The U.S. Department of Veterans ffairs has been providing nursing home care to veterans for over 41 years. The Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits ct, Public Law 106-117, made important changes to the V’s nursing home program in an effort to address the growing need for long-term care among our most severely service connected disabled veterans. The ct had required that the V provide nursing home care to veterans with a service connected disability rating of 70 percent or greater, when the need for care was related to a condition of their service and for those that were receiving nursing home care in a V nursing home. It also includes those that are 60 percent service-connected disabled and are classified as unemployable or permanently and totally disabled.
The Veterans dministration, to keep pace with the demand for long-term care services for its veterans, enters into long-term care contracts with private nursing homes. The private nursing home must meet compliance issues to qualify. The V contracted facility is paid in full at the contracted rate eliminating patient liability. The Veteran keeps all of their income to include Service Connected Compensation. State Veterans Homes have been excluded from entering into these contracts with the Federal V, which meant the veteran would be liable for care charges otherwise covered through a private nursing home V contract.
The Federal V has partnered with State Veterans Homes to provide services to veterans in need of long-term care services. The Federal V provides grants to States for a portion of construction, renovation and operating costs. It is this Federal ssistance that has enabled the State of Wisconsin to expand services from its first State Veterans Home at King to the new State Veterans Home in Union Grove and likely in a few years to the Chippewa Falls area. The Federal V also pays a small daily per diem to the State for each Veteran it cares for.
In May 2007, Public Law 109-461, Section 211, provided V authority to pay State Veterans Homes the prevailing rate or the home’s daily cost of care, whichever is less, for veterans in need of long-term care services and who are 70 percent service connected, need long-term care as a result of their service connected condition or are 60 percent service connected disabled and unemployable or permanently and totally disabled. July 23, 2007 response to U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold from V Secretary R. James Nicholson conveys that “V is developing the regulations that are necessary to implement the provisions of section 211.” “…once regulations and rates are finalized, retroactive payments will be made to State Veterans Homes.” Stakeholders continue to wait for the Federal V to promulgate rules.
For information on any veteran benefit, contact your County Veterans Service Officer whose phone number is in the blue or white pages of your phone directory or available on the website: www.wicvso.org.