Each new year is ripe with possibilities. This year, if you have been supporting an aging family member, a veteran, for example, with various things around the house, yard work, or just helping them cope with loneliness or feeling isolated, you may feel overwhelmed.
Stress and anxiety become an almost natural extension of life as a family caregiver.
Maybe you never thought of yourself as a “family caregiver,” but if you are related to this aging veteran who needs help, have been helping him or her at home with various tasks or even offering transportation to get to a doctor’s appointment or the grocery store, for example, guess what?
That’s precisely what you have become. And, being a family caregiver is difficult. Even under the best of circumstances, it can be an overwhelming process.
Perhaps this aging veteran couldn’t afford home care outright.
You probably live in relatively close proximity to this aging loved one. So, it only makes sense for you to support him or her. After all, when he explained to you that he needed help, perhaps he already understood home care was a good option but didn’t think he could afford it.
For the New Year, help this aging veteran look into and potentially apply for Aid and Attendance benefits, if he or she may qualify.
This is a pension program made available through the VA that is intended to help disabled and elderly veterans. There are certain qualification requirements, of course.
With regard to age.
If the veteran is under 65, he or she would need to be considered completely disabled in order to qualify for Aid and Attendance. If the veteran is 65 or over, they must have a doctor’s recommendation for home care.
Time of service.
A veteran does not need to have served in a forward combat situation, but at least one day of their active duty service needs to have overlapped a time when the United States was officially engaged in combat. If the veteran served during the Gulf War, they need to have served a minimum of two years’ active duty, otherwise, the minimum requirement is 90 days.
Income and assets.
This is a factor that can confuse many veterans and their families. The VA has a threshold limit of combined income and assets that cannot be exceeded in order to qualify for Aid and Attendance support.
A primary residence and some other assets may not be used in the total calculation. So, even if this aging veteran doesn’t think he or she qualifies because of those assets, encourage them in the New Year to look into it. They might just be surprised.
And that experienced, professional support can be an invaluable asset as they move through 2021.