Many people are aware that the VA offers veterans comprehensive health care benefits through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). But did you know that in-home care is part of this Standard Medical Benefits Package? Read on to learn how veterans and their caregivers can take advantage of VA homemaker and home health aide services (H/HHA).
Eligibility for VA Home Care Services
The first step in qualifying for VA-covered home care is enrolling in the VA’s health care program. Most veterans who served on active duty and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable qualify for the VA’s Standard Medical Benefits Package. All veterans who believe they are eligible for VA health care coverage are encouraged to apply on the Vets.gov website.
Even if a veteran has applied before and been denied coverage, it may be worth applying again. The VHA has changed many of its eligibility requirements in recent years, and the veteran’s medical condition and financial status may have changed, thereby qualifying them for coverage.
The second step in qualifying involves meeting a clinical need for homemaker and home health aide services. The veteran must be assessed by their VA primary care provider to determine their needs and obtain a prescription for H/HHA services. From there, the VA social worker can assist in arranging the necessary services.
Home Care Services
The H/HHA program provides unskilled services, such as case management and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), in order to help veterans continue living safely and independently in their own homes. Assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as meal preparation, light housework, and transportation are included as well. A separate VA program offers skilled home health care services.
In-home care isn’t just for the benefit of veterans. It provides family caregivers with valuable respite time and peace of mind. These services can be used in conjunction with others, like adult day care, to help ease the burden on family members and keep veterans out of nursing homes.
VA Home Care Providers
Only home care companies that contract with the VA can provide these covered services. VA social workers can assist in connecting veterans with local providers.
Home Care Costs
Many veterans are eligible for free healthcare services through the VA based on their service-connected condition, financial status and other special eligibility criteria. Depending on an eligible veteran’s service-connected disability status, copays may be charged for homemaker and home health aide services.