How to Become a Veterans Care Provider
Recently, with the passage of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) was created. The program gives eligible Veterans the ability to receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care locally rather than traveling to a VA medical facility.
VA has expanded its Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) contracts to include implementing the Veterans Choice Program. PC3 is a VA nationwide program that provides eligible Veterans access to specific medical care when the local VA medical facility cannot readily produce the care. Often this is due to lack of an available specialist, long wait times, geographic inaccessibility, or other factors. The Veterans Choice Program supplements PC3 as another method for purchasing care in the community. It allows coverage of more services for eligible Veterans and provides Veterans more flexibility in where they receive care.
An estimated two million veterans and their surviving spouses are eligible for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “Aid & Attendance” pension valued at $22 billion per year, but only one-third of elderly veterans even know it exists. Veterans and Families can find assistance through social, home health professionals, and other healthcare providers to inform these individuals and help them apply for the benefit.
Home Care Options
There are many Veteran’s who require home care services but are not in a financial position that allows them to receive the care they need. Another option through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is Home Care Providers. Home Care Providers can provide specific home care services, including:
- Meal preparation/feeding
- Light housekeeping
- Grocery Shopping/errands
- Medication reminders
- Mobility assistance, including transferring assistance and fall prevention
- Toileting and incontinence care
Many Veterans don’t have the means to stay at home. Without proper guidance, Veterans may fail to see how helpful your services can be. With the right financial assistance, advice, and resources, home care providers can offer exceptional services to Veterans and their immediate family members.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can be challenging to navigate, and filling out mountains of paperwork with no knowledge of what a Veteran will get makes it challenging to trust providers, so Veterans and their families must be alert.
Steps to Applying for Veteran’s Home Care
Home care services for veterans, including those who are homebound with chronic diseases or service-related disabilities are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. Taking care of someone that is disabled due to injury or illness as a result of their military service is often difficult and expensive. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several benefit programs that will help cover the cost of in-home veteran care.
The following are the steps to follow when applying for Veteran’s Home Care:
- Stop by your local Veterans Affairs office to see what benefit options you have. Veterans with service-related disabilities are entitled to free health care. Also if a veteran requires treatment for conditions not related to their service, they can receive assistance for a reduced rate.
- Organizations including the Disabled American Veterans Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), can assist you in filing for benefits. Every state is different about the programs offered to veterans.
- Evaluate the needs of a veteran’s home care. Talk with doctors about the care necessary as well as the accommodations that will need to be made to ensure a comfortable and productive life.
- You can apply for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provide monetary assistance to in-home caregivers. These programs are “Aid and Assistance” and “Housebound.”
- There are also three grant programs available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that will assist in making your home more handicap accessible. These programs are the Specially Adapted Housing Grant, the Special Home Adaptation Grant, and the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant.
- A veteran who requires assistance to perform everyday living functions such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, or is bedridden may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit. This is a benefit that is in addition to their monthly pension. Veterans who qualify for a benefits program that will help cover expenses related to home care should take advantage. In some cases, spouses of veterans are eligible for these benefits as well.
Advisors at the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) office can assist. You can also go to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website to get information on specific benefits.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Family Caregiver Program
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides several benefits to caregivers of some severely injured veterans. Caregivers may be a parent, spouse, child, step-family member, extended family member, or an individual who lives with the veteran, but not a family member who provides support.
Caregivers must provide in-home care for veterans who meet the following criteria:
- Have a serious injury including but not limited to traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder.
- Personal care due to an inability to function in activities of daily living or needing supervision or protection due to symptoms of neurological impairment or injury.
- Also, veterans must be enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare program, and the injury must be service-connected.
- A monthly stipend for care.
- Funding for travel expenses, including lodging and per diem while veterans undergo medical care.
- Access to health care insurance provided the caregiver does not have access to a health care plan.
- Mental health services and counseling.
- Comprehensive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Caregiver training provided by Easter Seals Respite care (not less than 30 days per year).
There are many options for Veterans and their family to get home care, many of which are covered by programs through the United States Government and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).