Aging Veterans Unaware of VA Pension Benefits – Millions of Veterans a…

For aging veterans, one of their most important assistance programs is the Veterans Non-Service Connected Improved Pension assistance Program. Established to assist qualified veterans, and/or their surviving spouses and family, the Veterans NSC Improved Pension assistance Program provides financial sustain that enables veterans to live independently while receiving the quality of care they deserve. In particular, funds are obtainable for aging veterans who need assistance with medical and non-medical care both in the home and in qualified facilities.

In many situations, veterans, along with their spouses and family, are unaware that this program exists. According to VA examination, only 27 percent of veterans and 14 percent of widow(er)s who are likely eligible, truly receive any money from the program.

Types of Care Eligible

The availability of this program is something all veterans and their widow(er)s should know. Seniors in our country are now living longer. With higher living costs and the continued rise in healthcare expenditures, many seniors are at risk of quickly depleting their savings. Programs like the Veterans NSC Improved Pension assistance Program can fund sets like in-home care, assisted living facility expenses and other medical costs that many seniors confront.

I see many clients that are faced with the difficult task of covering their healthcare expenses. If they qualify for these funds, it takes a huge burden off of veterans and their families. This money can be used to ensure they are given access to the care they need.

Qualifications

To qualify for the Veterans NSC Improved Pension assistance Programs, a veteran must have 90 days or more of active duty with at the minimum one of those days served during a US-declared war. The benefits are designed for those who meet specific financial criteria and demonstrate a physical need for healthcare.

The Department of Veterans Affairs determines active duty as complete-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science sets Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Other qualifications and considerations:

o release for any reason other than dishonorable conditions

o Over the age of 65 or disabled

o Total financial assets

o Physical condition

o Current marital position (if you are the surviving spouse of a veteran)

o Total gross income versus medical deduction

Costly Misunderstanding

There are several reasons why veterans are unaware or misunderstand these benefits. First is the very name of the assistance itself – improved pension assistance. Pension benefits usually come after years of service, not after only 90 days of service.

In addition, many veterans often assume the obtainable benefits are for those who have a service-related disability not just because they turned 65. As the name implies, this program is a non-service connected assistance.

Finally, it is uncommon for a assistance to be obtainable in part just by virtue of age. However, the Veteran NSC Improved Pension assistance does not require a qualified veteran to have any disability provided that they are over the age of 65.

Important Documents

Applicants who plan to seek VA benefits for the first time must submit the Service release Form (DD-214, DD-215, or for WWII veterans, a WD form). This form will determine their service dates and reason for release, complete name and military service number.

Applicants seeking VA benefits related to a veteran’s death must submit the following:

o Veteran’s birth certificate

o Veteran’s marriage certificate

o Children’s birth certificates or adoption papers

o Veteran’s death certificate

Next Steps

There are several places to find additional information regarding the application course of action.

o Department of Veteran Affairs – The complete program is explained throughout their website. For additional questions please contact VA Benefits at: 1-800-827-1000 or visit http://www.vba.va.gov.

o State Veterans Service Officers can assist veterans in filing claims for benefits. Their locations and phone numbers can be found by the phone book under “State Government, Veterans Service Officer”.

o VONAPP – Veterans Online Applications allow an individual to fill out the required forms regarding VA compensation, pension, education and vocational rehabilitation benefits. For more information or to get the correct forms, visit http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/faqs.asp.

These resources can assist in the application course of action. Other assistance can be provided by various national, county, or local service organizations. In addition, in-home care providers like Comfort Keepers in Clearwater and senior care facilities can assist in accessing the information necessary to estimate a person’s eligibility for the Veterans Improved Pension assistance Program.

Comfort Keepers can provide specialized guidance while the applicant is completing the necessary paperwork and being assessed for eligibility for the Veterans Improved Pension assistance Program. Once approved, Comfort Keepers can be the solution for quality in-home care.

About Comfort Keepers

Carol S. Howland is the owner of the franchised business Comfort Keepers in Pinellas County Florida. This office provides Home Care to seniors in Clearwater, Oldsmar, Dunedin, Palm shelter, Tarpon Springs and parts of Tampa.

Visit www.comfortkeepers.com/caregivers/115 for more information about the sets provided to seniors at Comfort Keepers and a Free offer at Carol Howland’ s location.

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