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February 5, 2019

There’s Often One Key Reason Aging Veterans Avoid Home Care, and It Has Nothing to Do with Ego

If you were to ask any number of aging veterans why they don’t consider home care, especially when they have difficulties with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), the most common reason will be cost.

They can’t afford it.

Many aging men and women across the country — veterans and otherwise — have limited income. They might be dependent on a basic pension, Social Security payments, and so forth. For some, that only covers basic living expenses, including rent or mortgage, property taxes, food, utilities, and medical expenses.

The thought of paying a home care aide to come in and support them on a regular basis rarely ever occurs to somebody scratching to make ends meet.

That’s where the Aid and Attendance benefit comes in.

For qualifying veterans, those considered ‘wartime veterans’ and who meet specific income and asset threshold limits, the Aid and Attendance benefit can be a valuable resource to provide financial means for home care services.

In order to qualify, the veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty with at least one day overlapping a time in which United States was actively engaged in combat. These combat periods include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the Gulf War. There’s currently no official end to the Gulf War yet, so even if a veteran recently served (even though they may have never been close to the Middle East) during this time frame, and they become disabled, they might qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits (based on time of service).

If the veteran is under 65, he or she needs to be considered completely disabled in order to be eligible. For veterans 65 and over, they must have a specific requirement for home care, most commonly provided by a doctor’s recommendation.

Their combined income and assets cannot exceed a specific threshold as set forth by the Veterans Administration. A primary residence as well as other assets that cannot be quickly converted into cash to pay for home care may not be calculated in the total.

Submitting an application now is important.

For those aging veterans who may require assistance at home and who may believe they’re eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits, they should fill out and submit the application as soon as possible. It can take many months for the approval to go through.

In the meantime, veterans who are confident they will be approved might begin receiving home care services while the application is pending because the VA does offer reimbursements provided the application is ultimately approved.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Veterans Home Care in Chicago, IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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