If you are getting disability pay, can you still apply for Aid and Attendance compensation?

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My 90 year old husband who served in WW11, Korea, & Vietnam, has onset dementia, diabetes, decreased lung capacity, psoriasis, 40% circulation in left leg and extremely bad back. We have had Home Health through his primary care doc, but it is ending in a couple of weeks. I, too, have an extremely bad back and it is difficult for me to care for him full time. Can he receive aid and attendance along with his disability pay?

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Yes, you will need to contact the VA.
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Be aware, that A & A can take months to get. If for a Vet probably faster than for a spouse. My Mom was turned down because she made over 13,000. Really, no one can live on that and afford care. My Mom got other help because she was low income. I would have pursued it but she was on Medicaid in a Home and you can't receive both.
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Cindy, thank you for YOUR service, and for your excellent insight and description of VA services. You've helped me. I've been told by a local VA service offer that my father doesn't qualify, but a state VA service officer said he does quality for A&A.

Some wrote last week about another service I'd never heard of. I did some quick checking and it seems my father could qualify. So I need to check that out further.

Just a comment on palliative care, which we learned about from one of our physicians. I then called several companies and learned that each has a different level of service.

One only has a telephone check up monthly; they're still "fleshing out" their program. Another is in a pilot program but as of now only provides "consultation" to other home care palliative companies. And yet another affiliates with a visiting physician service, has a hospice arm and also has its own home health care company. It's literally a turnkey operation. However, service was so bad that I fired their home health care services after 10 days.

The company that replaced the unsatisfactory one is in the process of qualifying with Medicare to provide palliative care. I learned that nurses have to be certified for it. There are other issues as well; I got the impression that since it's kind of a start-up program there's a steep learning curve for what Medicare requires.
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Will your PC doc support Palliative Care for your husband? It's covered by Medicare. It sounds like your husband qualifies. We stumbled on this service many people never heard of while researching resources for my mother. She is in heart failure. It's a long decline. Her PC doc didn't automatically prescribe this. We had to request it. Find a good company. You can be in Palliative Care for years as long as the physician overseeing the case keeps qualifying you based on your illness. We elected to work with the company her PC of 30+ years is associated with for continuity. Mom is going on 6+ months. Her PC recently came to the house to requalify her. This is required after 6 months. She will now come to the house every other month to qualify her per Medicare guidelines.

"Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family."

This means no more doctor visits. Although you can still see one if needed. If you get better then you check out of the program. Everything (diabetes, hypothyroidism, chronic bladder infections, chronic pain, heart) will be treated at home through a nurse who repots to a doctor. You can check in and out of Palliative Care. Mom had to have surgery after a fall. At that time she was checked out of Palliative Care, and started it again after she returned home. It provides all her meds for free, supplies (she is incontinent - gloves, disposable bed pads, disposable underwear), medical bed, oxygen machine, wheelchair, 2x week nurse visit (more if needed), someone to wash her 3x week. It is also a bridge to hospice care, which many do not take advantage of until the very end so they don't get the full benefit of the program. The same nurse she has now in Palliative Care will be the same nurse she will have when she transitions to Hospice Care; the same one who'll be there for the final hours of her life.
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Please extend my thanks to your husband for serving. There aren't many vets like him still around, which makes him extra special. I'm a retired Naval Officer who helped my father and brother navigate the VA's compensation system. Unless you understand it, you could be missing out on things your husband earned for his service. First off...has he been rated at 100% as far as his disability is concerned? If not, please go to your local VA office ASAP. You need to file a claim. It may take a little work as I'm sure he will have to go to a VA Hospital or Clinic to be evaluated. Since he's 90, that will give him head of the line privileges when it comes time for the VA to review his claim.

My father is now rated at 100% for disability compensation. He receives Aid & Attendance as well, which you will also qualify for should your husband pass away. Also, a veteran filing for A&A with a sick spouse is eligible for additional pay. There's a form you need to fill out to make sure you qualify financially, and forms your doctor will have to fill out and submit. Best thing is to go to your local VA office, which will do everything for you.

I also think your husband qualifies for two grants the VA gives to disabled vets through its Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Independent Living program. You have to register for the VR&E first. My father received a ton of disability equipment, including an easy chair that helps lift him up and a ramp. There are two grants he can use if he qualifies under the Independent Living Program, the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant. I applied for the SAH grant for him. He then received $65,000 grant, which we used to handicap his house. The walk in shower alone has now made things so much easier to care for my mother who is now dying. It took 4 months of construction to do, however, but you don't need to use it all at once. The HISA grant provides a smaller sum for smaller projects.

Please message me if you'd like more info or have questions.
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Contact the VA. You don't say if the Disability is Government or Private Industry - but the VA should be able to help you and they also offer HomeHealthCare.

But - if he is still eligible for needing HomeHealthCare - he can be re-certified. My DH had HomeHealth for 2 years because of the need and was only now taken off it; with the full knowledge that he will most likely be on it again in about 2 months.

Every 6 weeks had had to be re-certified. So if your husband is deemed as still needing the HomeHealthCare - he should be re-certified. Ask questions of the HomeHealth before they discharge him.
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My father was receiving 100% disability pay for his time in the service. When he passed, my mother received Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) - a tax free benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Recently, we moved Mom into assisted living, and I contacted the NY State Division of Veterans Affairs about just this, additional monies. The response is as follows:

"Your mother SHOULD NOT be applying for the Survivor’s Special Monthly Pension with Aid and Attendance which is a needs based benefit that takes into consideration you mother’s INCOME/ASSET assets for eligibility, but should in fact be applying for an INCREASE ONLY in her DIC BENEFIT to INCLUDE AID & ATTENDANCE.

The AID & ATTENDANCE increase to DIC would permit her to receive an addition amount based on her increased level of medical need and is not income based.

Your mother CANNOT receive both DIC and Survivor’s Pension; she can only receive one or the other and the VA usually will pay whichever of the benefits is MOST BENEFICIAL TO THE CLAIMANT."

I filled out the proper 21-2680 forms, and within a week of filing, we got the increase (in the area of $300). I had to fight with the local benefits advisor (retired military) to get him to file, but because I'd spoken to the VA directly, I knew she was eligible. I strongly advise you to contact your state office. They are very helpful.
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This is really a question for a VA service officer. The issue of disability pay may complicate getting A&A, depending on how much the disability pay is.
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