As far as a V.A. advocate goes....you can occassionally find someone who will serve in that role, but they aren't always easy to find. You might want to do an online search for one under "VA advocate". Sometimes they're affiliated with an attorney's office and there might be a fee for their services. Sometimes they're a former vet who has worked for the VA and taken this on as a "cause" when they've left/retired from the VA. You might find someone affiliated with an assisted living facilitiy or a skilled nursing facility/home who has someone serving in a VA advocacy role.

This is a great reminder for anyone who has been a vet, or has a family member who's a vet, to apply just as soon as you think you might qualify for ANY service in any way! To qualify for "vet" status I believe you have to have served for at least one day during a recognized war, not just have been in the military. (You can check this out online to get the specific criteria.) Also, most of their services have an income criteria associated with them.

Many people don't want to be "bothered" with the VA system, but it could be very well worth it in your late years and you deserve to get the benefits if you have served!
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copper Feb 2013
Aid and Attendance may be another option for your father. Applying for the AA through the VA is not an instant fix but may certainly help releive financial burden if awarded. Veterans can have assets in the range of $80,000 and that does not include their car and home. Your county VA officer should be able to help you with the application process or you can print the forms online and complete.
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ferris1 Feb 2013
First, you did not say if your father is a veteran? If you have a hospital, clinic, or LTCF in your city, then you could ask there. Also, you can get information from www.va.gov.
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jycaregiver Feb 2013
You should contact your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman. He/she can help you figure out your next steps.
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caringone Feb 2013
contact you local VA clinic or VA medical center . they should be able to put you in touch with someone.
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