Veterans Assisted Living
Options for those who need it
Be aware of Medicare and
It is not a well kept secret that the
options are limited. Men and women who have fought in
wars defending sometimes little more than the honor of our
country deserve the absolute best from our country in
Unfortunately it is not the best they
receive, and their choices are limited when it comes to
residential housing if they choose or need to use the
governmental assistance provided to
VA care has in fact come a long way since the sixties and
seventies, but it has yet to reach a standard that is
acceptable considering the sacrifice these men and women
willingly gave to their country.
Residential care is not just something to
be considered by the retired and elderly members of the
Rather an individual that returns from war with severe
enough injuries may also need residential care.
Ongoing medical care may be necessary for
the rest of a young man or woman’s life and in some cases
independent living may no longer be an option.
The benefits for retired service people are extremely
process is quite stringent and simply applying for approval can
take as long as a year.
- There are restrictions based on how long and when
service to the country was commenced as well as war based
- The qualifications are so stringent that the approval
process is determined on a case by case basis, which is why
approval takes so long.
- A person in an emergency situation is
likely to run into significant problems when applying for
this type of aid.
A service person’s liquid assets can not exceed $80,000 and
while the benefits offered can be combined with Medicare
and private insurance, the benefits significantly drop when
If an individual is approved, the
benefits are limited to less than $1500 per month. Considering
the average retirement home runs closer to
twice that amount, the standard of care available for a retired
service person is truly minimal. A widowed spouse is only
entitled to less than $1000.
The spouse of an approved service person is strictly limited
to their entitlement of liquid assets and financial reserves.
This is standard practice for nearly all insurance coverage
pertaining to long term care facilities.
However because each
case is handled individually it is not clear
how much money a spouse can have access to until the case is
either approved or denied. This means that the system itself is
One spouse may be permitted twice the amount of another
spouse based entirely on the opinion of the value of service
performed while in active duty.
Of course the limited benefits are enough to cover
monthly expenses in specified VA retirement
communities and most retired or dependent service personnel
find themselves with little choice other than to accept the
limited services offered to them.
This eliminates the ability to choose the location of
the extended residential care. Long term
care provided by the armed services has definitely
improved over the past few decades, but an individual
could find better care if they had the freedom to choose
the care residence.
This lack of choice that is provided by the armed forces
feels like a slap in the face to many service men and
They are quick to state that they offered their service
without regard to their personal safety and the only thing they
are looking for in return is to be reasonably taken care of in
response to their injury or advancing age.
The government offers that there are limited funds available to
provide the type of assistance they feel would be more
appropriate and that the advancements made in military care are
just the beginning.
The government also released a
statement that initializes that the stringent and
subjective approval process is there to protect the benefits
for all and by deciding issues on a case by case basis they are
eliminating or greatly reducing fraud.
In 2004 the government stated if they could eliminate about
50% of the welfare recipients there would be ample funds to
improve the standard of long term care offered to service
Naturally many younger service personnel are preparing for
their own futures to eliminate the potential
need to rely on government assistance.
If the government’s assessment of the funds availability
problem is accurate we should see a sharp incline in the
quality of long term care in the next twenty to thirty years as
about 50% of retired military personnel will
have their own resources to combat the problem.
This of course does not solve the issues faced by our current
retired forces when attempting to access long term care, and
there is always hope for radical improvements as the current
government begins to change faces. Men and women who served
their country deserve at the very least our best standard of
assisted living business