Social Security versus Veteran benefits. Any advice?

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Has anyone else ever run into the situation where their loved one has chosen to accept Social Security for their income denying Veteran benefits. She thought Social Security would be better and better health care so with that being said, we were wondering if she is still eligible to go into a Veteran's nursing home. We are trying to find the best care available for my grandma who has dementia and the Veteran's home in the area, is right in the same town and has the best care around. We were concerned she won't be eligible since she did not accept their benefits. Is this true? Anyone else deal with this before?

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I am in Tx. Dad drew Social Security, Medicare, had a supplemental health Insurace he paid for and was eligable for Veterans Health Benefits. This was 10 yrs ago but he received excellent healthcare from the Veteran's Hospital. His Meds did have a co-pay of $7.00.
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Lucky gran! This is my understanding of it....if you qualify for VAs aid & attendance benefit you can get about $ 1600 a month. You can use it towards paying for living in IL or for a caregiver to come in your home. The A&A $ is paid to you in addition to whatever else income each month (like SS income). For many between their SS & other retirement income & A&A there is enough $ to totally pay for IL or AL or stay in their home with paid help. Some pay their family from the A&A $. Let's say shes in AL & the costs are $ 3K and she has her VA $ plus $ 1,500 SS/retirement income. She is good both financially & medically.

This all sounds just fabulous, right? Well the rub comes in when grannie needs a much higher level of care and needs to be in skilled nursing facility aka a NH. The costs of a NH at 5k - 15k a month will be much much more than the income she has. For this, although she can still get A&A $, she will be short to pay the costs for a NH. What happens is that they end up doing a spend down to qualify for Medicaid. As Medicaid will totally pay for their NH stay but medicaid will require that all her income less a small personal care allowance is paid to the NH. There is a suspension of the A&A and instead they get a $ 90 a mo stipend from VA.

Now most do not have a VA Nursing home nearby to ever move to. So the above is what usually happens for those who need a NH. But your gran has a choice...& it sounds like this VA home is a good one. If she goes into the VA home, the VA will cover all her costs. If the VA place by you all is a good one, this is probably the best situation as usually they are a total on-site care facility.

There is one by us (Biloxi) that is a newer VA facility from IL to NH with all care on site & all kinds of support & social services. The waiting list is about 2years. Placement priority is for medal of honor first, then purple heart, etc. There is no officer /enlisted differential. A friend of ours father (93) just looked at it and the whole family was floored at how great of a situation it was. If only the dad had applied 5 years ago when he moved in with his son!

Grannie probably like most is fearful of change, of having to deal with new doctors, is stubborn and used to being the decisionmaker but eventually if she lives long enough her dementia will be at the point that she needs to be in a place with 24/7 oversight. If you can move her in sooner than later, she can adjust and get to know the new system at the VA. If she had years of being a move every few years military wife, those skills are still there and she will do well at the place.
Good luck.
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My husband ,who recieves social security, went into the veterans home in October. In Minnesota the veterans home run by the state accepts residents who have social security. The fees charged are based on the resident's income and social security is counted as part of that income. The veteran has to have served during the time of war.
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I believe she is entitled to both.
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I worked as a social worker at a State Veterans hone for many years...not sure why she would have to make a choice,even at the federal level....the admissions or social service person at your Veterans home should help you through this
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