A VA Program Can Help War Veterans Pay For Long-Term Care, But Applying For It Can Be An Ordeal

The VA Aid and Attendance benefit can help some vets and spouses pay for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care. But the application process is often long and complicated.

By Stephanie ColombiniFebruary 25, 2020 7:09 am,

From The American Homefront Project:

At an assisted living facility about 30 miles north of Baltimore, Army veteran Eugene “Bernie” Popiolek, 95, attended a birthday party for a fellow resident.

He sat by the fireplace and snacked on cupcakes passed around by the same small staff who help him with his daily needs.

“They treat me wonderful, I couldn’t be treated better,” said Popiolek, who has lived at the facility for three years.

The facility costs Popiolek more than $6,000 a month. He pays for it with social security, retirement funds and, as of January 2019, about $1,900 in monthly pension payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The money comes through a VA program called Aid & Attendance, which is designed for war veterans and their surviving spouses who are unable to care for themselves. The recipients must have a net worth less than $129,094, including most assets and annual household income, minus medical expenses not covered by insurance.

“They help me out; I know that,” said Popiolek, who said he is proud the VA is recognizing his service as a quartermaster in World War II.

But securing that recognition took his son Gene nearly two years.

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