As any retiree knows, the greatest risk someone living on a pension faces is the risk of inflation and the erosion of purchasing power. After several years without an increase, the US Senate passed without amendment by unanimous consent the following:
S.894: Veteran’s Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011
Married Veteran and Spouse: $2,020
Single Veteran: $1,704
Spouse of a Living Veteran $1,338
Surviving Spouse of a Veteran $1,094
Based on VA historical increases, the A & A pension may be effective as soon as 12/1/2011. Congratulations to all of the seniors who depend on this benefit and who have worked to deserve it.
With a 26 page application and 17 pages of instructions, it’s little wonder that the average Joe finds the application process for this benefit intimidating. One of the hallmarks of those who qualify is the need for care which is personally delivered and paid for.
If you are wondering about whether or not your loved one might qualify for the benefit, Consider these “3 C’s of Care”.
Condition: What kind of diagnosis does your loved one have? Some common conditions (among many) that require the attendance of another person include:
- Memory Issues which require help with medicine
- Severe cardiac conditions that require transport form bed to chair
- Arthritic conditions that require the patient to have help with dressing and hygiene.
- Balance issues or osteoporosis, where fall risk is imminent and the consequences can be catastrophic.
Care: What is the right level and type of care appropriate for the patient?
For those with memory issues, a phone call reminding them to take medicines might seem like a good idea, but it’s often inadequate. The best care is to have a friendly face right in front of them handing over the medicine cup and a glass of water or juice.
Women, especially those with a history of falls or osteoporosis, may be at severe risk in a slippery shower. Someone who uses a walker to get around is not a good candidate for a totally unattended shower. On the other hand, intensive supervision is often not necessary either. It’s often good enough simply to have a caregiver just outside the bathroom door during a shower, so that immediate aid can be given in case of a fall. Even with pull cords in a room, that pull cord can seem a mile away with a hard fall.
Cost: Eligible veterans or spouses need to be paying for care.
The costs associated with medicine management, or assistance with dressing are combined with other medical costs when someone tries to qualify for the benefit. The casual help of another person is a kindness, but not a compensable event for the purposes of qualification.
In summary, a qualified veteran requires the assistance of another person for one or more medically related Activities of Daily living and this care is both appropriate and paid for.
Questions? Comments? We’re here to help!