Article is reprinted from Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). You can learn more about ALFA and their mission by visiting them here.
Veterans are increasingly using their benefits to pay for assisted living. But the number of beneficiaries could be higher, experts say. There are nearly 13 million wartime veterans in the United States who could qualify for nearly $2,000 monthly toward assisted living …
According to VA estimates, 2.3 million veterans who served in World War II are living in the United States, in addition to 2.6 million who served in Korea and 7.7 million in Vietnam.
To qualify, members must have served a minimum of only 90 days and must meet other medical and financial qualifications. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, about 105,000 veterans as well as a large number of widows were using their benefits as of last year.
“This can be really important not only for older Americans, but also for their kids if they’re trying to deal with mom and dad and how they’re going to pay” for assisted living and other long-term-care services, says Tom Pamperin, an associate deputy undersecretary in the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration.
The benefit is underused, he says, because “it doesn’t occur to veterans in their 70s who may have had no encounter with the VA other than qualifying for a home loan 40 years ago that there are benefits payable to them.”
Leading senior living companies are enhancing their sales and marketing strategies as well as services to residents by helping seniors navigate and process the benefit paperwork. Hershey-Pennsylvania-based Country Meadows Retirement Communities received an ALFA 2010 Best of the Best Award for its Veterans’ Benefits Program. Through this award program, the Assisted Living Federation of America each year recognizes best practices in senior living.
The Veterans’ Benefit Program is a valuable and much-needed service to residents and their families says Eileen Kutzler with Country Meadows, who personally has helped dozens of residents receive their veterans’ benefits. The process can be onerous, Kutzler says; applications can be up to 23 pages long and take more than eight months of back-and-forth communications with the federal agency.
Read the Wall Street Journal article, “War: One Thing It’s Good For.”
Here’s the link to the VA’s official page on the Veteran’s Pension Program