VA Assisted Living Benefits: Does the VA Help Pay for Assisted Living? Who Qualifies for VA Benefits? And More
When it comes to understanding the VA benefits that you are eligible for, it can be a struggle.
There is so much information available and yet it never seems to answer your most pressing questions.
If you have spent the last four hours googling phrases like…
- How much does the VA pay for assisted living
- Does the VA help with assisted living costs
- Does the VA help pay for assisted living
- Does the VA pay for assisted living facilities
… and still don’t have your answers, you have come to the right place.
VA assisted living benefits can be complicated and difficult to understand but, here at Senior Services of America, we care about helping you understand your options.
This guide will explain the different benefits available and help you know if you might be eligible for them.
Read on to discover more about VA assisted living benefits and how you can get the assistance you have already earned.
Table of Contents
Does the VA Pay for Assisted Living?
While your VA benefits might cover a lot of things, the short answer is no, VA benefits do not directly cover assisted living.
But that doesn’t mean that your VA benefits won’t be of some assistance in covering the costs of your assisted living needs.
There are various programs through the VA that have been designed to offer some support to veterans who are seeking senior care.
While there is not a direct program that assists veterans who need senior care options, VA assisted living benefits do exist to a certain extent. Read on to discover what those are and how you can gain access to them.
Aid and Attendance Program
The Aid and Attendance Program is offered by the VA.
Through this program, eligible veterans qualify for additional funds, on top of the benefits they currently receive.
These funds are meant to be spent on assisting the veteran in completing activities of daily living (ADLs) and can be used for assisted living facility costs.
There are some basic requirements needed in order to qualify for VA assisted living benefits.
To be eligible for the Aid and Attendance Program, you need to meet some of the following requirements:
- Be a United States veteran
- Need assistance from another person for everyday tasks
- Be bedridden
- Have certain eyesight limitations
- Be in a nursing home due to a physical or mental incapacity or disability
Please note that you do not need to meet all of these criteria in order to be eligible for this program. You do need to be a United States veteran, but you could need assistance on daily tasks and not be bedridden or be in a nursing home but not have eyesight limitations.
So, do VA benefits pay for assisted living?
Yes, there are some benefits that can be directed to cover assisted living costs even though there is not a specific assisted living VA assistance program.
Veteran Directed Care Program
Somewhat similar to the Aid and Attendance Program, the Veteran Directed Care Program offers additional funds to eligible veterans allowing them to select and hire their own caregivers.
This program allows veterans to choose what is best for their unique situation and make the decision for themselves or with the assistance of their representative.
This benefit is intended to support both the veteran and their caregiver to ensure that the caregiver is able to assist as much as possible while maintaining their own lives and remaining healthy themselves.
The Veteran Directed Care Program offers a unique opportunity for veterans to build a support network.
While the VA doesn’t offer benefits specifically delegated to assisted living, some might consider the Veteran Directed Care Program to be among the VA assisted living benefits.
In order to qualify for this program, a veteran should:
- Be enrolled for VA benefits
- Meet specific clinical criteria
- Be eligible for community care
- Be in an area that offers the program
What Other Options Do Veterans Have for Assisted Living Using VA Benefits?
These programs aren’t your only option when it comes to finding the care you need.
From a VA community center to an Armed Forces Retirement Home, veterans have access to many different centers that provide them with community, care, and safety.
VA Community Living Center
A VA Community Living Center is similar to a nursing home.
These facilities are VA-run and they help to restore veterans to peak health and prevent health decline.
While similar facilities can often get a bad rap for feeling cold and distant, these facilities take special measures to be as homelike as possible, encouraging residents to decorate their rooms and even bring pets.
VA Community Living Centers may be an option for some veterans who meet the qualifications and are looking for short-term or long-term care.
While VA Community Living Centers can be a good fit for some, the nursing home-like structure may mean less independence and comfort.
Armed Forces Retirement Home
The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is an initiative of the Federal Government that provides eligible veterans (and their spouses) with a community designed that offers a meaningful lifestyle full of enriching activities and plenty of exposure to history and heritage.
The Armed Forces Retirement Home has two different locations, one in Washington, DC, and one in Gulfport, MS.
There are some great benefits to choosing to live at the AFRH.
It is important to note that the Armed Forces Retirement Home is not a nursing home.
In fact, in order to be eligible to reside at the AFRH you must be able to live independently upon admission.
- Attending to your own personal needs
- Navigating to the dining facilities for meals
- Keeping and attending all medical appointments
Additionally, someone seeking residence at the AFRH should be free of:
- Felony convictions
- Drug problems
- Psychiatric problems
- Alcohol problems
While you must be independent when you move into the home, there are care options available as veterans age and become less independent.
These options include:
- Assisted living
- Memory support
- Long-term care
Again, these services are only available after the resident has moved in independently and begins to need them.
Think of the AFRH as more of a retirement community than an assisted living facility.
If you are looking for a community that is able to support you with assistance for daily needs, the AFRH might not be for you.
The AFRH provides veterans with an affordable, comfortable retirement option for themselves and their spouses.
State Veterans Home
With a history that dates all the way back to the early post-civil war days, State Veterans Homes exist to provide those who have served America with what they need to live a safe, comfortable, and meaningful life.
In their original form, these homes were meant to provide homeless and disabled veterans with shelter and resources.
Today, these facilities offer domiciliary care, nursing home care, and adult daytime care.
As the name suggests, State Veterans Homes are run by individual states, not the VA.
The VA does an annual inspection of each facility to ensure that it is meeting all standards.
Facilities must be inspected and approved by the VA before they can be considered a State Veterans Home.
Who Qualifies for VA Benefits for Assisted Living?
Not all veterans qualify for VA benefits that can be used for assisted living.
Some of the basic requirements one should meet to qualify for some of these benefits include:
- Honorable discharge,
- Age 65+ or permanently disabled, and
- A minimum service requirement.
There are also medical and financial eligibility requirements that should be kept in mind as you consider your options.
Certain medical requirements have to be met in order to qualify for additional benefits.
The VA requires that anyone seeking these types of benefits be able to show medical need, such as needing assistance with at least two ADLs .
Depending on the benefit, there may be additional requirements in order to qualify.
To receive the most accurate information about medical eligibility requirements consider contacting the VA directly.
In order to receive some of the previously mentioned benefits, it is typically necessary to fall below a certain income bracket.
Again, details can be subject to change and vary from benefit to benefit.
In order to find the most dependable and current numbers and information, your best option is to contact your Veterans Benefits Advisor.
There are financial assistance options available to you and it is worth looking into them.
How Much Will the VA Pay for Assisted Living?
VA assisted living benefits are more like benefit funds that can be used to cover assisted living.
The amount of benefits you are eligible for is dependent on your income.
The VA counts things like Social Security payments, retirement, and more as your countable income.
Depending on your situation, there are different maximum amounts you might receive.
Current maximum monthly VA Pension amounts are:
- $1,937 for a single veteran
- $2,296 for a veteran plus spouse/dependent
- $3,072 for two married veterans who both meet the qualifications
- $1,245 for surviving spouse with no dependents
How to Apply for Your VA Benefits in Order to Use Them for Assisted Living Expenses
You can apply to most of these benefits online or by visiting your local VA office.
Another great resource is your Veterans Benefits Advisor. They are your biggest resource when it comes to learning about what you might qualify for and how you can apply for the benefits you deserve.
There are also accredited representatives and agents that can assist you with applying.
Senior Services of America: Find an Assisted Living Community That Accepts Your VA Benefits Today
Here at Senior Services of America, we honor and respect those who served our great nation.
You fought for us, and now we will fight for you.
We accept VA benefits and can help you find a home in one of our assisted living communities.
We boast incredible amenities such as senior-friendly floor plans and restaurant-style dining.
We create communities full of fellowship and comfort with your safety and independence at the forefront of all we do.
We would consider it an honor to provide you with top-of-the-line amenities and care as you live out your golden years in one of our beautiful communities.