Many veterans and their spouses are faced with the challenge of meeting long term care needs either in a nursing home, assisted living facility or care at home. There are some federal and state programs which MY provide assistance. Each of these programs have unique eligibility requirements which are described in brief below.
VA MEDICAL CENTERS: The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is only required to provide nursing home care when the veteran is rated 70% or more service-connected. Care will be provided at either VA Medical Centers or at contracted nursing homes in certain communities. In very limited other circumstances, VA will provide temporary nursing home care for non-service connected veterans. Co-payments for this care could be charged.
VA PENSION PROGRM: Pension benefits can be paid to some veterans/surviving spouses to assist them with the cost of their care either at home or in a facility. The first requirement is that the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty, one day of which is in a wartime period. VA then looks at the level of disability of the claimant, income, assets and cost of the long-term care. In certain situations, it is possible for a single veteran to receive up to $1,347/month IF the cost of their care exceeds their income, and they do not have excessive assets. The maximum monthly amount for a married veteran is currently $1,597. The maximum for a surviving spouse is $865 per month.
Single wartime veterans and their surviving spouses who are in a skilled nursing facility, and are receiving Medicaid benefits, can receive a pension of $90/month. This will allow them to have additional spending money for their personal needs.
WISCONSIN VETERANS HOMES: The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) operates two long-term care facilities. The Wisconsin Veterans Home at King has been in operation for over 100 years. It provides all levels of care to disabled veterans and their spouses. They must apply income and assets to the cost of their care to the extent required for Medicaid eligibility.
WDVA has also established a new facility in Union Grove. This is categorized as a community based residential facility, and it is limited to those who need no more than three hours of skilled nursing care per week. However, construction is underway for a third building which will be able to accept people who need more care. lso, a skilled nursing facility will be built on the site in the future. Care is provided at below-market rates. Federal V pension benefits may be available to assist with the cost of care at these facilities.
Contact your County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) for more information regarding the above programs. You can locate your CVSO under the county government listing of your local phone directory or the website of the CVSO ssociation of Wisconsin at www.wicvso.org.