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Father just went into nursing home today, Sandstone, MN.
He is 87 his wife 83

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my dad has a service related injury...a va home would be free ....but as he says...:)...he worked hard for his savings...i agree...and he's going to spend it all...ok..what about my mother...and doesn't the govt owe him this?...and so...i bow out...good luck to everyone...
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As stated by others, it depends on if and how long he may have served at wartime, how he was discharged, was he injured or now suffers from some medical condition that can be attributed to his exposure to toxins during his service? Whatever state he is in may have a veteran's home/nursing that he may qualify for? These are all questions that need answers that you MUST get ASAP from the nearest VA to him. Talk with a social worker/veterans service officer (whatever the title) to see what he qualifies for. Is he receiving his medical care now from a local VA? If not, why? He is entitled to these benefits and should be utilizing them. Good luck!
P.S. It is a long process that needs to be started........
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To Char, I think you need to apply to a Veteran's Home directly to get the benefits. Yes he should be eligible for benefits.
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Shob - so your dad is getting RRB rather than SS, correct? Well super lucky dad. My DH's family has had RRB and it pays really well, like more than double or triple what SS does plus the supplements. Are you saying that dad is a railroad veteran rather than a military veteran? My answer is based on that.

RRB is different in that what often happens is since it pays just SO much more than SS is that they often just have too much income to qualify for Medicaid. Often they can stay at home and use the RRB $ to pay for at home nursing care and still have $ left over each month. But eventually their needs are beyond that and need to go into a NH. But even at 3 - 5K a month in RRB, they cannot afford to private pay for NH which run 6 - 12K a month. When they apply for MedicAID, they are over the income limit and denied. If this is what is happening, dad can do is a Miller Trust or a Qualfied Income Trust to deal with the excess income that is keeping them from Medicaid. An attorney needs to do this, it is not a DIY project and they will have to have it approved by rrb as there is some odd issue with the level 1 & level 2 taxes on rr retirement and trusts. How it works is say dad gets RRB $ 4K a month. No matter what dad does he get's it. Now the new trust gets the RRB and dad gets a monthly income from the trust under Medicaid limits. When dad dies, the trust reverts to the state and family gets no money but dad's NH is taken care of. ANother thing you might look into is how much short is dad's RRB to private pay for the NH, the NH may just do a price adjustment to their rate so that it's just whatever the RRB is. RRB is so much more hard cash than SS and in a way dad would be an ideal "customer" for a facility.

Also with RRB, the MediCARE codes are completely different. It is not the universal Medicare codes for services but has to be the ones the RRB Medicare uses (as it actually is a separate Medicare funding). If the NH has never ever had an RRB resident, it can be a learning curve for all.We had this happen and it was nothing but fun, there. Good luck.
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My Father was a WWII combat veteran... WE could have gotten some help for him if indeed he had to be in Assisted Living or a Nursing home. He had cancer and died peacefully at home almost 3 years ago now. I am telling you that to tell you, YES I think there is some assistance available. It somewhat depends on the circumstances... take care...
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My husband served two years, but not during any war time. Even served in Germany for the whole time. He has an honorable discharge and doesn't qualify for any help whatsoever!
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There is a program called Aid & Attendance, which is a pension that the person may receive to pay for long term care (in assisted living, adult family home or nursing home) or in-home care. The application process, as Momfirst said, is very long and it can take a year to even hear back from the VA regarding your application. What many people will do is apply, and then while waiting for a decision, they will apply for Medicaid.
Be aware that Aid & Attendance isn't going to be enough to cover all expenses in a facility such as a nursing home. Here's some information from veteranaid.org:

"The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisting living facility also qualifies.
To qualify for A&A it needs to be established by your physician that you require daily assistance by others to dress, undress, bathing, cooking, eating, taking on or off of prosthetics, leave home etc. You DO NOT have to require assistance with all of these. There simply needs to be adequate medical evidence that you cannot function completely on your own.
The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,732 per month to a veteran, $1,113 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,054 per month to a couple*."

So, as you see, it doesn't give a huge amount, but usually enough to really help with getting an in-home caregiver or help with the big bills at a facility. If you're interested in applying, you can likely find a local American Legion, which should have Veteran Service Officers who can help veterans apply for benefits. You can check with your local Senior LinkAge at the Central Minnesota Council on Aging (the Senior LinkAge line is an information and referral line to help connect seniors and their loved ones with resources. They should be able to tell you local resources for getting help with VA benefits) by calling 800-333-2433.
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If he goes to medicare he is allowed about 30 dollars a month to be taken care of by him or someone else. The nursing home does not furnish personal needs such as depends or shaving equipment or deodorant, most places you must furnish your own radio, TV, etc. for your room. You cannot have more than 1,200 in your account but I have heard that has gone up but I don't know, so that has to be watched or he could be kicked out of Medicare. Lots of rules and regulations and I suppose all this is subject to change as Obamacare goes into existence. If he is a vet, apply for assistance, have heard it will take a year or so to kick in but you get back pay which could have consequences if already on Medicare. It's a loop to jump through.
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Be patient when applying for VA benefits it can take up to a year to get. I applied for my mother but she passed before she ever got them. She passed 6 months after I applied. Make sure you fill all the forms out correctly too, because that will slow the process down. We used one of their counselors to help us with the paperwork.
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Check with the VA. If he qualifies he can get monthly payment. Another VA benefit coms into play if he has a service-connected disability.
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I was looking into getting some kind of compensation for taking care of my mom.. and there is for caretakers of Vets... check it out
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My Brother in law is in a Vets home now in MD. The home takes what he gets monthly, Social Security and his Pension check. He gets a 5% allowance from that for spending money. They did not touch his savings while he was in Assisted Living. Medicaid paid for the first 90 days since he came from a hospital after a heart attack. Unfortunately he fell and broke a hip. Now he is in the Nursing Care part of the home. It has been covered again by medicare after the surgery to fix the hip. He just began the part of NH where I, as his POA, will begin paying around $6000 a month. When his money runs out, we will have to go through the transfer to Medicaid. There are many forms to fill out and they need bank records back 5 years and receipts for things bought. Save everything. I have no records previous to when he came to live with us 2 years ago. I have heard that you have to get old bank records to prove that he didn't give away a lot of his money just to be on Medicaid. Hope this info helps.
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On this site, under the Money & Legal tab, there is a section on Veterans Assistance. You may find some good resources there. Good Luck.
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I have heard that there is and waiting for it can take up to a year after applying but it is paid from the start at that time. I also saw an place to ask for assistance from an attorney who is paid only if he gets the benefits for you, I have yet to hear back. Good Luck!
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