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Benefits for Veterans and Spouses

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend with their families. Memorial Day provides the perfect opportunity to spend time together enjoying the beautiful weather and the kickoff of many summer activities, but most importantly it is an annual day of remembrance to honor and respect the men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice in defending this great country and our freedom.

This holiday also provides St. Andrewís Senior Solutions and the Caring Workplace a good opportunity to remind our clients and their loved ones of the Veteranís Benefits available to the estimated 22 million veterans in the United States. Over half of these veterans are age 60 and older, and many of the benefit programs that were designed to assist older veterans are not being utilized by those who qualify.

The Veteranís Pension benefit is a program designed for veterans who served during a period of war, are 65 years and older or permanently disabled, and who have a limited income. The Aid and Attendant benefit and the Housebound benefit are both an extension of this program. These two programs are enhanced monthly pension benefits paid in addition to the standard pension, and both are based on income as well as medical needs. These programs are designed to help the veteran cover the cost of their care. Surviving Spouses of a veteran who served during a period of war may also be eligible for these benefits. In many cases, these programs can help an older veteran/surviving spouse with increasing needs remain in their own home with assistance, or in an assisted living community, rather than moving to a more costly skilled nursing facility.

This information was obtained from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.va.gov which can link you to a wide variety of information about other benefit programs available including Disability Compensation, Assistance for Homeless Veterans, Educational Assistance, Home loans, Life Insurance and much more. There are tools to assess eligibility online, and links to the applications and to find a Veterans Service Officer in your area.

If you have an older loved one who may benefit and would like additional information about programs or resources in your area, please contact your Eldercare Specialist Heather Spindler, MSW at 314-802-5106, toll free at 1-888-388-1930 or via email at hspindler@standrews1.com.