Our veterans make huge sacrifices to protect American lives, but often find themselves struggling to receive the benefits they deserve under the law.
While the system sometimes seems to work against veterans, help is available, if only veterans were made aware of how to access this assistance.
That’s why we’re presenting this information. If you know a vet who needs help getting benefits, please share these points. In Missouri, we are standing by to offer expert guidance.
5 Veteran Benefits That Can Help
1) Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefit
This is a VA benefit – a pension program – available to qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses, designed to supplement the income of elderly and/or disabled veterans who gave up career opportunities to serve during war time, and therefore need financial assistance now, in their senior years.
2) Long Term Care Benefits or Assisted Living
Long-term care costs can mount quickly. For qualified veterans and their surviving spouses, help with the costs of in-home or nursing home care may be available through the Veteran’s Administration (VA), and an underused pension benefit called Aid and Attendance, which provides financial assistance with everyday tasks.
Veterans or their spouses must have:
- Served a minimum of 90 days, one of those days during wartime
- Meet Asset Tests (based on age, medical costs, and other factors)
- Income less than the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR), excluding welfare benefits or Supplemental Security Income. The VA pays the difference between income and the MAPR.
- Unreimbursed, recurring medical expenses.
- A need for aid from another person to perform everyday tasks – bathing, feeding, dressing, etc. (Includes the bedridden and blind, or nursing home residents.)
No service-related disability is needed to qualify.
If your income is too large to qualify, you may still receive benefits if you have a high amount of unreimbursed medical expenses. “Unreimbursed” refers to expenses not paid by your health insurance company.
The rules for qualifying for Aid and Attendance can be complex. Always consult with a knowledgeable attorney.
3) Service Connected Disability Benefits Veterans are entitled to compensation for disabilities incurred or aggravated during active military, naval, or air service. Service connected compensation is awarded to the veteran based on a disability rating given by the VA. If you are a veteran and you suffer from a disability incurred during your military service, we can assist you to receive the benefits you have earned.
4) Greatly Reduced Nursing Home Costs The Missouri Veterans Homes provide long-term skilled nursing care in seven locations, in compliance with 157 Federal Department of Veterans Affairs regulations. The Commission fixes the maximum monthly rate yearly, allowing for hardship adjustments on a case-by-case basis.
To be eligible for admission, the veteran must have:
- lived in Missouri for 180 days during his or her lifetime
- met the criteria for Veteran status established by the US Department of Veterans Affairs
- A physician’s order for institutional health care services
- been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
Final decisions regarding eligibility and admission are made by a team of Healthcare professionals that includes an Administrator, Physician, Director of Nursing, and Social Worker, and other professionals as necessary.
Missouri Veterans Homes employ skilled doctors and nurses; occupational, recreational, physical and speech therapists; medications; cosmetologists; social services and pastoral services; and dieticians. Each home also maintains a secured dementia unit with its own dining room, activity area and enclosed courtyard.
For more information, please visit http://mvc.dps.mo.gov/homes/
5) Professional Legal Guidance When applying for veteran’s benefits, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with paperwork. Fortunately, help is available, so that no Missouri veteran or loved ones must suffer the stress inherent in meeting government regulations. The attorneys at Quinn Estate & Elder Law are accredited through the VA to assist you in prosecuting your claim for benefits. We can help you protect your means to protect your family.